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Love Is Blind (TV series)

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Love Is Blind
GenreReality
Created byChris Coelen
Presented by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes83
Production
Executive producers
  • Chris Coelen
  • Ally Simpson
  • Eric Detwiler
  • Brent Gauches
  • Brian Smith
  • Heather Crowe
Running time48–84 minutes
Production companyKinetic Content
Original release
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseFebruary 13, 2020 (2020-02-13) –
present (present)

Love Is Blind is a reality television series on Netflix created by Chris Coelen[1] and produced by Kinetic Content[2] that premiered on February 13, 2020.[3] The show promotes itself as a social experiment where single men and women look for love and get engaged, all before meeting in person.[4] Each season premieres episodes on Netflix over the course of 3 or 4 weeks and are followed by a reunion special and three "After the Altar" episodes that follow months later. The series has gained a large viewership and received mostly positive reviews by critics.

The series has aired for six seasons and been adapted to eight additional international versions: Love Is Blind: Brazil, Love Is Blind: Japan, Love Is Blind: Sweden, Love Is Blind: UK,[5] Love Is Blind: Germany,[6] Love Is Blind: Argentina,[7] Love Is Blind: Mexico[8] and Love Is Blind: Habibi.[9]

Format[edit]

The series follows fifteen men and fifteen women, all from the same metropolitan area, hoping to find love. For 10 days, the men and women date each other in purpose-built "pods" where they can talk to each other through a speaker but not see each other. They are initially paired in a speed-dating format, but later can choose to have longer dates.[10] The daters may extend a marriage proposal whenever they feel ready.[11] A couple meets face-to-face only after a marriage proposal is accepted. The engaged couples then head to a couples' retreat at a resort for one week.[12] During this trip, they spend time getting to know their partners and have their first opportunity to be physically intimate. They also meet the other couples participating in the experiment.[13][14] This format of choosing among suitors without being able to see them has been compared to The Dating Game.[15][16][17]

Following the couples' retreat, the engaged couples move to the same apartment complex in the city where they live for the final three weeks of the experiment.[12] While at the apartments, they meet their partners' friends and families and learn more about their partners' lives, exploring issues such as finances, recreation, personal habits, and their ultimate primary residence. They also plan weddings to be held at the end of four weeks. During this wedding planning period, the group of women go wedding dress shopping and the men go suit shopping together, bringing a few friends and/or family members along. They also make choices such as the design and flavor of their wedding cake. At the altar, each participant decides whether or not to say "I do" and get legally married.

Each season also has a reunion special released a week after the final episode, and three "After the Altar" episodes which follow the couples several months after the weddings that air months after the reunion special. Netflix announced that season 4 would have a live reunion, but due to technical difficulties the reunion was delayed by 90 minutes and then later released as a recorded video rather than a live broadcast.[18][19]

Production[edit]

Casting[edit]

The casting team receives applications but also seeks people out on social media and at bars, grocery stores and church groups. A third-party company conducts background checks and psychological evaluations, and the casting team tries to create a pool of participants where each person has some compatibility, on paper, with others.

Production process[edit]

Production in the pods takes place in a 68,000 square foot studio, documented by 81 cameras. Participants begin with 10-minute speed dates, which lengthen each day. As the process continues, the participants can choose to date for hours on end, sometimes until 3 a.m. Members of the production team listen on headsets, but do not interfere with the dates.

Participants relay who they'd like to date, then executive producer and creator Chris Coelen and executive producer Ally Simpson use a formula inspired by the Gale–Shapley algorithm to find a dating schedule in which everyone has matches. For the first four seasons, Coelen and Simpson organized the data by hand, but in subsequent seasons utilized computer software.

In the pods, couples will typically spend at least 30 total hours dating, albeit in separate rooms, before deciding whether to propose. If a couple gets engaged, they will finally meet.[20]

Filming locations[edit]

Filming for the first season took place in Atlanta, Georgia, from October 9, 2018, and lasted 38 days up until the weddings. The couples met face-to-face on October 19.[21] The ten days in the pods were shot at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville.[22] Then, after the newly engaged couples left the pods, filming took place at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, when all the couples went on a retreat. The relationships that made it through the retreat in Mexico move in together in an apartment complex.[23] After the retreat, the couples headed back to Atlanta to the Spectrum on Spring apartment building, where they spent the rest of the time filming up until the weddings.[24][25] The weddings took place at two event spaces called Flourish Atlanta[25] and The Estate[26] on November 15.

