Even by the standards of reality television shows, the premise of this new Netflix app Love Is Blind is annoyingly artificial deep. Hosted by Vanessa and Nick Lachey, the show purports to be an experiment, exploring whether couples can fall in love without the distraction of looks and/or the world.
“Everyone needs to be loved for who they are,” Vanessa Lachey tells the contestants early on, “not for their appearances, their race, their heritage, or their income.”
Thus the participants need to connect without visiting each other (they are ensconced in small rooms called pods) and get engaged on that basis.
They’re then sent off to a couple’s retreat, or as Nick Lachey sets it enunciating such as a lecturing chemistry scientist — that they’re” exposed to the actual realities of the material universe.”
From the episodes out today, they meet the parents, and also in the final episodes falling next week they get married (or not).
The show is part of the bigger foray into unscripted series of Netflix.
This has resulted in critical successes such as Cheer, a documentary about a cheerleading team’s championship season, also Dating About, a romantic and charmingly straightforward throwback to blind date reveals.
There have been more mixed results as well, like The Circle, a snooze-worthy mashup of Big Brother and Catfish for its social networking era.
Likewise Love Is Blind throws a bunch of powerful reality TV formulas to the blender: a little The Bachelor (with the relationship and sharing of backstories), a few 90 Day Fiancé (the moving in together), and a flair of Say Yes to the Dress.
However, the series seems confused about whether it wants to lean to the shticks or become a quasi–cinema verité show in the vein of Dating Around.
With so many phases five couples, it never goes deep enough — or remains shallow — to be satisfying.
Carlton and Diamond
The most astonishing and revealing part of Love Is Blind is your initial episodes that dropped last week.
The contestants, segregated by sex (the series is deeply cis-hetero), can just hear each other as they chat in rooms divided by a single wall, and they call”pods”,
The men specifically can not quite go along with the display setup. “What are you looking for in a girl?”
One is requested. “In-shape and lovely,” he answers, completely oblivious. The other one tells a contestant without being asked: “If I had to guess, I would say you’re African American.”
The series zeroes in on particular couples, as their backstories are shared by the contestants and get to know each other throughout the pods.
A few of the pairs are particularly thinking about the kinds of gendered (and racial) scripts they are grappling with.