Dating shows are a staple in the world of reality TV. From shows like “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” to “Love Island,” these programs have become a lot people’s guilty pleasures. However, there is a new genre of dating shows that is taking over the industry.
Netflix is creating shows that are closer to social experiments, putting a group of single men and women onto a program with a purpose deeper than finding love. While the end goal of these productions is ultimately finding romance, Netflix originals like “Love Is Blind” and “Too Hot to Handle” feature a journey to love very different than typical dating shows.
Imagine getting engaged to someone after just 38 days of knowing them. Well that is what couples are expected to do on “Love Is Blind.” The Netflix original is a dating show where the contestants cannot see who they are talking to. The main goal of the social experiment is to get people to form connections with each other solely based on personality. At the end of the experience, couples are expected to get engaged and later married.
The first 10 days (give or take) of the experiment are meant for the couples to start pairing off. Contestants get to know each other by going on “dates” in soundproof pods where a wall prevents them from seeing each other. After this initial getting to know each other period, the couples that want to continue their journey to love get engaged.
After the engagement, the couples get to finally see each other in Mexico where they continue to grow their relationship. If the couples are still into each other after this phase, then they move in together for around four weeks. During this time they meet friends and family and get to know more about each other’s lifestyle. After this comes the wedding. If couples decide they really are right for each other, then they get married at the end of the show.
Now five and a half weeks to get to know someone, get engaged and eventually married definitely does seem rushed, but surprisingly it did work out for some couples. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, producer Chris Coelen opened up about the number of couples that got engaged, “As a producer, I was kind of nervous like, ‘Is anybody actually gonna get engaged? Is anyone going to make it to the altar?’ And, in the end, we actually had more couples get engaged than we were able to follow on the show.”
The show aired six couples’ journeys, but eight couples actually got engaged. Now the real question, how many of the couples are still together? Out of the six couples that got aired, two of them are happily married and one couple is still dating. The other three couples are no longer together.
At first I was surprised to see the program had a 50% success rate because the process seemed altogether rushed. The concept of the show is amazing: getting to know someone for who they truly are rather than what they look like. In the end everyone wants to be loved for their personality rather than their looks, but 38 days, in my opinion, is not enough time for that.
However, despite this, the show does have a higher success rate than other leading dating shows in the industry. For context, “The Bachelor” has an 11% success rate and “The Bachelorette” has a 30% success rate.
“Too Hot to Handle” is the second of Netflix’s dating shows. This program follows a similar style to the hit British reality show “Love Island,” but with a major twist. Unlike “Love Is Blind,” couples in this show are allowed to see each other; however, they are not allowed to kiss or have sex while they’re in the villa.
What happens if they break any of these rules? Money gets taken away from their grand prize fund of $100,000. Now, this seems easy right? Well not for these contestants. The 10 contestants that entered the villa are all known for having meaningless relationships in the past. Their time in the villa is meant to help them gain the skills they need to form deeper and more real connections later.
The lack of physical intimacy is meant to keep them focused on getting to know each other on a personal level without any distractions. If someone fails to show any improvement, then they get kicked off of the show, so you don’t necessarily need to be in a couple to stay in the villa.
All of the contestants’ behavior is monitored by an artificial intelligence system (AI) named Lana, which is responsible for taking away money if rules are broken and tracking everyone’s progression; essentially Lana determines if you stay or leave the show.
By the end of the season, the prize fund had been reduced to $75,000, so each contestant walked away with $7,500 each. There are still two couples from the show that are together while the others have broken up. There were four solid couples that formed in the villa, so like “Love Is Blind,” the show has a 50% success rate.
The other contestants on the show didn’t leave the villa with love, but they did leave completely different people. They were able to do a lot of self-reflection during their time in the villa and found themselves wanting a more long term relationship rather than meaningless flings.
These two shows have two different themes to them: “Love Is Blind” focuses more on looking past looks to form a relationship while “Too Hot to Handle” focuses more on self-reflection and learning to communicate and let go of past experiences to form deeper connections with people.
However, at the end of the day, both shows are entertaining to watch and are definitely binge worthy. Both of these shows are now on Netflix and it is unclear as of now if there is going to be a second season for either of them.