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The final three episodes of “Love is Blind” season three were released on Feb. 10, and like the previous seasons, this one is packed with tears, laughs, and the search for love. But unlike the previous ones, season three has no remnant of authenticity. “Love is Blind” has officially stopped marketing itself as trying to create genuine love stories. After the pods closed, we were left with five couples: Cole Barnett and Zanab Jaffrey, Colleen Reed and Matt Bolton, Nancy Rodriguez and Bartise Bowden, Sikiru “SK” Alagbada and Raven Ross, and Alexa Alfia-Lemieux and Brennon Lemieux.
Something that works well in this season is the drama! Though nothing will ever hold a candle to season one’s fraught beachside breakup between Diamond Jack and Carlton Morton, this season successfully provided enough controversy. Barnett and Jaffrey share an awkwardly silent argument on their first night together, and then constantly bicker about cleanliness, their bad attitudes, and whether or not Barnett believes Jaffrey is attractive. Reed and Bolton share a similar passion for petty remarks, spending the majority of their time being either passively or directly aggressive with each other — usually in front of other couples.
As for Rodriguez and Bowden— they were doomed from the start. In moments of conflict, she was too kind and too forgiving, while he was manipulative. Alagbada would’ve been the saving grace for the male species, had it not been for the vague yet intriguing monologue that Ross provided in Episode 15 after the couple broke off their engagement. Other than that, their relationship seemed weirdly adorable, despite them being such different people.
Everywhere you look in this season there is a rich, ironic, and totally unintentional comedy that finds its roots in the outlandishness of this season’s cast. From Bowden’s “I am going to pump a couple of kids in you” to Ross’s burning desire to do jumping jacks and yoga while someone is spilling their heart out, in addition to the deliciously convoluted games of telephone between Barnett, Jaffrey, Reed, and Bolton, viewers are really left wondering if there is such a thing as good communication, and by extension, any hope in a successful marriage.
The only argument against this is the chemistry between Alfia and Lemieux. If they had any drama, it was handled off camera. In Episode 14, Jaffrey describes Alfia and Lemieux as the season’s “trophy couple” and believes that “they are the example that the experiment works.” And she’s 100% right. Although, the underlying and unfortunate detail is that they are the only couple that proves this works. Does a 20% success rate really prove that the experiment achieves its aim?
Not at all. And that’s okay, considering that the only comfort viewers are looking for is the fact that their own lives could never get this messy.
With all the giggles and gasps caused by this season, it is very easy to forget that the show is purportedly about finding real love. Though there was only one couple that could be perceived as being in love — not in tolerance or in indifference — this connection continuously took a back seat to the dramatic experiences of other couples. Looking again to Episode 14, where there is a party being held for Alfia-Lemieux’s birthday, how much of it was actually dedicated to her? How much of it was rooted in petty, disingenuous conversations between all of the other couples? Again, no complaint here, drama is what everyone is looking for — but then, why try to pretend the show is about proving love is blind?
If none of that is evidence enough that the already lacking authenticity of this experiment has dwindled, the ending of the show must be. The last four minutes of the season finale are dedicated to an advertisement for Nick Lachey’s new dating show, “Perfect Match,” where contestants from other Netflix-based dating series are given yet another chance to find love — or more accurately, 15 minutes of fame and a paycheck. Despite the first season attempting to subvert the expectations of the classic reality TV formula, “Love is Blind” has clearly given up. It is no longer trying to be insightful or original or meaningful in any way, and frankly it’s about time.
In summary, the season was lovely to watch, but where season one attempts to differ from the norm, this is not even remotely good quality television. For viewers looking for laughs, and lots of drama, this is for you. But for those looking to restore your hope for romance, look anywhere else.
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