Is This Love? 5 Reality Dating Shows That Are So Bad, You Have To Watch Them

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Sexy Beasts,' Netflix's 'Too Hot to Handle,' more summer TV shows

If you’re anything like me, reality dating series are your guilty pleasure and sometimes you don’t want people knowing you actually indulge in these mind-bending, borderline sane-questioning, series.

Well, I’m here to enable more of this behaviour and give you 5 recommendations of the worst shows I’ve personally ever come across. Let’s dig in:

1. Too Hot To Handle

The premise of Too Hot to Handle, the latest offering in Netflix’s new slate of reality programming, is too bonkers to not be appealing. Ten hot young singles head to an island retreat for what they’ve been told is a reality dating show.

After they arrive and size each other up, meaning they spent the whole day flirting and grinding up on each other, they’re told that there’s a $100,000 prize on the line to be split at the end of the retreat.

The catch? Money is removed from that communal pot every time any of them makes sexual contact. That means no kissing, no sex, and no masturbation. An all-seeing AI named Lana, who’s a poor excuse for Alexa and basically the sex police, is the referee amidst the chaos.

It’s definitely binge-able. It may be a tacky, borderline sickening watch, yet for some reason, many of us won’t be able to stop watching.

2. FBOY Island

It didn’t take long for FBoy Island to make me feel like my brain was leaking out my ears, drip by stupefied drip. But did I still watch every ridiculous minute of FBoy Island I had in a single hazy sitting? Yes.

Stranding dozens of hot influencers in the Cayman Islands to find love, FBoy Island tries to flip the Bachelorette conceit on its head with a self-consciously cheeky twist.

The series features a mix of self-proclaimed “nice guys” and “f-boys” competing for the attention of three women, who spend most of their time trying to figure out which guys belong to which camp.

Whichever men are left standing by the end will be in line to win “up to” $100,000. By the end of the sixth episode, I still had no idea how or why money plays into the show at all, but the possibility of the cash prize nevertheless looms large as contestants accuse each other of being on this all-inclusive reality show for “the wrong reasons.”

Eventually, the men are eliminated in groups of threes with the nice guys getting to spend the rest of the series chilling in a luxe resort, while the f-boys end up in boot camp called Limbro where they do self-reflection and have therapy sessions on why they are f-boys. Can you say, “Broooo”?

3. Sexy Beast

Believe it or not, the original version of Sexy Beasts aired on BBC Three way back in 2014, so this weirdo concept has been hanging around for seven years.

The show poses two extremely valid questions: Could you fall in love with someone based on their personality? And when people do reveal themselves, would you still feel the same way?

Each episode features a new group of singles, who are so desperate to find love, they’re willing to disguise themselves in flashy costumes on TV so their true personalities can “shine through.”

The show itself… well, it’s a short-form dating show. The weirdness of the elaborate costumes doesn’t take away from the fact that the people who sign up to participate in these shows aren’t exactly the greatest minds on the planet.

I’ll go ahead and say it, this one’s definitely for the furries. But wouldn’t you like to see a big fluffy sheep going on a date with a flamingo purely for trashy TV entertainment? Your call.

4. Naked And Afraid Of Love

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet a potential love interest for the first time in the bush while completely nude? If the answer is yes, I have a show for you… and maybe a therapist recommendation.

Whether it’s pondering Adam and Eve or imagining cavemen, thinking about humans in their most primal state is, I guess, a primal thought.

Naked and Afraid of Love is a show all about this animalistic concept – at least in the first episode. It does transition into a more conventional dating show (sans clothing) after the initial meet-ups, but those meet-ups are definitely the unique selling point to begin with.

We start with eight women and eight men, matched one apiece, although things don’t stay strictly hetero for the whole series.

The show’s pitch mentions “today’s complex dating world” being so “filtered” due to stuff like… “clothes”. These lovelorn singles have said filters stripped away for this “ultimate challenge”. But obviously the idea is that nude people meet on a desert island, hook up and fight over each other, all for our viewing pleasure.

As a nature documentary it is pretty fascinating, sort of like observing primates at a zoo or some animals that are less smart. So if you have an itch for softcore porn, a love for animals, or an urge to live during pre-biblical times, here you go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5. Are You The One?

Twenty singles are brought together in Kauai, and told that the producers have used matchmaking techniques (described as a “unique dating algorithm”) to find someone – also in the group – with whom they are truly compatible. “Your perfect match is here,” host Ryan Devlin tells them.

Ah, but here’s the catch: All the players must correctly choose the person designated for them in order to earn the cash, which the entire group will share.

Each week they can put one couple through a truth test to see if they’re really meant to be, inclusive of a “boom boom room” for more heated activities (you can’t make this shit up), before a closing ceremony in which the singles try to successfully pair off – like Noah’s Ark, only with less suspense.

Just the right amount of mind-numbing stupidity to binge through and forget about your own dating lives.


So, what did you think about this list? It should be enough to last you at least the amount of time to realise that you need to do something better with your life – but you can’t! Happy binging!

Check out more TV & Movie reviews here.

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