A love triangle featuring former Bachelor and Love Island contestants, the most-followed man in Australia and a sound healing session to salvage a party’s vibes: Welcome to Byron Bay.
Netflix’s latest docu-soap Byron Baes takes viewers down under to the linen-filled, spiritual oasis that is the epi-center of Australian influencer culture. The eight-episode first season is basically a cross between The Hills and Selling Sunset, introducing a tight-knit group of friends who are all attempting to make it as artists, while also dating, feuding and, of course, attending parties each week to confront one another.
But something that sets Byron Baes apart from its predecessors is that social media—namely Instagram—is just as much of a main character as anyone in the cast. Jade, the aforementioned most popular male influencer in the country, proclaims, “For 10 years now, I’ve had my phone every single second of my life doing everything for my fans and my followers.” Meanwhile, Elle, an environmentally conscience entrepreneur, commissions a sculpture of herself as a mermaid to save the coral reef. Naturally.
And Byron Baes executive producer Emma Lamb knows exactly what casual viewers think of content creators, who say things like “I’m not an influencer, I’m an inspirer” without a hint of irony.