British production company Fremantle, well known for creating reality competition shows such as America’s Got Talent and Project Runway Australia, has come up with the newest dating show for Netflix. Ten young, hot singles from around the world come together in a tropical paradise for what they think will be the most exotic and erotic summer of their lives — but there’s a twist. These commitment-phobes who love a casual hook-up, will have to give up all hanky panky for the entire retreat if they want to win the $100,000 grand prize. Sounds pretty simple at first, but you quickly realise these horndogs have no desire to sit still and for deeper emotional connections, to much frustration of the few that are in it to win it. No kissing, no heavy petting, and no self-gratification of any kind. With every slip, the prize money goes down.
In Too Hot To Handle, a few British beauties looking for a geezer, some Americans who quickly get into a fight, a cheeky Australian wombat and the Canadian version of Kim Kardashian, are all under the impression this is going to be easy. Surrounded by countless cameras, Luna – artificial intelligence taking form as a cone-shaped Alexa – is here to announce who’s broken the rules and who has taken their relationships to the next level. Just as easy as they can lose money, Luna the generous A.I. Queen is also here to encourage those who show growth and throw them a bone.
Shows such as Temptation Island, Love Island and now “Chastity Island” aka ‘Too Hot To Handle‘ have been around for ages. What helps is that this first season only has eight 40 min. episodes, which make this is a highly bingeable show. It does seem a bit staged at times, as you find all the guys gathered in the bedroom when one of the dudes arrives back at the resort after a romantic date, to then gush about their late night adventure.
These contestants are brought here to look beyond their behaviour towards hook ups and grow as a person, by going on group activities such as an all male bonding ritual, in which the guys cover each other in mud and write down and share their insecurities. The women on the other hand get to participate in a “yoni”-rediscovery and appreciation workshop, which is basically them taking a proper look at their own “yoni” and celebrating their differences and unique vision of painting an enlarged version of certain body part. Silly as it may sound, these are the moments in which Too Hot To Handle actually shines and finds an authentic voice where other reality dating shows mostly just exist as pure entertainment and voyeurism for the masses.
Those who love their mindless dating shows, and believe me there’s a lot of them, will thoroughly enjoy Netflix’s newest social experiment. The show is full of small twists to keep you interested until the very end, where the finale feels a bit rushed and ends with a fizzle. That shouldn’t ruin the fun, and let’s be real, who doesn’t love a happy ending?! Even if it all feels a bit too scripted at times.
Netflix Review – ‘Too Hot To Handle’ Season 1
Reviewed online, April 15, 2020. MPAA-rating: PG-13. Running time: 8 x 40 min.
Cast: Harry Jowsey, Chloe Veitch, David Birtwistle, Francesca Farago, Haley Cureton, Kelechi Dyke, Matthew Smith, Nicole O’Brien, Rhonda Paul, Sharron Townsend.