For the show's second series, the pods were shipped from Georgia to be filmed in a newly built studio in Santa Clarita, California.[27]

Initial release and subsequent orders[edit]

The trailer for Love Is Blind was released on January 30, 2020.[28] With the trailer, it was announced that the ten-episode series would be released on a three-week schedule: the first five episodes were released on February 13, 2020, the next four on February 20, and the finale on February 27.[3] On February 26, 2020, Netflix announced a reunion special available on YouTube on March 5.[29]

On March 24, 2020, Love Is Blind was renewed for a second and third season.[30][31] Netflix renewed Love Is Blind for a fourth and fifth season on March 24, 2022.[32] The fourth season premiered on March 24, 2023.[33] The fifth season premiered on September 22, 2023.[34] The sixth season premiered on February 14, 2024.[35]

Unaired engagements[edit]

During seasons 1, 2, 4, and 5 there have been couples that got engaged in the pods but were not featured on the show.[36][37] Though most unaired engaged couples did not participate in filming beyond their time in the pods, one couple in season 5 was filmed all the way up to the altar, but their relationship was not included in the series.[38]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
114February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)July 28, 2021 (2021-07-28)
214February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)September 16, 2022 (2022-09-16)
315October 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)February 10, 2023 (2023-02-10)
416March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
511September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)October 15, 2023 (2023-10-15)
613February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)March 13, 2024 (2024-03-13)

Season 1 (2020–21)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 1 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [3]Original release date [3]
Week 1
11"Is Love Blind?"February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
22"Will You Marry Me?"February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
33"First Night Together"February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
44"Couples Retreat"February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
55"Last Night in Paradise"February 13, 2020 (2020-02-13)
Week 2
66"Moving in Together"February 20, 2020 (2020-02-20)
77"Meet the Parents"February 20, 2020 (2020-02-20)
88"Countdown to I Do's"February 20, 2020 (2020-02-20)
99"Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties"February 20, 2020 (2020-02-20)
Week 3
1010"The Weddings"February 27, 2020 (2020-02-27)
Special
1111"The Reunion"March 5, 2020 (2020-03-05)
After the Altar
1212"Two Years Later"July 28, 2021 (2021-07-28)
1313"Married, Single, and It's Complicated"July 28, 2021 (2021-07-28)
1414"Celebrations and Confrontations"July 28, 2021 (2021-07-28)

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 2 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date
Week 1
151"The Pods Are Open"February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)
162"Love Triangles"February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)
173"Love in Paradise"February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)
184"Meet the Other Couples"February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)
195"Leaving Paradise"February 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)
Week 2
206"Back to Reality"February 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)
217"A Family Affair"February 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)
228"Final Adjustments"February 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)
239"Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties"February 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)
Week 3
2410"The Weddings"February 25, 2022 (2022-02-25)
Special
2511"The Reunion"March 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)
After the Altar
2612"Friends Who Adventure Together, Stay Together"September 16, 2022 (2022-09-16)
2713"It's My Party and I'll Gossip If I Want to"September 16, 2022 (2022-09-16)
2814"The Future Looks Bright"September 16, 2022 (2022-09-16)

Season 3 (2022–23)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 1 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date
Week 1
291"Welcome to Love Is Blind!"October 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)
302"Love Triangles and Love Triumphs"October 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)
313"The First Night Together"October 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)
324"Meet Your Exes"October 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)
Week 2
335"Trouble in Paradise"October 26, 2022 (2022-10-26)
346"Return to Reality"October 26, 2022 (2022-10-26)
357"Impress the Parents"October 26, 2022 (2022-10-26)
Week 3
368"The Perfect Fit"November 2, 2022 (2022-11-02)
379"The Last Supper"November 2, 2022 (2022-11-02)
3810"Approaching the Altar"November 2, 2022 (2022-11-02)
Week 4
3911"The Wedding Day"November 9, 2022 (2022-11-09)
4012"The Reunion"November 9, 2022 (2022-11-09)
After the Altar
4113"Soulmates and Blank Slates"February 10, 2023 (2023-02-10)[39]
4214"The Party Is Just Getting Started"February 10, 2023 (2023-02-10)[39]
4315"A Second Shot at Love?"February 10, 2023 (2023-02-10)[39]

