Too Hot to Handle (TV series)
|Too Hot to Handle|
The title card for the series.
|Genre||Reality dating game show|
|Based on||"The Contest" from Seinfeld|
by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld
|Narrated by||Desiree Burch|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Production location(s)||Punta Mita, Mexico|
|Running time||36–43 minutes|
|Original release||April 17 –|
May 8, 2020
Too Hot to Handle is a reality television dating game show produced by Fremantle production company Talkback. It was created by Laura Gibson and Charlie Bennett. The show consisted of eight episodes, all of which were released on 17 April 2020 on Netflix. The host of the series is a virtual assistant, named "Lana," who will give the cast the rules they must follow for the season; Desiree Burch provided voice-over narration. The premise of the show is to teach young, single people to create genuine connections instead of their usual flings. If contestants engage in any sexual contact during the retreat, then the prize money would decrease, starting at $100,000. A reunion episode aired on 8 May 2020.
On finale night Chloe Veitch, David Birtwistle, Francesca Webb, Harry Jowsey, Kelz Dyke, Lydia Clyma, Nicole O'Brien, Rhonda Paul, Bryce Hirschberg, and Sharron Townsend were all deemed the winners of Too Hot to Handle and split the remaining $75,000 prize.
The series follows a group of ten singles as they are taken to a beachside resort for four weeks to find love and $100,000. Twelve hours into the retreat, the contestants are informed by a virtual assistant, Lana, that they cannot do anything sexual, such as kissing, sex, or masturbating. If they do, then the prize money will decrease by a set amount. Kissing can deduct up to $3,000 from the total prize fund, oral sex can deduct up to $6,000 and sex can dock up to $20,000. Midway through the game, four new contestants joined as part of the retreat and followed the same rules as everyone else, making a total of fourteen contestants. At several points during the retreat, Lana set up workshops for the contestants to play in order to stay entertained. These games can consist of many things, such as Shibari.
Midway through the season, the contestants were given watches, which would emit a light when the contestants make a genuine connection, as judged by production. Once the light turned on, the rules of the retreat were void for the contestant and they were able to explore their connection further. If their connection was strong enough, they were able to have a night at the private suite, but if their lights would not turn on during the night, meaning they would still need to continue following the rules. If a contestant was not showing growth in making a strong connection, they would be eliminated.
As part of the final night, the two contestants that cost the most money from sexual contact would have to spend the night together in the special suite without any physical contact at all. If they were to spend the entire night with no contact, the amount of money they cost from the prize fund was added back. Before the prize fund was allocated, several contestants were eliminated since they failed to seek personal growth. At the allocation ceremony, the remaining contestants all split the prize money since they all experienced personal growth in their dating life.
|Couples||Won||Still together||Relationship notes|
|Francesca Webb & Harry Jowsey||Yes||Yes||Although the couple ended the season together, it was later revealed that they had split for eight months after filming wrapped. The two reconciled shortly after and got engaged during the reunion special. As of June 2020 the two are still together.|
|Rhonda Paul & Sharron Townsend||Yes||No||Although the two ended the season together, the couple eventually split, citing distance as the demise of their relationship. It was revealed the two still keep in contact, but Rhonda has reconciled with an ex.|
|Lydia Clyma & David Birtwistle||Yes||No||Entering the show in the sixth episode, Lydia struck up a relationship with David and the two ended the season together. David revealed that they ended their relationship.|
|Nicole O'Brien & Bryce Hirschberg||Yes||No||Bryce and Nicole hardly interacted during the show, but they developed a romantic connection in the days after the show wrapped. The two split in May 2020 after attempts at a long-distance relationship failed.|
|Bryce Hirschberg||29||Venice, California||Episode 3||Episode 8||Winner|||
|Chloe Veitch||21||Essex||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|David Birtwistle||28||London||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Francesca Webb (Farago)||26||Vancouver, British Columbia||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Harry Jowsey||22||Brisbane, Queensland||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Kelechi "Kelz" Dyke||27||London||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Lydia Clyma||22||Portsmouth, Hampshire||Episode 6||Episode 8||Winner|
|Nicole O'Brien||23||County Cork||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Rhonda Paul||27||Atlanta, Georgia||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Sharron Townsend||25||Camden, New Jersey||Episode 1||Episode 8||Winner|
|Kori Sampson||22||Plymouth||Episode 6||Episode 8||Eliminated|
|Madison Wyborny||20||Los Angeles, California||Episode 6||Episode 8||Eliminated|
|Matthew Smith||29||Highlands Ranch, Colorado||Episode 1||Episode 6||Walked|
|Haley Cureton||20||Jacksonville, Florida||Episode 1||Episode 6||Eliminated|
Matthew Smith was a contestant on the twenty-first season of America's Next Top Model. Harry Jowsey was a contestant on the first season of Heartbreak Island in New Zealand. Lydia Clyma was featured on Magaluf Weekender and Sex Clinic. Sharron Townsend appeared on MTV's Undressed in 2017, and he has had minor appearances in Love & Hip Hop and Creed II.
