8 Netflix “Chorecore” Shows to Watch While Doing Something Else

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8 Netflix “Chorecore” Shows to Watch While Doing Something Else

Ever since its venture into original programming ten years ago, Netflix has prevailed as the go-to synecdoche for streaming entertainment. Nine-to-fivers get home, shimmy into their pajamas, and “put some Netflix on,” while skeezy frat stars across the nation may invite you over to “Netflix and chill.” It’s been an inevitable, and fairly warranted, victory for the streamer. Coming out of the gates with a bang, Netflix dropped full seasons of Orange Is the New Black and the David Fincher-backed House of Cards in 2013, immediately solidifying the movie-delivery service as a bona fide TV production house releasing visual content on par with that of premium cable. Mindhunter, Stranger Things, The Crown—these were big-budget, highly lauded shows that have represented the seemingly limitless creative vision of the streamer.

And then, there’s all the other stuff. As Netflix’s continual efforts to reinvent itself and appease its shareholders suggest, the majority of its funds and attention of late has been showered onto the massive hits, leaving the runoff to trickle down to its slate of low-budget, low-stakes, and utterly low-artistry offerings. Scroll through your homepage, and wedged in between the blockbuster movies and the TV critical darlings, you’ll find titles that range from nebulous genre fare to what you reason could only belong to gag names for fake 30 Rock shows, some of which bafflingly boast that “Top 10” badge in the corner. Keep scrolling and realize that there’s an endless supply of it—and we’re only getting more.

This is the age of Chorecore TV, the type of audiovisual pig slop that has come to dominate Netflix’s business model. Chorecore TV is, simply, TV to do chores to; it is background noise and color, content (not art) designed with the express purpose to be consumed half-wittingly, like ginger between bites of sushi. You don’t exactly watch Chorecore, nor do you talk about it, tweet about it, or ever really think about it ever again. And Chorecore isn’t bad TV per se. It’s just kind of there, soulless drivel built for the smartphone era and the current anxiety epidemic (which definitely have nothing to do with one another) and conceived as escapist fodder to distract us from thinking too much about the totality of, well, just about everything. Regarding these programs, Netflix seems to say: look but don’t listen, listen but don’t look.

So, the next time you find yourself reflexively tapping that Netflix icon on a rainy chore day, don’t waste valuable time scrolling for options. Instead, just throw on one of the following programs from this curated list of the perfect Netflix Chorecore shows for each main household chore. Or don’t. It really doesn’t matter.


Laundry: Emily In Paris

It's Now Impossible to Root for Emily and Gabriel's Relationship in Emily in Paris

Perhaps the ultimate Chorecore show, Emily In Paris is about Emily in Paris, a young, bright-eyed, empty void of a woman discovering love and career success in the City of Lights—and always looking fabulous while doing so. That makes it the perfect laundry show. Fold your shabby gray sweatpants (didn’t they used to be white?) and fantasize about strutting down the Champs-Élysées, munching on a croissant, and inexplicably going viral as hot men fawn after you and jealous Parisian women are eventually won over by your buoyant charm and business acumen. Maybe you too could look like an effortlessly chic cartoon character in your pastel floral dresses and stupid little berets, as Emily does at all times. Vive la Emily!


Vacuuming: Hype House

You might be thinking, “Why would I put a TV show on while performing the loudest chore imaginable?” But catch even a minute of Hype House, the reality show about a group of self-obsessed social media influencers living and creating content together in a SoCal mansion, and you’ll quickly learn that you’re better off with the volume, if not muted, then completely drowned out. Instead of listening to these Zillennials get into petty squabbles about their torturous living arrangements or profess their richly introspective theses on how the utter commodification of their very beings has obliterated their capacity for engaging with the world as living-breathing humans, you can glimpse from your periphery images of pretty hillside sunsets and gorgeous twenty-somethings splashing around in the pool—all while keeping your floors debris-free. Now that’s hype.


Cooking Dinner: Is It Cake?

