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A Reality Series Set In A Real Prison Is Blowing Up On Netflix Right Now

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With the success of “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment,” Netflix is further cementing its role as a reality series juggernaut. Not only is the streaming service home to some of the best reality TV shows of all time, but it also has a whole bunch of Netflix originals that explore the genre.

“Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” isn’t Netflix’s first foray into incarceration-themed reality TV. In 2023, the “Squid Game”-themed reality competition show “Squid Game: The Challenge” brought the South Korean drama’s premise of 456 contestants locked inside a dorm and forced to participate in deadly children’s games to reality. While no one died, the dark truth behind the scenes of the “Squid Game” reality show ignored the satirical aspects of the original show, featured plenty of toil and turmoil, and consisted of terrible filming conditions. As such, “Squid Game: The Challenge” drew plenty of criticism — much like the controversial premise of “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” has already started to do. 

While Netflix has a well-rounded repertoire when it comes to reality shows, the success of these two shows is enough to make a viewer wonder. It will be interesting to see if the streamer is now done with shows like this or if these shows’ success inspires Netflix to continue exploring similar premises.