Season 4 (2023)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 4 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date [40]
Week 1
441"Welcome to the Pods!"March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)
452"Birthday Wishes"March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)
463"Is Love Really Blind?"March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)
474"Playing with Fire"March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)
485"Paradise Lost"March 24, 2023 (2023-03-24)
Week 2
496"I Made a Mistake"March 31, 2023 (2023-03-31)
507"Second Time's the Charm?"March 31, 2023 (2023-03-31)
518"Pick Me"March 31, 2023 (2023-03-31)
Week 3
529"Romeo and Juliet Didn't Work Out"April 7, 2023 (2023-04-07)
5310"Thank You, Next"April 7, 2023 (2023-04-07)
5411"You Are Overpriced"April 7, 2023 (2023-04-07)
Week 4
5512"Eternal Bliss?"April 14, 2023 (2023-04-14)
Special
5613"The "Live" Reunion"April 16, 2023 (2023-04-16)
After the Altar
5714"The One Year Anniversary"September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
5815"Moving On and Moving In"September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
5916"Settling Scores"September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)

Season 5 (2023)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 5 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date
Week 1
601"So, You're a Recent Cheater?"September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
612"Can I Talk to You for Real?"September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
623"Blindsided"September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
634"She's Gone...?"September 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
Week 2
645"Don't Give Up on Me"September 29, 2023 (2023-09-29)
656"Going Home"September 29, 2023 (2023-09-29)
667"First Class Love"September 29, 2023 (2023-09-29)
Week 3
678"Love Is a Battlefield"October 6, 2023 (2023-10-06)
689"Love on the Rocks"October 6, 2023 (2023-10-06)
Week 4
6910"Big, Big Love"October 13, 2023 (2023-10-13)
Special
7011"The Reunion"October 15, 2023 (2023-10-15)

Season 6 (2024)[edit]

Love Is Blind season 6 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal release date
Week 1
711"Higher Love"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
722"The Hunger Games of Love"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
733"Operation Get My Girl Back"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
744"The Hardest Decision of My Life"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
755"She Lied to Me"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
766"Feeling Uncomfy"February 14, 2024 (2024-02-14)
Week 2
777"Silence Speaks Volumes"February 21, 2024 (2024-02-21)
788"Clinging to Love"February 21, 2024 (2024-02-21)
799"Secret Rendezvous"February 21, 2024 (2024-02-21)
Week 3
8010"What Could Have Been"February 28, 2024 (2024-02-28)
8111"Roller Coaster of Love"February 28, 2024 (2024-02-28)
Week 4
8212"Meet Me at the Altar"March 6, 2024 (2024-03-06)
Special
8313"The Reunion"March 13, 2024 (2024-03-13)

Reception[edit]

Viewership[edit]

Netflix reported 30 million households had watched the series within four weeks after premiere,[41] and as reported in the Netflix 2020 viewing trends summary, Love Is Blind season one "stayed in the US Top 10 for 47 days straight after its release in February – the second-longest run of any title (in 2020) behind Cocomelon at 64 days. But unlike pre-schoolers, adults don't tend to watch the same shows over and over again!"[42]

In 2020, the first season of Love Is Blind became Netflix's number-one trending program,[43][44][45] coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.[46] Nielsen reported Love Is Blind delivered 1.5 million viewers for the first five episodes, 1.3 million for the next four episodes, and 829,000 for the finale episode in its first full week.[47] As of July 14, 2024, the reunion episode had been viewed by almost 2.5 million viewers on YouTube alone.[48]

In 2022, Love Is Blind spent 86 days in the Netflix US Top Ten, more than any series other than Cocomelon, Stranger Things and Ozark.[49] In 2023, Love Is Blind spent more days in the Netflix US Top Ten than any other series except Suits.[1]

In both 2022 and 2023, Love Is Blind was the only unscripted program to rank in Nielsen's list of Top Ten Original Streaming Programs, measuring the most popular programs in America across the year, each year accumulating 13.1 Billion minutes viewed.[50][51]