|Title||Prize money||Original release date |
|1||1||"Love, Sex or Money"||$100,000||17 April 2020|
|2||2||"When Harry Met Francesca"||$97,000||17 April 2020|
|3||3||"Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Hot"||$94,000||17 April 2020|
|4||4||"Two's Company, Three's a ... Threesome"||$94,000||17 April 2020|
|5||5||"Boys to Men"||$75,000||17 April 2020|
|6||6||"The Bryce Isn't Right"||$55,000||17 April 2020|
|7||7||"Sisters over Misters"||$43,000||17 April 2020|
|8||8||"Lust or Bust"||$75,000||17 April 2020|
|9||9||"Extra Hot: The Reunion"||N/A||8 May 2020|
The show was created by Laura Gibson and developed by Charlie Bennett, citing Seinfeld episode, "The Contest" as their inspiration for the premise of Too Hot to Handle. Laura Gibson, creative director of Fremantle-owned production company Talkback, which produced the eight-part series, told Deadline Hollywood that she had been working to produce a dating show since 2016.
Viki Kolar and Jonno Richards, executive producers for Too Hot to Handle, said they found inspiration for the virtual character from artificial intelligence and virtual assistants, especially in video surveillance. Viki Kolar stated, "[A.I.] is literally everywhere around us. It's kind of governing us, it's taking over," in an interview with Glamour.
On 5 May 2019, Netflix Studios, LLC applied to trademark the phrase "Too Hot to Handle" for all educational, training, entertainment, sporting, and cultural purposes. The application was approved on 24 June 2019, and was extended on 5 March 2020. This has been done with other Netflix original programs such as Stranger Things, The OA, and Big Mouth. Too Hot to Handle was produced by Fremantle production company Talkback.
In 2018, Talkback announced that casting for an untitled reality television show was open. In total, over 3,000 people auditioned for the show; however, producer Louise Peet stated that the people who ultimately ended up being on the show stood out to the casting team and were chosen quickly.
A luxury resort called Casa Tau in Punta Mita, Mexico opened to guests in December 2018. Soon after, Too Hot to Handle started filming at Casa Tau in late-March 2019 and ended filming in April. After filming had ended, all fourteen contestants were able to spend several days at the resort with no cameras before going home.
On 10 April 2020, Netflix released the trailer for the first season of Too Hot to Handle. The first season of Too Hot to Handle consisted of eight episodes, all of which were released on 17 April 2020 on Netflix. A reunion episode aired on 8 May 2020, where Desiree Burch interviewed the fourteen contestants.
At the allocation ceremony, the ten remaining contestants became the winners. Bryce Hirschberg, Chloe Veitch, David Birtwistle, Francesca Farago, Harry Jowsey, Kelz Dyke, Lydia Clyma, Nicole O'Brien, Rhonda Paul, and Sharron Townsend all split the $75,000 prize fund, resulting in $7,500 for each person.
Too Hot to Handle became the #1 television program on Netflix during the week of April 20. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the first season of Too Hot to Handle 35%, holding an average rating of 4.41 out of 10 from 23 reviews. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, gives the series a metascore of 43 based on 10 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Critic John Serba of Decider panned the show, describing it as "a mashup of Temptation Island, Love Island, "The Contest" episode of Seinfeld and The Peter Griffin Sideboob Hour", stating that "to call it tawdry is to engage in nuclear understatement", calling it "some of the dreckiest dreck ever drecked", and advising viewers to skip it.
Rachelle Hampton of Slate also wrote a negative review, stating: "Despite an irresistibly juicy premise, Too Hot to Handle doesn’t know what kind of show it wants to be, and it suffers for lack of direction. (...) Its will-they-or-won’t-they concept is ruined as soon as it becomes clear that, yes, they obviously will, even if it means losing tens of thousands of dollars."
- Harnick, Chris (10 April 2020). "Too Hot to Handle Tasks Horny Contestants With Keeping Their Hands to Themselves for Money". eonline.com. ENews. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Henry, Grace (23 March 2020). "When is Too Hot to Handle on? Everything you need to know about Netflix's new dating show". radiotimes.com. RadioTimes. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- Baty, Emma (20 April 2020). "Apparently, the 'Too Hot to Handle' Producers "Nudged" the Cast Members to Do Certain Things". cosmopolitan.com. Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "What you need to know about Netflix's wild social experiment Too Hot to Handle". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Hampton, Rachelle (16 April 2020). "Netflix's Too Hot to Handle Bungles Its Juicy Reality TV Premise". slate.com. Slate Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- "Two's Company, Three's a ... Threesome". Too Hot to Handle. Season 1. Episode 4. 17 April 2020. Netflix.