As you’re preparing dinner, are you looking for an inspiring show that has minimal tangible stakes yet all the existential terror of Blade Runner? Look no further than Is It Cake?, the quick cash-grab of a show that caught the last ripples of the viral trend in which masterful bakers took harmless videos of everyday items, only to slice into them and reveal they were made of fluffy, delicious cake the whole time. It’s fun and silly and not at all a Lynchian nightmare that will leave you questioning your own material reality for weeks afterward. “That can’t be cake,” you say, like an idiot, until it’s divulged that it is cake! You know nothing. “Am I cake?” you can’t help but question a few episodes in. There’s only one way to find out…. Wait, what are you doing with that steak knife? No, NO!


Window Washing: The Watcher

If you’ve ever fretted over whether a neighbor has taken an undue, perhaps nefarious, interest in your private activities, they probably haven’t. You’re likely just not that interesting or worthy of stalking. Still, the fantasy lives on, so while you’re busy scrubbing Windex to make your windows as see-through as possible, tune into The Watcher and get lost in Ryan Murphy’s hairbrained, ultimately inconsequential thriller about a family being watched by the Watcher. You don’t really have to watch The Watcher to get the gist of what’s going on, so instead listen in as you stare through the blinds of the house across the street, wondering if anyone’s watching you watching them while kind of watching The Watcher.


Making the Bed: Love Is Blind

Look, I get it. It’s been a while since your bed has been occupied by anyone other than your favorite stuffed teddy bear. But that doesn’t mean you should forgo making the bed, and what better piece of Chorecore to have on while doing so than the hit dating show, Love Is Blind. Any good dating show is all about shoving its hopeless romantics through a Squid Game-esque psychological experiment that tests some philosophical inquiry into the essence of courtship of which only a teenage stoner could conceptualize, and Love Is Blind is no exception. What if love wasn’t about physical attraction? is the brave, innovative question the show asks before sticking its contestants in pods that separate them from being able to physically see their suitors. The results vary from fascinating to shocking. So fluff your pillows, brush that Dorito dust off the duvet, and think about how that special someone could love you for you, without even seeing your face or your messy bed.


Filing Taxes: Selling Sunset

What better way to remind yourself of how poor you are and how pathetic your garbage life is than by opening up H&R Block on your laptop and pressing play on Selling Sunset on your TV. You’ll find yourself pondering: wouldn’t it be nice to park my Ferrari in my six-car garage on a Bel Air bluff overlooking the ocean? Wouldn’t it be nice to be as blond, beautiful, and vapid as Chrishell or Christine, and drink aeperol spritzes at 11am on a Tuesday? And more than anything, wouldn’t it be nice to—oh no, the IRS is at my door. You’ll never take me alive, capitalist pigs!


Prepping for Divorce: Partner Track

Once you get over the fact that Partner Track, the ten-episode series about a quixotic junior lawyer finding love and prosperity in the big city, was not in fact written by ChatGPT or spliced together entirely with B-roll from every other New York show ever made, you might just pick up a thing or two about the jazzy intricacies of American law. That’ll come in handy when you’re reviewing case notes your divorce attorney sent over and frantically deleting those emails where you drunkenly accused your ex-spouse of gambling away the kids’ orthodontic funds. The show can pass by in the background while you sob into the phone and beg her to take you back. It’s shot like a comedy, but nothing funny happens, and it’s kind of a drama, but nothing exciting happens either. Kind of like your marriage.


Taking Out the “Trash”: Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Taking out the garbage is everyone’s least favorite chore. It’s smelly and sticky and sometimes still twitching. Nevertheless, it has to be done, so next time you’re dragging your trash out to the abandoned reservoir a few counties over and taking that lone rowboat out into the middle of the water to find the perfect dumping spot, pull up Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal on your phone to help pass the time. True crime documentaries are the bread and butter of Chorecore, and this one feels particularly unique as it involves small-town gossip, families with dark secrets, and lots of shadowy reenactment scenes and slow pans across creepy fields. Enjoy it for its entertainment value, and definitely don’t take it as an instructional guide for how to get away with whatever it is you got up to in your secluded woodshed last weekend. It’s just Chorecore after all.

Michael Savio is an editorial intern at Paste Magazine based in New York. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at NYU in media and humor studies.

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