Too Hot To Handle: Finding Love in Hookup Culture

Too Hot To Handle cast Season 1 | Image via Vanity Fair

What I initially thought was going to be another dull and almost foolish reality dating show like Love Island, turned out to be a thought-provoking series with legitimate messages about the foils of dating in today’s society. 

 

Netflix released Too Hot To Handle, a reality dating game show, on April 17th, 2020, and it is already getting a ton of buzz. The concept? Attractive singles from all over the world mingle on an island in paradise for a month. But there’s a catch, “To win a $100,000 grand prize, they’ll have to give up sex.” as described by Netflix. Seems simple enough, right? But to up the stakes, every time a rule is broken (No kissing, sexual touching of yourself or others, and no sex), money is deducted from the grand prize. 

 

Contestants Chloe Veitch and David Birtwistle on a date in the villa | Image via In Touch Weekly

The first episode really sets the tone for the rest of the series. Every contestant describes how they are caviler in there sex lives with emotionless and meaningless sex. Some contestants, such as Bryce Hirschberg, explained how he could not go a single day without sex. Many of there stories are relevant to today’s ‘hookup culture.’ The idea of no strings attached to avoid trusting relationships or getting hurt. 

 

For even more of a twist, when everyone first arrived in paradise, they didn’t know the concept of the show. All of them went into it with the idea that they would have a fun and sexy summer in Mexico like the show Love Island. That was all foiled by the show’s host, Lana. Lana is an Amazon Alexa-Google Home-esque tabletop robot that is scattered throughout the villa. She keeps track of when rules are broken, who broke them and also dishes out rewards.  

 

The contestants have a slow start, some being defiant of the rules and not wanting to change their ways. To help with that, the show conducts a variety of workshops on building trust, conquering your fears, and female empowerment. Each one progresses the contestants further to create honest and meaningful relationships with each other. 

 

Contestants David Birtwistle and Lydia Clyma | edit by Maggie McGarry

 

Through trials and tribulations, a group of contestants makes it through to the end. Don’t get me wrong, this show is by no means 100% all about changing people for the better. It is still reality TV with petty fights, shocking twists, and questionable moments. Including one contestant who didn’t know where Australia was.

 

But despite that, this wasn’t just your average, surface level dating show. It was very entertaining (finish-in-one-sitting-entertaining) and had its heartfelt moments. With its social experiment concept, Netflix did an excellent job with the show. I would definitely recommend you check out Too Hot To Handle for yourself! 

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