By: Ko Bragg | Mother Jones
Netflix’s dating experiment Love Is Blind went viral at the same time Covid did, debuting the day before Valentine’s Day in 2020. The show’s (heteronormative) premise encamps men separately from women, permitting them to talk with one another solely via what are known as “pods”: individual, private windowless cubicles wired so that pairs can get to know each other through a thin wall. Contestants propose to each other within 10 days, and those who don’t make a connection are eliminated. Once engaged, couples finally get a first glimpse of each other just before they’re whisked away to a group retreat.
At least 30 million households tuned in by April 2020, making this the first time since the onset of the streaming era I could remember feeling like everyone I knew was watching the same thing, at the same time. Two years later, with season 3 approaching on October 19, and two more already greenlighted, Love Is Blind continues its pursuit of partnering singles by eliminating all the surface stuff so they can focus on the depths of a person—in theory anyway. As contestant Chassidy said at the start of season 2: “My physical insecurities have definitely affected my dating life. This experiment allows me to be judged for who I am as a person, vs. the physical.”
And while season 1 mostly focused on thin white couples, season 2’s cast rollout on Instagram looked different: There were people of all races and sizes. It felt like the producers nailed it this time.
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