In a few days, Netflix will unleash upon humanity, another season of its hit series Love is Blind. You’re welcome to jump in at the start of any of its 4 seasons and binge away. Each effort is standalone in its attempts to marry off complete strangers, who are desperate for television exposure and social media followers.
The premise of Love is Blind, is that over the course of a few weeks, attractive people under the age of 40 converse and ask each other deep questions as they are separated by a wall, never seeing each other throughout their courtship. They do a round robin of sorts with a dozen contestants of the opposite sex and narrow it down to a love match. Before time is up in the “experiment” one of them must propose to someone they dig or lose the ability to appear on future episodes of the show, which would be devastating to their potential television and Instagram influencing careers.
Of course, this is all under the guise of love and that narrative is reinforced repeatedly, aside from the fact that almost none of the couples who have gotten engaged in 3 seasons are still together. The show has an absolutely terrible success rate but hey, we’re not here for love, we want the train wreck. It’s been apparent from the jump that the show is not really about love, but entertainment and for that, we thank you Netflix.
The show is “hosted” by Nick Lachey and wife, Vanessa Lachey. I use host loosely as they appear in the first episode for a quick intro, about halfway through the season for twenty minutes of generic advice, and at the very end for a tidy wrap up. Oddly enough, on camera they treat the show as a serious matter and consult couples as if they’re Dr. Ruth trying to salvage relationships with real potential. The Lacheys are producers of Love is Blind, so obviously they need to save face and continue their branding, which looks to be doing well as this is their 3rd show on Netflix.
Speaking of branding, there’s also an absurd insistence by production to make everyone drink from gold chalices at all times. They look like they were bought in bulk from a party store and yet whether in the “cubes” (as they call the spaces for dating), visiting family in the real world, once engaged on a honeymoon, or meeting foreign nationals, they must always slug from these gaudy containers. It’s hilariously tacky and somehow forever uncorrected by the show. It makes what already feels like a cheap production, even cheaper.
But back to the cast and the reason for watching. In season’s past, we’ve experienced the amazing first run fake love of Giannina Gibellii and Damian Powers. Their soap opera kissing scenes and runaway bride montage were only outdone by Damian bringing another Netflix reality star (Francesca Farago) to the reunion special and talking exclusively about her love of plastic surgery. Let us also not forget about Season 1 dark horse Jessica Batten who could never find a man she found as supportive as her enormous glass of wine and showed up to every event, sloshy.
Season 2 pushed the levels of cringe, with the will they won’t they couple of Shaina Hurley and Shayne Jansen. These two weren’t even fiancees but had such a “connection” that it ruined the fake engagements they had with two other contestants. Let’s also give a shout out to Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee, who body shamed his super likable ex, Deepti Vempati and constantly talked about the importance of physique, despite the fact that he, himself looked like he was formed from ill shaped play dough.
Just when the show seemed to reach peak horror, Season 3 said “hold my beer”. They introduced us to mega-narcissist Bartisse Bowden who’s unable to love anyone as much as he loves himself and his 90’s retro dangly earring. He was joined by dysfunctional power couple Zanab Jaffrey and Cole Barnett. Aside from gaslighting one another into oblivion and each painting themselves as a victim, they could never find common ground. “Success story” Matt Bolton and Colleen Reed insist they’re still a couple even though they don’t live together, show zero affection on camera, and don’t seem to have any chemistry. That said, who knows? On tv some of this can be real while most is is not, including the infamous tears of Andrew Liu.
Is any of this actually genuine? Who knows? In reality tv these could all be storylines and talented aspiring actors, or once normal people simply open to producer’s suggestions. The point is, it’s okay to watch the world burn if it’s this world in-particular. No one who willingly applies to be on any dating show with the premise of immediately getting married is there for love, unless they’re a little unhinged. To that point, we’ve seen some interesting characters thus far, that have now successfully graduated to the upper echelon of Netflix’s cast of regulars on other dating shows. What Love is Blind has now become is a vehicle for their exclusive talent. Its the same effort and result as Too Hot Too Handle, Love Island, and Are You the One. Its brain dead tv, with characters you’ll talk about at the water cooler and see on another Netflix production in a month.
That’s exactly what makes it a perfect hate watch. Going in, knowing that these are people craving fame and Instagram followers makes their fake love affairs a great ride. The acting will be terrible, egos will emerge as storylines become apparent to those trying to look good on tv, and those that can’t make their phony relationships work come apart at the seams.
Each season manages to outdo the previous, so grab your plastic gold goblet, get down on one knee, and strap in for Love is Blind, season 4 dropping this week on Netflix.