The Culture Corner
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The Culture Corner

Why are we all so obsessed with Love Is Blind?

The ‘pods’ in which couples used to communicate without ever seeing each other

It started with a couple of tweets from telly people talking about this new batshit show. Then tweets from people I knew. Then somebody DM’d me “you have to watch this show”. And now I too am obsessed.

In case you live under a literal rock, Love Is Blind is a reality dating show on Netflix; the premise being can you fall in love with somebody without knowing what they look like? They might get married at the end, which is exciting. It’s basically Love Island meets Dating In The Dark. But it’s American, which makes it weirder.

It’s also hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, who we see precisely once in the first three episodes.

Also they have to propose to their partners, and then they go on vacation to Mexico with all of the other couples (who they have also been dating).

Also the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious.

Also they then all move into the same apartment building.

You get where this is going. Batshit.

But weirdly, actually, it works.

The show makes the decision early on to only follow the couples who got together, and to allow those who didn’t meet their match to go home alone. And luckily, the main cast of couples features all of the right characters.

There’s Jessica who, despite being in love with Barnett, said yes to Mark — a man 10 years younger than her. She finds this very stressful. She also gets drunk and emotional a lot.

Barnett asked Amber to marry him, but his friends and family have no idea why. Amber is very loud and different to him but they have a lot of sex. We hear about their sex a lot.

There’s the very nice and polite well matched couple who’s families are very supportive. There’s the sassy woman who gives as good as it gets. There’s the interracial couple working out what a life would look like for them. There’s the couple that wasn’t, because she couldn’t accept his bisexuality.

They’re all very attractive.

It’s the perfect ensemble cast for a show with this concept, and I cannot stop watching.

Watching these people fall in love with a voice and be disappointed by the voices owner. Watching them explain to their family how they met. Watching them try on wedding dresses.

I am deeply and sincerely invested in these peoples happiness.

Passionate love is said to last a maximum of three years before compassionate love takes over, and watching strangers cycle through this process at break neck speed is comforting as well as entertaining. As with any good reality TV show, people are open and vulnerable about their history and their needs.

Maybe in a way watching Love Is Blind is also cathartic. No question is off the table and near strangers are forced to discuss what a successful relationship looks like to them. How many times have you sat on a first date wanting to scream out “but are you looking for anything serious”, but not been able to?

But most of all, I think we’re all obsessed with Love Is Blind because it’s just nice.

Nobody is really backstabbing, plotting, or stealing (so far). Everybody is being a sounding board for everybody else. Issues are being addressed honestly — eventually. These people, these strangers, have brought their whole selves into the series in the hope of finding a true connection.

And who doesn’t love love?

My favourite dating show First Dates was really groundbreaking in the way it strives to be genuinely nice. By pairing up people who have genuine interests, hobbies, and morals in common the show has managed to be a genuinely nice watch. And it’s incredibly popular — the show regularly draws in over a million viewers on initial airing, plus all of us who watch it on catch up religiously.

The drama in both First Dates and Love Is Blind is both high stakes and incredibly meaningless. The participants aren’t competing to win a prize, nor are they judged on their performance. They’re just being given a space to fall in love, if they want. And if they don’t that’s okay too. Losing, here, means remaining single but with more perspective on what doesn’t work for them.

Nobody is the shows villain but everybody has the chance to be the shows hero.

I hope it works out for some of them. And I hope everybody learns something important. And I hope they do a British version so I can be on it. I’d be very good on it.

Ps, Carlton is you’re reading this please get in touch!!

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