Is Netflix's Love is Blind Still Worth Watching?
After four seasons of marriage disasters, why are we still watching Love is Blind?
Love is Blind premiered during quarantine in 2020 when falling in love through a wall while in isolation felt like a glimmer of hope. Now after four seasons, the social love experiment tests if two people can fall in love sight unseen, then fast tracks through the dating process, going straight to engagement, where the participants get married in less than a month.
The first season was filled with blissful hope and ended with the golden couple, Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton. Season one's couple Amber Pike and Mathew Barnett are still married but didn't have the same smooth sailing as Lauren and Cameron.
Season two started with the introduction of clout chasers seeking to use the show as a way to build a social platform. The two couples who managed to get married are now separated, leaving the season full of failed love. Participants were very vocal about how genuinely hurt they were. Iyanna McNeely's public breakdown made viewers question if the show's premise is worth the emotional turmoil the participants endure.
Season three resulted in two marriages – one that seemed perfect but now assault charges have come to light, and another with a rocky courtship that has garnered abuse concerns. Again the participants were left emotionally wrecked after a season filled with misunderstood conversations, cheating scandals, and self-esteem issues.
So accustomed to the drama I instantly began being catty toward the participants when I started watching season four. I sat on my couch with an ice cream cone, ready to watch couples fall in love then fall apart entirely, only to come back together enough to make it seem like they're going to say yes at the alter then surprise me even though I knew they would never end up married.
The relationships in Love is Blind always end up as toxic caricatures of true love. Although I know they can't record everything between the couples, we rarely see them discuss issues of real substance. More often than not, we don't even get to see the initial argument, only the reaction to it, so we rarely know what happened.
Because each season follows the same premise, "Can you fall in love sight unseen?" the seasons are starting to meld together into redundant storytelling with all the same issues; physical attraction doesn't match emotional connection, family and friends disapprove, and verbal misunderstandings.
Season four seems to have participants with a maturity that may be conducive to marriage, but it makes for boring television. However, riveting television means the participant's emotions and self-esteem get destroyed. As a viewer, there's no winning, so why are we still watching?
Calling it a guilty pleasure doesn't even feel accurate because it's as if I'm baited into trash-talking the couples and ruthlessly judging them. Even now, the show is not a competition, but it's hard to stop myself from calling them contestants. It's a dating show, but the pending decision at the altar makes it seem like there are winners and losers in love. After four seasons, they've proved that people can fall in love without ever seeing each other, but claiming that it means rushing to the alter is the only way to know that love is true is absurd.
If the decision is between exploiting immature clout chasing people's emotions for drama or watching emotionally mature people fall in love in the blandest way possible, why are we even choosing?