Who doesn’t love shows about real people falling in love? Although the idea has been around since The Dating Game, the popularity of reality dating television didn’t really take off until The Bachelor. That show still dominates the genre, but Netflix is giving them a run for their money.
Netflix is separating themselves from the pack by throwing dating show concepts at the wall to see what sticks. The result of this is a delightful array of programs featuring real people looking for love in increasingly bizarre situations, each one with a special twist that makes it different from all the rest.
This makes for some of the most entertaining binge television experiences you’ve ever seen. We are lucky that Netflix has the money to try out shows like Sexy Beasts, in which potential suitors are dressed in scary-looking prosthetic makeup that disguises their true looks. What other network would give us something so strange and silly?
Furthermore, some of the concepts that Netflix is trying are straight-up wonderful. For example, it feels like it took too long for a big network to produce a dating show that helps young people on the autism spectrum connect with each other and potentially find love, as Netflix has done with Love on the Spectrum.
The program helps broaden the audience’s understanding of people with autism while also highlighting some of the most interesting and delightful cast members you’ll find on a reality show.
Read on to discover which of these dating shows are the best and the worst. By “best,” we mean these shows are worth watching for the way they’ll make you laugh, cry, and fall in love with the cast.
And when it comes to the “worst” of reality dating shows, we mean it in the best way possible. The worst reality dating shows on Netflix are those that are worth watching for the way they’ll make you cringe, laugh, and ultimately be unable to stop watching because they’re that addictive.
Either way, it’s a win for us! Whether you want to watch folks dress up as animals or observe super attractive people being barred from intimacy, Netflix has a dating show for you.
The Best: Love on the Spectrum
Love on the Spectrum originally premiered in Australia through ABC in 2019. Netflix quickly picked up the show, and audiences across the world fell in love with the first season’s cast. A second season featuring a new cast was confirmed in September of 2020. We absolutely cannot wait!
#LoveOnTheSpectrum is just the best.
— Ryan Corr (@Ryan_Corr) June 1, 2021
The Best: Dating Around
Beautiful cinematography and seamless editing are all that the production team adds to this very simple and relaxed dating show. Each episode follows one person as they go on multiple dates in search of their person. The show is special in that it allows the cast members’ personalities and interactions to speak for themselves; cheesy narration and over-the-top dates are nowhere to be found here.
Thank you @netflix for releasing Dating Around S2 during quarantine so I can live vicariously through all the first dates I don’t want to go on.
— kel (@creepygnomes) June 22, 2020
The Best: Love Is Blind
Do you think you could fall in love with someone before you ever saw them face to face? Love Is Blind Season 1 proves that it is possible…for some. If you want to know which couple makes it happen, you’ll have to watch this ridiculous but endearing exploration of what can happen when people are willing to fall in love through a wall.
OMG LOVE IS BLIND IS COMING BACK ON NETFLIX
— 𝚜𝚊𝚛𝚊 (@emmascaptn) July 26, 2021
The Worst: Sexy Beasts
This show is a shocking but delightful mix between The Masked Singer and Love Is Blind. It seems that Netflix is determined to answer the age-old question: Do looks really matter?
— Gayle Sequeira (@ProjectSeestra) July 21, 2021
The Worst: Too Hot to Handle
In this competition show, singles sign up with the impression that they’re going on a long vacation of crazy parties and frivolous hookups. How did they believe that would be true in this age of reality TV?
They quickly learn that in order to remain a part of the program, they can’t do any of that stuff, and let’s just say things get wild. This program has also spawned a lot of crossover energy, with cast members like Chloe heading to other Netflix shows, such as The Circle.
Is Netflix building a “Bachelor Nation”-esque army of young reality TV stars/social media influencers? I have a feeling they are.
i don’t know who is looking for fiyah 🔥🔥 content on @netflix at the moment trawling through the back catalogues but i have just finished Season 2 of “Too Hot To Handle” and i had literal tears of laughter 😂😂 throughout both seasons, #DED ⚰️⚰️
— Diana B. Sayed • بنفشا سید (@DsSayed) July 21, 2021
The Worst: Back with the Ex
The title requires no explanation. Is getting back with the ex a good idea for anyone?
This show explores the uncomfortable but hopeful world of giving it another shot with the one who got away. See which exes prove themselves to be better partners than they were before… and which ones are not exactly worthy of a second chance.
I watched some of “Back with the Ex” on Netflix yesterday and there was a man who wanted his ex back and took her to his house and had NO plates. Just fed her chicken in toilet paper and said to eat it over the sink. Get outta here
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) July 16, 2021