In 2024, the sixth season of Love Is Blind delivered the biggest viewership for a premiere week in franchise history, building on successive franchise bests in each of Season Four, Season Three and Season Two, and nearly doubling the next most-watched original program.[20][52][53]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 74% based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 5.75/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Addictive, but problematic, Love Is Blind is undoubtedly an intoxicating binge, but its version of romance often comes off more toxic than aspirational."[54] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 62 out of 100 based on nine critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[55]

Daniel D'Addario of Variety writes that "Love is Blind, the smash dating series" is, along with The Ultimatum, "the new standard-bearers for romantic reality TV." D'Addario says that creator Chris Coelen's shows "escalate from relatively simple set-ups to wild heights of human behavior, all because contestants are (or appear to be) left to their own devices."

Brett White of Decider states Love is Blind is a "fascinating relationship study, with all the drama you love." White says "Season 1 was a reality show car crash, the likes of which we'd never seen before. Season 2 didn't have the newness working for it, so it went full-on bananas and gave us maybe the most chaotic reality TV season on Netflix. Now we're at Season 3 and...Love Is Blind may have become a well-crafted reality show – nay, a docuseries – about the incredibly complex, at times confusing, sometimes dangerous world of love."

Lucy Mangan of The Guardian writes that Love is Blind "is, basically, crack. Or meth. It's crack-meth. You will decide to give it five minutes before bed one night and find yourself still on the sofa as the sun rises on another day. You will be bleary-eyed and shattered from all the shouting you have done, the emotional investment you have made, the WhatsApp messages you have typed to a specially formed group and the heartfelt contributions you have made to various internet forums on the subject. It's that good, is what I am saying."[56]

The Forward described the show as one which the Talmud warns about in that it subjects the individual participants to public humiliation.[57]

Yohana Delta of Vanity Fair calls Love is Blind "an emotional thrill ride from start to finish."[58]

Writing in Skeptical Inquirer, Craig Foster and Minjung Park raised concerns about the way in which the program poses hypotheses and then conducts experiments with small sample sizes of participants who are not assigned to either an experimental or a control group. This does not allow a genuine examination of the independent variable and poses a problem if social scientists want to test the suppositions because they would be constrained by ethical considerations if they attempted to recreate anything like the show. The article concluded that while the show can be enjoyed as reality television that dramatises relationships, it is "important to recognize that real science involves a careful and ethical process conducted by experts who scrutinize each other's work."[59]

The series has been compared to Married at First Sight, also produced by Kinetic Content,[2] and The Bachelor.[60]

Impact on popular culture[edit]

Andy Dehnart of reality blurred stated Love is Blind "is one of the biggest reality shows, in terms of cultural conversation, in years."[61]

Alexander Kacala at Today called Love is Blind the "bingeworthy obsession that has taken America by storm."[32]

Georgia Aspinall of Grazia writes "the internet is obsessed with Love is Blind."[62]

Julia Jacobs of The New York Times writes "Kim Kardashian, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and Daniel Radcliffe are among the show's celebrity fans, and contestants have built gigantic social media followings, with one married participant from season 1, Lauren Speed-Hamilton, reaching 2.5 million followers on Instagram."[20]

Controversies[edit]

Allegations of cast mistreatment[edit]

Some cast members have spoken about poor conditions while filming; three former cast members have filed lawsuits against Netflix and production companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV.[63][64][65]

In July 2022, season 2 contestant Jeremy Hartwell filed a lawsuit over what he claims were "inhumane working conditions", including reportedly being made to film drunk and being denied food and water.[63] In April 2023, Hartwell founded the Unscripted Cast Advocacy Network (UCAN) Foundation with fellow season 2 co-star Nick Thompson where the pair advocate for mental and legal support for reality television cast members as result of their experience on season 2.[66][67][68] In an August 2023 documentary, Thompson also alleges the season 2 cast were regularly denied food and water, causing him to lose "15 pounds in 3 weeks."[68] The documentary also included allegations that the LIB production team lied to the IRS, and claims that 50 to 60 cast members have anonymously corroborated the experience of abuse on the show.[68]

