To be on social media right now is to have seen at least one or two passing mentions of the Netflix reality show series, Love Is Blind. My particular social media timelines are chock full of show references and “ZOMG!” and WTF?!?! and “I hate Jessica!” and “Fuck Carlton!”
Oh, silly me...what is Love Is Blind? I’m glad you asked. Love Is Blind is a show where a bunch of single folks, who are both over AND with the shits at the same damn time, go into pods outfitted with candy and drank to start romancing the stone, sight unseen, with another person opposite an opaque, shimmery wall in hopes of making a mental love connection that will sustain itself on the way towards holy matrimony, which in this world is four weeks away. Yes, in Love Is Blind, you meet somebody with your voice, then you propose (within a week), then you see them and then you make your way towards a wedding where those who have coupled off will ultimately decide if they’ll get married or go Maggie Carpenter on that ass.
That’s a reference to Julia Roberts’ character in the movie Runaway Bride. In this instance, Maggie could also be a man; it’s like Lesley, Ashley or Bob. Look, instant-ish matrimony shows are nothing new; Married at First Sight and 90 Day Fiance are a thing, so there’s no re-creating the wheel. But for some reason, this show, (at least according to the banner on the page for the show on Netflix) is currently the No. 1 show on the streaming service. And it makes sense. Our current cultural obsession with marriage, combined with reality shows that are high on drama (which this is in many ways), and watching shows together via social media makes it a perfect storm. Plus, the show finale hasn’t been released yet—it will be released Thursday—making it a show you can binge and catch up to be part of the conversation, except everybody loves talking about this show so there’s a ready-made convo at every corner. I started watching it at the behest of my sister, and after a few episodes, posted something about it on Facebook and there are still new comments about it right now. It’s that kind of show.
With all of that said, here are 10 thoughts, prayers and concerns about Love Is Blind.
Also...spoiler alert, homie.
1. As ridiculous as the premise sounds—foregoing a physical connection in hopes of making a mental one by dating only through talking—that was literally internet dating in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Before MySpace and BlackPlanet, AOL chatrooms (and other online platforms) were the locales of love, romance and plans for eventual in-person hookups. You’d plop in there and spit-game and end up falling for an avatar and screen name. A/S/L was an entryway into potential romance. Hell, I am no different. I absolutely met women online in chatrooms and had romantic dalliances that never even involved pictures because who the hell knew how to upload a picture to a computer the size of a Best Buy in 1998? Certainly not me.
Also, I once met a woman in a chatroom on Clark Atlanta’s campus and she immediately smelled my neck and told me I smelled like her husband. She’d never mentioned a husband, so I presumed she was speaking in the future tense, in which case, I never saw her again. Point is, the premise of the show is neither that crazy nor without real world precedent.
2. With that being said...fam. These folks and the love they feel over the course of their dates and the jockeying for position to propose (or get proposed to) is, as philosopher king Black Rob said, whoa. I don’t remember the total number of folks and it’s largely unimportant, but of the bunch, six couples emerged engaged. If I could have put money on how many would make it to an actual wedding, I’d say one...maybe.
3. I hate Jessica. I hate her nasally voice. I hate her super duper talent for Debbie Downer-ness. She literally makes EVERYTHING hard for her fiance, Mark, who is just trying to love her, but good gotdamn. Mark could say to her, “Jess, you are beautiful,” and she’d probably take 20 shots and say “Barnett is sexy,” or some variation of “what do you know about beauty, Mark, have you ever really seen it? Beauty is maybe not even a real thing.” She’s not attracted to Mark, but instead of bailing on the whole thing because she’s 34 and afraid her time is running out, she’s dragging him through all of the emotions and ups and downs because she doesn’t want to be there but she doesn’t want to be alone either. She’s literally a fuckboi.
4. A quick prayer for Mark: Dear Lord, please help this idiot Mark realize that this woman he seems to love despite every reason she’s given him to run and come to his senses, remember he’s 24, bail on her and apply to be on another instant marriage show. He might not know it but he’ll appreciate it in the long run. Amen.
5. Cartlon, Carlton, Carlton. Carlton, the one black dude who proposed to a black woman—Diamond—is a confused bisexual man who hasn’t come to terms with who he is and instead of being upfront and honest with her decided to omit that fact and then drop it on her after the engagement, but in such a wayward and unreasonable fashion that he made it seem like it was her fault. Then when she tried to talk to him about how they move forward, he got mad at her reasonable self, ended up calling her a bitch, coming for her wig of all things, and then popping a lonely bottle. Carlton is also a fuckboi and embodies every reason why you need to get over your own shit before you drag other folks into it. Obviously, that dalliance ended when he called her a bitch. Also, I don’t actually believe he dates women. Ever.
6. I would have loved to see this show with all black people. There were only a handful, it seems, to begin with but considering, that kind of makes sense. I was also not surprised that only one black couple made it, but then that shit fell apart. See No. 5. It more or less ended up how I expected. I’ve seen some chatter about that online and considering what type of show this is, most black folks families ain’t going for this shit anyway so it probably ended up exactly how it should.
7. Amber, the woman Barnett decided to propose to, ABSOLUTELY deserves five minutes in the ring with Jessica to whip her ass. Amber, while maybe not exactly a match on even a burning piece of paper, is still his fiance and here comes Jessica, at EVERY TURN, sidling up to Barnett and being inappropriate, WHILE HER OWN FIANCEE IS OVER HERE TRYING TO BE HIS BEST SELF FOR HER. I hate Jessica. Also, her drunken admission and assholery at the bachelorette party? Whew chile, the ghetto.
8. I’m so uninvested in Kenny and Kelly. But it turns out she ain’t feeling homie in the physical way so it almost doesn’t even matter. She ain’t marrying him. I also don’t care much about Damian and Giannina, though she gets on my nerves and he did too until he was like, “LOOK, CUT THE SHIT, I CAN STILL DROP YOUR ASS.” Since then they seem to be doing better. Turns out they were the cliffhanger on episode 9, the last episode before Thursday night’s finale. Oh, and I kind of care less and less about Barnett and Amber, too, aside from, again, wanting Amber to have some time to shoot the fair one with Jessica, just because.
9. The relationship I’m most invested in and oddly bored with at the same time is Lauren and Cameron. Lauren is the black, 30-something and Cameron is the white, 28-year-old who may or may not have a black fetish. I knew something was up when buddy was SO understanding about Lauren’s bonnet after their first night together. I’ve seen entire wars erupt over black women wearing them joints to sleep—for the record, do your thang, boo boo—and yet here goes this white dude who gets it and keeps it moving without questions. Yeah, he’s been here before. Turns out his last real relationship was with a black woman of five years. AND, buddy was in a hip-hop group...in Maine. Bury me a G. I about damn near died when he rapped to Lauren’s mother when he met her. I kind of hate Cameron, but I also love that he loves Lauren so much.
Except, Lauren started flipping the script. She was all in and then the closer it got she’s giving Cameron mad reasons to be prepared to bail on her. She keeps tossing uncertainty into the mix and all that white bearded man wants to do is love her long time. Like I said, I was invested but I’m kind of over them.
10. Of the five couples, I think Damian and Giannina end up married. I hope Mark and Jessica don’t fuck it; I’m PRAYING they don’t. I’m pretty sure Kenny and Kelly don’t make it. I think Barnett is worried about marrying Amber because of the reserved acceptance of his family, so I think he bails. And I’m on the fence, but I guess I think Lauren and Cameron end up married. What’s your bet???