What to Expect from TV’s Newest Shows About Love

Reality TV has gained a couple new programs this week. On Monday, The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart premiered, and on Friday evening, Netflix released its original series Too Hot to Handle. After hearing mixed reviews on both, I will start by saying that I am absolutely here for these shows. Without adding any spoilers, here’s what you need to know about both.

If you are not into reality TV, you may not know where to find them, so let’s start there. Bachelor franchise shows air on ABC on Monday evenings, and can be watched on Hulu the next day. Too Hot to Handle can be found on Netflix, and all of season 1 is available to stream.

Now you know where to find them, so here’s what you need to know going into watching each:

THE BACHELOR PRESENTS: LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

Think Bachelor in Paradise (BIP) meets A Star is Born. However, a typical Bachelor in Paradise season will be comprised of past Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants. Listen to Your Heart (LTYH) has very fresh faces to the Bachelor franchise, which I am indifferent on. On one hand, fresh faces and unique stories are nice. On the other hand, BIP bringing back our favorite Bachelor franchise legends is part of its glory… The unique premise of this series is to see if forming a musical connection can help find love in the Bachelor Mansion. It is literally a house full of Jeds. This show was made for him. You know he was punching the air watching the premiere.

Somehow the series is going to become a bit of a talent show with couples performing duets, which I will touch in here in a bit. After episode one of LTYH, I am totally bought in, but if there isn’t a Pitch-Perfect-esque riff off between couples, a major opportunity will have been missed.

So how does the show actually work?

Well, I’m glad you asked. As the explanation of the remainder of the season was very fuzzy in trailers and in the premiere, we are all kind of wondering, but here is what I think the most likely route the show will take is.

We know it is Bachelor in Paradise style as in you need to receive a rose from someone you form a connection with at rose ceremonies to remain in the game. What isn’t explicitly stated in the premiere is how many couples might/could win and how they would do so. In BIP, it could be multiple. There is no reason to narrow the couples down. In LTYH, however, it seems a true winning couple will be decided. Our lord and savior, Chris Harrison, told Entertainment Tonight,

“The ultimate dream of the show is that at the end of the day, we have one superstar couple that is the Listen to Your Heart champion couple, and they are deeply, madly in love.”

What’s fuzzy is how the singing competitions will play into this dynamic as they begin to occur. If there is going to be only one final couple that wins, these competitions could end up serving to narrow down final couples. This would follow more of a Bachelor Winter Games or American Idol style than BIP, and it would also make sense if the show is trying to go a more unique route than just a karaoke version of BIP. However, I don’t necessarily see it being this American Idol style where relatively worse performances are voted off, because if the couple were forming a connection (regardless of their performance ability), it would just go against Bachelor nature to send them home. One apparent possibility is that these performances might actually be able to help keep struggling couples alive if they do have chemistry on stage. There may be information circulating about this, but it is up in the air for me as I have been and will be avoiding legitimate spoilers for this season. At the end of the day, the season could still very well end just like Paradise, with any couples ready for engagement hitting a knee. I say this because Chris Harrison has also said, “Some, maybe multiple couples, [could] ride off into the sunset. I mean, it’s happened in Paradise.” I would love to see it, and I am excited to see how this season shakes out. I will Tweet out my weekly Listen to Your Heart takes from @TopShelfBill!

TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Think Love Island but wearing chastity belts. Unlike adding to the Bachelor franchise, Too Hot to Handle is a completely original series. And boy, is it original. We recently saw the Netflix original Love is Blind, which fit a similar genre of turning a dating game show into a whole new social experiment. In Love is Blind, the contestants made emotional connections before seeing each other’s faces. This new series doesn’t take away the ability to see, but it does limit its contestants in other ways. In this series, possibly the horniest group of humans on Earth is put to the test to find love on a deeper level by taking sex completely out of the equation. The catch is, these people 100% come into the show thinking they are joining a sexually-driven dating show. It is only once they are inside and start to become attracted to others that they learn the rules of the show.

The social experiment is to truly see if these contestants are capable of putting their sexual desires aside during the entire span of the show to form a uniquely emotional connection with a potential partner. I think this by far is a better concept than the Love is Blind experiment (spoiler alert, love is not blind). I also think that the cast for season one was well-chosen. Hopefully they don’t pull a Love Island: Australia and shit the bed with the cast for a season two if we get one.

In the series, you can surely expect quality drama considering love, money, and sexual tension are all on the line at all times. Can these ten individuals wanting to jump each others’ bones become holier than thou in just a few short weeks? You’ll have to watch all 8 episodes to find out. They may just be too hot to handle. Would it be worth watching the whole series all in one sitting? Sure. Do I know that from experience? Yeah. Did that make me question my life choices? 100%. Do I think you need to watch this show ASAP and message me your takes? Abso. Lutely.

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