Season 2 participant Danielle Ruhl has said that producers pushed her to continue filming after she informed them that she was having thoughts of suicide and asked to leave. Series creator Chris Coelen denied Ruhl's statements and said that Ruhl had not told producers about suicidal thoughts and that she was free to leave at any time.[69]

Allegation of sexual assault during filming[edit]

In October 2023 a female contestant in the show's fifth season filed a lawsuit alleging sexual assault, false imprisonment and negligence against the show's production companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV. The woman alleges that she was attacked by her then on-screen fiancé Thomas Smith on May 3, 2022 as the show's fifth season was being shot in Mexico and that the producers neglected the issue despite having knowledge.[64] Despite being contestants, the woman and Smith, who was also named in the lawsuit as a co-defendant, were not featured in any episodes that aired.[64]

Allegations of abusive behavior[edit]

Season 5 cast member Renee Poche has described her on-screen fiancé Carter Wall as abusive both on and off camera,[65] and has said that a camera operator quit after being physically threatened by Wall.[70] Poche has said that production did not protect her when she informed them that she did not feel safe around him. Poche says that production then asked her to ensure that Wall had no access to firearms because they were concerned that he might harm himself, Poche, or others.[70]

Netflix, Kinetic, and Delirium TV have not publicly responded to Poche's claims, but Netflix and Delirium TV filed an arbitration against Poche to obtain $4 million from her for allegedly breaking her NDA and speaking about her experience on the show. Poche, who earned a total of $8000 from her participation in the show, filed a lawsuit to nullify the contract and claim intentional infliction of emotional distress in addition to violations of California's labor code.[65]

Accolades[edit]

Accolades for Love Is Blind
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2020 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[71] Outstanding Structured Reality Program Chris Coelen, Sam Dean, Ally Simpson, Eric Detwiler, Brian Smith, Stefanie Cohen Williams,
Brent Gauches, and Jeff Keirns
Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program[72] Donna Driscoll, Kelly Zack Castillo, and Megan Feldman Nominated
People's Choice Awards[73] Reality Show of the Year Love Is Blind Nominated
Bingeworthy Show of the Year Nominated
2022 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[74] Outstanding Structured Reality Program Chris Coelen, Ally Simpson, Eric Detwiler, Kimberly Goodman, Jill Goslicky, and Leif Lindhjem Nominated
2023 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[75] Outstanding Structured Reality Program Love Is Blind Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program[76] Donna Driscoll, Stephanie Lewis, and Claire Loeb Nominated

International versions[edit]

Adaptations of Love Is Blind
Country Name Host(s) TV station Premiere Finale
 Argentina Love Is Blind: Argentina[77] Wanda Nara and Darío Barassi Netflix TBA TBA
 Brazil Love Is Blind: Brazil Camila Queiroz and Klebber Toledo October 6, 2021 present
 Germany Love Is Blind: Germany[78] TBA TBA TBA
 Japan Love Is Blind: Japan Takashi Fujii and Yuka Itaya February 8, 2022 February 22, 2022
 Mexico Love is Blind: Mexico Omar Chaparro and Lucy Chaparro[79] August 1, 2024[79] present
 Sweden Love Is Blind: Sweden[80] Jessica Almenäs[81] January 12, 2024[81] present
 United Kingdom Love Is Blind: UK[82] Matt Willis and Emma Willis[83] August 7, 2024[84] present
 United Arab Emirates Love Is Blind: Habibi Elham Ali and Khaled Saqr[85] TBA TBA

See also[edit]

  • Sexy Beasts, a dating program on Netflix with a similar premise of disguising contestants' looks with prosthetics and make-up

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b c d Snierson, Dan (January 30, 2020). "Watch singles get engaged without meeting in person in trailer for Netflix reality series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Watch Love Is Blind | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  5. ^ "Love Is Blind UK announces release window". Digital Spy. March 21, 2024. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
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  11. ^ The men receive instructions to propose to the women, but Giannina and Damian proposed to each other in the first season.
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  27. ^ Walsh, Charlotte (February 19, 2022). "No, There Aren't Bathrooms in the 'Love Is Blind' Pods". Netflix. Retrieved March 2, 2022. For Season 2...the pods were shipped across the country to film at a new studio in Santa Clarita, California
  28. ^ Netflix (January 30, 2020). "Love is Blind – Official Trailer – Netflix". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
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