- Curto, Justin (10 April 2020). "Netflix's Too Hot to Handle Will Fill the Love Is Blind–Size Hole in Your Life". vulture.com. Vulture. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Baty, Emma (10 April 2020). "Netflix Just Made Their Own Version of 'Love Island,' but the Contestants Can't Hook Up With Each Other". cosmopolitan.com. Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Larson, Tara (8 May 2020). "Where Is The Cast of Too Hot To Handle Now?". Esquire. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Larson, Tara (8 May 2020). "Where Is The Cast of Too Hot To Handle Now?". Esquire. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Nicoloau, Elena (23 April 2020). "Here's Where the Couples From Netflix Too Hot To Handle Are Now". Oprah. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Pasquini, Maria (30 May 2020). "Too Hot to Handle's Bryce Hirschberg and Nicole O'Brien Split After 'Many Failed Attempts to Reunite'". people.com. People. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Murphy, Desiree (10 April 2020). "'Too Hot to Handle': Meet the Cast of Your Next Netflix Quarantine Obsession". etonline.com. Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Nicolaou, Elena (16 April 2020). "Here Are the Too Hot to Handle Cast Members' Instagram Handles and Bios". oprahmag.com. The Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Pearce, Tilly (19 April 2020). "Too Hot To Handle's Jesus was previously on America's Next Top Model and you totally wouldn't recognise him". metro.co.uk. Metro. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- "Harry Jowsey". tvnz.co.nz. tvnz. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- Fedich, Justin (19 April 2020). "Too Hot to Handle: Everything to Know About Lydia Clyma From Netflix's Reality Show". screenrant.com. ScreenRant. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- Aye, Walter (19 April 2020). "Too Hot To Handle: Sharron Townsend Appeared on Love & Hip Hop & MTV's Undressed". screenrant.com. ScreenRant. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- "Too Hot to Handle – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- Kurkland, Daniel (17 April 2020). "Too Hot To Handle: Awesome Facts About The Making Of Netflix's New Show". TheThings.com. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- White, Peter (16 April 2020). "'Too Hot To Handle': Producers Dish The Dirt On Netflix Reality Show That Combines 'Seinfeld's 'The Contest' With 'Love Island'". deadline.com. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Tannenbaum, Emily (17 April 2020). "Netflix's Too Hot to Handle Is the Funniest, Least Sexy Reality Show About Sex". glamour.com. Glamour. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- "TOO HOT TO HANDLE - Trademark Details". trademarks.justia.com. Justia Trademarks. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- "Netflix Studios, LLC Trademarks". trademarks.justia.com. Justia Trademarks. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- White, Peter (10 April 2020). "'Too Hot To Handle': Netflix Unveils Trailer & Sets Premiere For Steamy Reality Dating Format". deadline.com. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Smail, Gretchen (17 April 2020). "'Too Hot To Handle' Narrator Desiree Burch Is The Perfect Person For The Job". bustle.com. Bustle. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Nicolaou, Elena (18 April 2020). "The Too Hot to Handle Cast and Creators Answer Your Burning Questions". oprahmag.com. The Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- Lague, Adam (27 March 2020). "Is This the Most Luxurious Home in Punta Mita?". magazine.luxuryretreat.com. Luxury Retreats Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Brockington, Ariana (18 April 2020). "This Is When All The Too Hot To Handle Action Was Filmed". refinery29.com. Refinery29. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Blanton, Kayla (16 April 2020). "Where Was 'Too Hot To Handle' Filmed? You Can Plan Your Own Luxury Stay". bustle.com. Bustle. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Nicolaou, Elena (18 April 2020). "Netflix's Too Hot to Handle Was Filmed at This $15,660-a-Night Mexican Villa". oprahmah.com. The Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Baty, Emma (17 April 2020). "Harry and Francesca From 'Too Hot to Handle' Felt Like the Group Was "Against" Them During the Retreat". cosmopolitan.com. Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- "Season 1 Trailer: Too Hot to Handle". Netflix. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Corinthios, Aurelie (10 April 2020). "Netlix Drops Too Hot to Handle Trailer: See 10 Hot Singles Attempt Celibacy for a $100K Prize". people.com. People. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Masonhall, Erika (24 March 2020). "NETFLIX SPARKS JOY WITH RETURNING UNSCRIPTED FAVORITES RHYTHM + FLOW, THE CIRCLE, AND LOVE IS BLIND, PLUS AN ALL-NEW SHOW FROM MARIE KONDO". media.netflix.com. Netflix Media Center. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- Longeretta, Emily (8 May 2020). "'Too Hot to Handle' Reunion Includes Tears, a Proposal and a Still Annoyed Haley". usmagazine.com. US Weekly. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Lust or Bust". Too Hot to Handle. Season 1. Episode 8. 17 April 2020. Netflix.
- Decider (23 April 2020). "Netflix Top 10 List: Today's Most Popular Shows and Movies, Reviewed". decider.com. Decider. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- "TOO HOT TO HANDLE: SEASON 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Too Hot to Handle - TV Show Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- Serba, John (17 April 2020). "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Too Hot to Handle' on Netflix, Possibly the Trashiest Reality Show Ever". Decider. Retrieved 19 April 2020.