Having been knocked off its streaming throne, Netflix has chosen to retake its claim by becoming king of trash TV mountain, launching wave after wave of tired old reality shows but with minor twists for Gen Z audiences. And this week, that tweak is a tropical dating show that deconstructs the subgenre into its most basic building blocks and so creates the most minimalist of premises: Do hot dummies want to bang each other? Hell yeah. Will we let them? Hell no.
Unexpectedly prescient in our age of social distancing, Netflix's Too Hot To Handle can best be described as Recovering Sex Addict: The Reality Show. The contest, which will release April 17th, will see 10 Instagram models/influencers/thirst traps transported to a remote tropical resort for a chance at a $100,000 grand prize. All they need to do to win is not bang each other like it's the last day of Spring Break. To make things even harder, the contestants will also lose some of that prize money if they don't refrain from any and all types of intimate contact, giving the show a very volcel vibe.
To make 100% sure that the show won't just be the first three minutes of porn stretched out over eight episodes, the contestants are also tested by a virtual assistant named Lana (an Alexa whose machine learning was only allowed to read through the NoFap subreddit) that sets the group tantalizing tasks to test their thirstiness. And you can guess the rest. Will someone get a handjob within the first 24 hours? Absolutely. Will a very disappointing fight break out between the two buffest bros? No doubt. Will the two most baby-faced contestants fall in love? Sure thing. Will their relationship last until the second they get their phones back? Indubitably.
But despite its entire set-up being as obvious as the contestants' swim trunk boners, Too Hot To Handle still pretends it's making their horndogs jump through hoops to give them a chance at love, to form a "deeper emotional connection" before pounding it out. And it's such a shame that even a show as that's basically televised edging can't shed the Victorian veneer of moralism ever-present in its subgenre and just admit it knows why people love this tropical trash: to watch hot people receive oral in an infinity pool and then get into trouble for it.
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Top Image: Netflix