Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle is a Dating Experiment Gone Wrong

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Honestly, I am a junkie of all things drama. I love dramatic shows even if it’s quite nonsensical. Thus, on a Sunday afternoon when I had not much to do, I thought streaming Too Hot to Handle, Netflix’s new reality dating game show, won’t be such a bad idea. And god was I wrong.

Too Hot to Handle isn’t really anything new in the world of reality TV, with hundreds of other dating reality shows already in the market such as Love Island, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Love is Blind and many more. There’s also Big Brother and its Indian counterpart, Big Boss and even though they aren’t traditionally dating shows, let’s be honest, too much drama has gone down there.

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Too Hot to Handle is a show that takes a few hot and sexed-up singles and puts them on an island for the summer. But there’s a twist, they have to refrain from any and all sexual contact. Seems entertaining, right? The description alone got me excited to binge it because honestly, who doesn’t want some mindless entertainment right now?

However, I really wasn’t satisfied, much like the contestants, and was left feeling quite… meh. And I’ll tell you why.

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Spoiler warning for all 8 episodes below!

To touch or not to touch?

Too Hot to Handle
Too Hot to Handle

The rules for sexual contact, or what constitutes as such, were too vague. What can be sexual contact for me, might not be the same for someone else. Lana, the all-knowing virtual assistant, should’ve pointed it out and made it clear from the get-go. Instead, she just vaguely put everything under one banner and did not specify what was what. Thus, throughout the season, the contestants and the viewers were left confused as to what exactly is sexual. Also, we never really get to know how much each violation costs. Sure, once you’ve broken the rules, Lana does tell you how much will be deducted, but why not just tell them from the first? Not telling this did not contribute anything to the show, honestly. Maybe if the contestants knew, they would have had more trouble choosing to decide with their head or with another body part.

It’s all about the money

Too Hot to Handle
Francesca and Harry
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The prize money that Lana declared at the beginning of the season, was too less. And the rules regarding who gets it and who doesn’t is very unclear as well. $100,000 is a lot if given to one person, but if it’s divided among a lot of people, isn’t much. We never really get to know this throughout the season. And I honestly think Lana didn’t think the rule through either. Moreover, since the rules were not clear, they would walk away with 10 grand each – considering no one did anything naughty and if divided among everyone. Actually, it will probably be less considering, well, taxes. Moreover, the funniest part is that, the vacation that they are on probably costs more than the prize money. So, what’s the point? There was another problem here as well. Since the prize was so low, the contestants didn’t really care about breaking the rules since, well, sex > meagre money. I guess rule breaking does add to the spice factor of the show, but people didn’t even care about the money at all, so what’s the point anyway?!

Lana, you backstabber

Too Hot to Handle
Too Hot to Handle

The all-seeing virtual assistant is supposed to keep an eye on the contestants and make sure they do not do anything naughty. However, there are no rules as to whether or not she would give out the names of those who actually do anything. There are times when she does and times when she doesn’t. When Francesca and Haley kiss, she outs them infront of everyone. However, wouldn’t it have been more fun if she didn’t say anything and they had to figure out on their own? This could’ve increased the entertainment factor, as well as the drama. However, Lana giving out the names just took away from the fun factor of the show.

This isn’t a coffee shop, Matthew

Too Hot to Handle
Matthew and Nicole

Contestants just come and go as they please in the show. First off, Lana throws Haley out because she is negative Nancy. However, that girl was amazing in creating drama. Why throw away someone who will provide entertainment, after just a couple of episodes? And then, Matthew just decides to leave on his own accord, and that’s somehow allowed? Why? He was so hyped as someone who looks like Jesus and what not and then one fine day he just leaves. How is that logical?

Stop annoying me

Too Hot to Handle
David and Chloe

The weirdest part of Too Hot to Handle was the fact that the narrator annoyed me. I mean, sure, snarky and humorous are what I live for, but hey, pipe down sometimes. It’s also amazing how in a group of people, every single person annoys you. Not one character was likeable. In addition to this, the girls were all dumb and the guys were total -add explicit word here-. AND they were sex-crazed. Although that probably was the point, but my god, how can every person every 5 seconds want to bone someone? It became annoying after a point, honestly. Moreover, there was no balance, some people were too spiteful, while some were just plain meh and others too full of themselves. And wit? Well, I think I am asking for too much here. Even Matthew, who was apparently “spiritual” and a “thinker” was annoying with the constant lecturing. No. One. Cares.

No growth there

Too Hot to Handle
Sharron and Rhonda

Lana desperately wanted us to believe that the contestants went through a lot of “growth” throughout the season. However, tell me what growth Kelz or Bryce went through, please? Kelz, till the last hot minute, was too fixated with the prize money to make connections or grow as an individual. Bryce… well, no one cared about him. Plus, we also had Chloe, who got her “heart broken” after one day out with Kori (who, thankfully, was eliminated. Hated that guy with a passion.) Why do they get to win the prize money? Some people grew more individually and as a couple than some others. So, shouldn’t the prize money also get distributed accordingly? It’s like the creators did not want to go through the headache of making a decision and was just like, I don’t care just distribute everything.

Also, do you know how much each of them got at the end? $7,500. And that’s before tax. No wonder none of them cared.

So, with that, I’d say, binge on other Netflix shows that are 100 times better than Too Hot to Handle. It doesn’t give you wit and neither does it give you entertainment. It just leaves you unsatisfied with a sour aftertaste in your mouth. And no one needs that.

Otherwise, season 1 is streaming right now on Netflix. Watch it here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Entertaining
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Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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