“Love is Blind” Falls Short

Reality tv is the best, and I (shamefully) will admit that to you all. I don’t watch the Bachelor, so I have no authority when it comes to marriage specific goal oriented reality tv shows, but I can say that Netflix’s new original series, “Love is Blind,” might just be the most overly dramatic and drastic display of the human experience I have ever seen. Previously, I’ve stuck to the world of Real Housewives and more trashy shows that resemble it, but “Love is Blind” was too unbelievable not to watch.

Without giving too much away, because I highly recommend that you watch this show even if it’s just for the sake of irony, I can tell you that the general premise is similar to that of an arranged marriage, but with slightly more nuance. Basically, the participants in the show, or what they so fondly refer to as the “experiment,” sit in pods and speed date until they think they’ve found the one. I think it’s less speedy than the show makes it seem, but they seem to just sit in pods and dive right into the nitty gritty, deciding whether or not they’re going to marry the anonymous person behind the frosted blue glass. They sift through their candidates, some apparently falling in love with more than one person adding some dramatic flare to thicken the plot, and then comes the proposals. Please remember that they have never seen each other before, and have only heard this person’s voice for the past three to six days. Each couple followed their own timeline, but really none of them knew each other for longer than a week before they popped the question.

The most stunning thing about this show could be what is most striking at first, the ridiculous timeline that it takes to fall in love, or perhaps we could commend the fact that these people are stripping away the superficiality from marriage I guess? That seems to be the motivation of the show, and of most of the participants seem motivated to just get to know someone for their “true” self, claiming the superficiality of society hasn’t led them to love before, so why would it now? However, this “lack of superficiality” is a double edged sword, because so many of the participants seem to have crippling insecurity issues that hello, should probably be addressed before you get married to a stranger.

Let’s talk about the first impressions and the proposals. We’re out from behind the glass at this point, and they see each other face to face. I don’t think anyone was necessarily disappointed with the outcome of their fiances physical appearance, except for one rogue fiancee that I won’t disclose, but it’s also not like Netflix went looking for conventionally unattractive people to participate. There’s another fracture in the lovely idea of stripping away the importance of physical appearance from a relationship; when they’re all fairly attractive, there’s nothing to strip away, especially if they were apprehensive before.

I would say my general impression of this show is split into two. On one hand I think these people are nuts, and in reality there can be no way this works. But in reality, it does! Arranged marriages work out all the time and people stay married! If you add in how steadfast these contestants are to get married, you have a pretty good recipe for success. And that’s the less cynical way I see the show. Somehow, it’s oddly touching that people can be so naive as to think that this is the way they were meant to meet their soulmate from a preselected group of people. Maybe in this weird test is actual true love, but once the finale comes around, I can promise some surprise endings that will leave you second guessing how well you read each couple. I wish you luck if you do put yourself through the viewing pleasure of this show, and just trust me on this one, remember to pray for Mark, Jessica really put him through it.