‘Love is Blind’ won’t see success through its terrifically boring shallowness
Caroline Lezny | Wednesday, February 26, 2020
It’s the fairytale proposal that romantics grow up dreaming about: these couples get engaged without ever seeing each other’s faces.
Netflix’s new reality series “Love Is Blind” presents 10 men and women with the challenge of meeting their soulmates. The catch? They have to make their decisions based solely upon “blind” conversation.
The first episodes of this series, which was created by Chris Coelen, features contestants meeting and talking in isolated “pods” that remove any potential physical elements from their burgeoning relationships. As they try to discern which other contestants interest them, they eliminate all but one and eventually propose, leading to a tropical vacation, wedding planning and the inevitable challenges of meeting family and moving in together.
The question an audience member must ask of “Love Is Blind” concerns its reverence (or lack thereof) for the institution of marriage. Marriage, in the context of ”Love Is Blind,” is merely a deadline. From the first episode, the contestants make clear they are taking part to find a spouse. These people are not trying to find love or perfect companionship — at least, neither of those things seem to be a priority.
Above all, they are preoccupied with the desire to become wives and husbands. This leads to many surprisingly antiquated sound bytes where men discuss which women they feel would be “good wives” and vice versa. From a contemporary feminist perspective, it feels extremely regressive to celebrate the idea of marriage as a social necessity that must be fulfilled, and to approach dating as making a selection.
One of the greatest weaknesses of the show is that the people involved are all beautiful. Characteristic of typical reality television? Yes. Interesting in a show that claims to be a social experiment examining blind attraction? Not at all. They are also largely insufferable; it is not hard to imagine how many of these people have been unable to find spouses outside of a dating show. They are emotionally manipulative and, for the most part, shallow, despite their claims to be otherwise.
Unfortunately for the series, “Love Is Blind” is not only sickening with regard to the people it features. It also has the distinction of being terrifically boring. Couples have the same conversations multiple times in different contexts: in the pods, on tropical beaches, even in the bedroom. This is certainly the show’s worst offense. Even if reality television is not quality media, it should at least be grippingly entertaining. “Love Is Blind” lacks what many quality television-seekers consider to be the real heart of reality TV: the “car crash so bad I can’t tear my eyes away” factor.
“Love Is Blind” is trash television at its worst. It is absolutely horrendous. The show claims to operate from the premise that love and marriage should be based on blind, emotional connection, then instantly and invasively sexualizes their experience outside the pods. The show needed to make up its mind — should love be idealized as an emotional, rather than physical, connection, or should it be fabricated as is inevitable in “reality” television?
Unfortunately, the producers never seemed to figure out where they land on this important question, and viewers, no matter which way they lean, should expect nothing but disappointment. Netflix would be wise not to expect critical success from its new reality series. Love may be blind, but viewers are not.
“Love is Blind”
Watch it on: Netflix
If you like: the “Bachelor” franchise, “Love Island,” “Married at First Sight”
Shamrocks: 1.5 out of 5