Like all dating reality show franchises, MTV’s Are You the One? A bunch of young singles are thrown together in a house, set in the kind of tropical paradise required for finding true love on television.The twist: Using old-school matchmaking techniques and complex algorithms, dating experts have paired the housemates with their supposed “ideal” mates, but neither the cast nor the viewers know the matches.(Host Lance Bass possessed all the shiny, plastic charisma of a grocery store green apple.)These shows were not explicitly focused on the actual challenges posed by dating as a queer, gender-nonconforming person in a straight world.
For instance, early on, Nour, described as an “aggressive possessive” (the castmates are all chyroned with their relationship style) tells the group about her difficulties coming out as queer in her Jordanian Muslim family and community.
She quickly falls for Amber, described as “perpetually feeling second.” But when the time comes to pick her first choice for a dating challenge, she chooses Justin, a perfectly built masc guy who, save for the tats and bisexuality, might not be out of place on The Bachelor.
Plus, before you ask: yes, two contestants have left the show together, on .
Hot singles move into a gorgeous villa in Mallorca under constant video surveillance, and in order to stay, must partner with another Islander (i.e. The audience at home is the one with the power to decide who stays and who goes.
“I have no idea if I’m going to be attracted to a male or a female,” says blonde housemate Kari in one of the show’s commercials. I’m ambidextrous.” Sexual fluidity often gets reduced to this trope of “will this (conventionally hot) woman ultimately pick a man or a woman?
” in a way that seems designed to turn on straight men — or at least, the trope is designed not to offend straight logics about desirability. aren’t just fluid in terms of their sexual orientation, and the actual show doesn’t limit itself to that straight-gazey question of “which gender will they pick?The show features trips to romantic and exotic locations on par with the most romantic of romantic movies (or sometimes to The Actual Middle of Nowhere But They Paid For Promotional Consideration, depending on the season).Drama is near-, and the ever-present question of "who will s/he choose? Yes, the show is too long and most of the time the contestants are not there For The Right Reasons™, but it's a juggernaut, and there's a reason your mom loves it so much.contestant); it doesn't have to be a love connection, friendship and money are also acceptable reasons to couple up. Throughout the season, the contestants must "re-couple:" After being initially paired off based on first impressions, Islanders can choose to remain in their current duo or swap. Imagine being in a vacation house with eight reality stars who are all there looking for love, when, one by one, your exes showed up? The show features contestants from the likes of You're not so much rooting for any of these people to find love, as you are rooting for them to get a clue.It's like a sexy version of the , and it truly is marvelous—if not for the gorgeous visuals, but for the...."personalities" casted. At times it can feel like the show's narrator is the only source of normalcy within a group of young people with nothing to do with their time but slide in and out of people's DMs.One girl even rejects a guy who isn't her "type" because he "isn't tan enough." Who does she want, George Hamilton?! There are so many arguments during which you'll yell "I am rooting for no one!