The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



‘Too Hot To Handle’ is just too much

| Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Emma Kirner | The Observer
Image source: Netflix

Netflix’s hit show “Too Hot To Handle” returned for its third season this January and continued its trend of shocking fans with its new twists and turns. The show takes a group of “sexed-up singles” from around the world to a tropical beach oasis under the premise that they are on “Pleasure Island,” a fake show centered around a summer of parties and casual hook-ups with other guests. However, the hopeful singles are shocked in episode one when it’s revealed they are, in fact, on “Too Hot to Handle,” where all physical touch of a sexual nature is strictly banned. To incentivize guests to obey the rules, a prize fund is guaranteed to the lucky winners at the end of the season. The powerful enforcer of these rules is the small-but-mighty robot, affectionately named Lana, who administers both punishments and rewards to the guests during their time on the show.

While every season comes with new twists and turns, this season was arguably the most shocking fans have ever seen. With the prize fund doubled to $200,000, and not one but two episodes featuring new arrivals to the show, this season was truly like no other. Perhaps most staggering, though, is that the guests managed to spend all $200,000 of their prize fund. All-powerful Lana took a break from her duties when she pretended to be disconnected due to technical difficulties, as a test of guest’s true dedication to the show’s mission.

During this time, coupled-up guests Holly and Nathan managed to rack up a $69,000 tab during their stay in the private suite, the most expensive rule break possible on the show. However, they were given a chance to redeem themselves after draining the prize fund and losing the trust of the other guests. The couple managed to gain $90,000 back for the group, returning some cash to the fund and providing their fellow guests with a renewed sense of trust and respect for them. The show wrapped up with Harry and Beaux, another fan-favorite couple, taking home the prize fund after proving themselves to be committed to following the rules and living out the mission of the show: making a long-lasting, meaningful connection in the absence of sexual relationships.

As an enthusiastic fan of the series, I can confidently say this season was a significant departure from the traditional trajectory of the first two seasons. While guests remained consistent with their money-draining rule breaks, the prize fund reaching $0 was a new and jaw-dropping twist, and for the first time, I actually agreed with who won the prize fund at the end of the show. Winners Harry and Beaux are still happily in love in the outside world, providing a new sense of legitimacy to the seemingly ridiculous process.

But despite these developments, this season had a lot going on in just 10 45-minute episodes. The introduction of new arrivals added some flavor to the already well-established group dynamic. However, it felt like a forced way to develop the plot by manufacturing competition and drama. Moreover, Lana’s “glitch” presented itself as just another way for guests to break rules and stir the pot, taking away from the part of the show which showcases the change in the fun and flirty singles over the course of their stay. To be frank, this season of “Too Hot to Handle” went overboard on its delivery of drama and plot twists. Instead of rallying fans behind the core group who arrived on the island the first day, producers focused too much on adding flavor to an already engaging plotline. The show is likely to be renewed for a fourth season because of its success. Perhaps the next season will deliver what fans love most: a healthy balance of drama, plot twists and character development.


Starring: Beaux Raymond, Georgia Hassarati

Favorite Episode(s): Episode 3, “The Truth Hurts”

If You Like: Love is Blind, Love Island, The Bachelor

Where to Watch: Netflix

Shamrocks: 3 out of 5

Tags: , , , ,

About Mary O’Connor

Contact Mary