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IS LOVE REALLY BLIND?

Just when you thought the UK population was all loved out with ITV’s Winter Love Island series, Netflix releases Love is Blind – a reality TV show with an equally dramatic and crazy premise.

For those that haven’t watched the show yet or heard of it, the show is described as a ‘social experiment’ set up to find out if love can form between two individuals without physical qualities initially playing a factor. As the series unfolds the couples who fell in love ‘blindly’ have a brief window to get to know each further and decide whether or not they would like to get married at the end of their journey. The first season consists of ten episodes, all of which are roughly an hour in length; the plus side of this is that it leaves enough room for character development and enough time for drama. However, because of the lengthy episodes bingeing takes a lot more effort.

It is really worth emphasising that the concept of this show really is bizarre. For many people marriage is seen as the ultimate step in a relationship, so taking the plunge and getting engaged to someone you have only known for days is truly living on the edge. At the start of the show, two groups of men and women talk to each other whilst sitting in separate booths. They communicate through a wall and don’t actually meet until they have mutually decided they want to get married to each other.

Favourites with the viewers: Lauren and Cameron were contestants the first to be engaged after 5 days of talking.

As with many reality TV shows it can be quite frustrating storyline-wise, especially when the couples seem to be creating drama over the most trivial of things. Likewise, some of the lines these couples spout to each other just oozes cheesiness and makes me cringe inside. I hear them and think- do partners speak to each other like this in real life?! Maybe they do – but behind closed doors where that cheese belongs.

My personal conclusion is that love is definitely not blind and that is not a bad thing. Physical attraction is important and is one of many factors that have to understandably tick a box for a relationship to work. It doesn’t make you superficial to think this – it’s just natural. Of course, society has placed a rather unhealthy focus on attraction which is what this show was trying to address. Most of the contestants liked to pride themselves in thinking looks do not matter to them much; they were just seeking that raw ‘emotional connection’ with someone. Yet, we see them all either breathe a sigh of relief or openly admit their relief upon finding out their chosen partner is attractive to them. The show is slightly flawed in the fact that love isn’t allowed to be truly ‘blind’ because the participants see each other after deciding to get engaged. This means that the biases they decided to avoid at the initial talking stage can still come into play. Additionally, all of the participants just happen to be conventionally attractive – I mean Lauren and Giannina literally look like models. Seeing this, of course, makes you a bit sceptical because physical attraction is never an issue for most of the show’s couples.

Twitter has definitely been going wild with show commentary (search the hashtags #LoveisBlind and #LoveisBlindNetflix.) The show has been continuously trending on Netflix so I wouldn’t be surprised if another series is or will soon be in the works. There has apparently even been interest in making a British version. However, I hope the producers don’t forget to follow up on the couples from this series in a year or two’s time so we can find out once and for all how genuine the relationships were on screen and if they lasted.

For those who have finished the show – reunion included – and feel restless, I recommended Married at First Sight (UK and US editions) and 90 Day Fiance. Both shows are equally as bizarre with many juicy and drama-filled moments. The former in particular is a ‘social experiment’ show very similar to Love is Blind and probably even paved the way for it.

What is it about these shows that we love so much? Who knows, but we’re ready for the next one.

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