Review: Netflix’s New Reality Show is Disappointing, to Say the Least



The contestants make a toast after celebrating the night’s events.

This past year, Netflix has dipped their toes into reality TV production. Shows like The Circle, released on January 1 and Love is Blind, released February 13, center around ordinary people who are thrust into unusual situations, which makes for entertaining reality television, especially when we’re stuck in quarantine. Sometimes we need to be transported to a world where everyone is hot and the drama is endless – no shame and no judgement. After the popularity of those two shows (I’ve watched both), Netflix has released another trashy reality show: Too Hot to Handle.

Released on April 17, 2020, the show follows ten “gorgeous singles [who] meet and mingle,” according to Netflix. The contestants come from England, the United States, and Ireland and spend four weeks on a beachside resort flirting and getting to know each other. The catch is that contestants must refrain from conducting any kind of sexual activity in hopes that they will form more intimate connections instead of hooking up. If they do engage in such activity, money will be deducted from their starting prize fund of $100,000. 

Throughout the show, some of the contestants chose to leave or were eliminated, such as Haley, a sorority girl from Florida, who was kicked off because she refused to have an open mind towards making connections. In a confessional, she stated “everyone in this house is an idiot, and I think they’re stupid,” which I got a kick out of because of how hilarious it was. 

Although there are many contestants in the show, the series mainly follows a small handful of people, particularly Francesca Farago and Harry Jowsey, an on-again, off-again couple who constantly start drama. Francesca, a Canadian Instagram model, was the most narcissistic and ruthless human being. She knew she was pretty and used that to her advantage, which I respect, but the decisions and choices she made were unfair and ridiculous. But what was I really expecting? 

Some contestants that didn’t end up finding relationships included Chloe Veitch, a girl from Essex who blew $9,000 by kissing three different men to finally realize she didn’t want to be with any of them. Another contestant was Kelz Dyke, the only character I found tolerable because he was a team player. Netflix also brought in Bryce Hirshenberg, a self-proclaimed party animal who lives on a boat. Why Netflix would cast these outrageous, ditzy, conceited people beats me.

Despite the obvious trash quality, I will admit that some parts of the show were actually intriguing. Throughout the eight episodes, the show had a couple of workshops, where individuals came in to teach the contestants more about mental health and self-love. Although it wasn’t emotional enough for me to start bawling uncontrollably, it was entertaining to watch because it was empowering — in a guilty pleasure kind of way. When I decided to watch a show called Too Hot to Handle, I wasn’t expecting messages about vulnerability and self love. 

The most insane part of the show (I know, how could anything be more absurd than what I’ve already told you) , was the ending. The show chose to have all the contestants split the prize money ($75,000, not bad for this interesting bunch) while creating suspense and hinting that there was going to be one winner. It was so predictable and expected that I found myself disappointed when everyone won, especially when we didn’t see half of the characters grow and develop on the show. I came to see a battle of greed, not for some fairytale ending.

Overall, I’d give the show a whopping 3/10. Sometimes the cheesy and touching moments actually got to me and had me entertained, but for the most part, it was just another trashy reality show. Nothing new stood out to me, and everything, especially the ending, was expected. So the next time you decide to watch a show about hot singles trying to resist each other, don’t get your hopes up. 

Side note: “Extra Hot: The Reunion”, a reunion episode of the show, is set to premiere Friday, May 8 on Netflix.