In the time of quarantine, one of the few things keeping us going is trashy television. That might seem dramatic, but being able to watch
wannabe influencers normal people f*ck their lives up on TV is a blessing unlike any other. While the production of basically every show in the world has been placed on hold due to The Virus The Must Not Be Named, we’ve still been graced with a few gems to guide us to mindless joy. The most exciting of which is Netflix’s newest dating show, Too Hot To Handle. What’s not exciting, however, is the narration throughout the entire series. At best, it’s made me not even remotely attracted to these painfully attractive people, and at worst, it left me feeling kind of, well, sh*tty.
In case you haven’t been spending all of your free time pantless in front of the TV, allow me to explain. Too Hot To Handle is Netflix’s newest reality show with a sexless twist. Released on April 17, the premise is basically that a whole bunch of hot people who are for some reason really cocky about how often they get it in (so 2010, btw) are put on an island, given alcohol and sexually charged situations, but aren’t allowed to bang. Or kiss. Or masturbate. There’s a $100,000 prize, from which money is deducted each time a rule is broken. Keeping the group in-check (or shamed, if you will) is an Alexa-style robot named Lana who (is most likely just a producer voiced over, but who am I to be cynical in the name of reality TV love?) spies on the contestants and narcs on them when they break the rules.
It isn’t the (most likely fake) robot, the cast of characters as unoriginal as they are hot, or the tame-yet-taboo intercourse that made the show unsexy, however. It was the narration. Granted, it still a solid train wreck of a watch, and if you’re a fan of trashy reality television (guilty), some over-the-top commentary is to be expected. After filming for hours and filing down the events to mere minutes, viewers sometimes need someone to explain wtf happened in the parts they cut. While The Bachelor does it in a cheesy-yet-endearing way, Too Hot To Handle’s is snide to the point of cringe-worthy, and worst of all, it’s borderline sexist.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good diss, especially when it’s at the expense of people whose bodies I could never obtain. But between comments about the contestants’ interests, remarks concerning femininity and masculinity, and general slut-shaming, I finished the show feeling supremely unsexy, and not because I don’t have a midsection like Francesca’s. With nonstop remarks throughout the entire 10-episode season, there were times I considered muting it and just watching the sexual tension silently unfold.
In regards to some of the female contestants, the narrator, Desiree Burch, made comments such as, “they’re talking about their favorite topic: The environment. Just kidding, sex.” Because apparently, you can’t be interested in sex and care about the environment. Or I guess if you are sexually adventurous, you don’t have the mental capacity to think past your own libido. If that isn’t detrimental enough, the narrator went on to say things like, “The girls are showcasing their personal growth by objectifying the men,” and, “What a minx. She just can’t help herself.”
These offbeat comments weren’t just targeted at the women, though. Time and time again it was indicated that men generally aren’t in touch with their emotions and that these guys are d*cks because they like getting laid. I just want to say that in 2020, no one is an asshole for liking orgasms, no matter what a weird robot who spies on you says.
Something about it all just felt very “sneering old guy in a Trump hat telling a girl to smile.” Acting like enjoying sex takes away from your emotional, intellectual, or romantic intelligence—or that if you’re sexually adventurous and active, your urges are so strong you literally don’t have any control—is absurd. While the general concept was interesting—put hot, horny people on an island and tell them they can’t bang—the stated reasoning behind it felt very backward and as a result, was a major turn-off.
As described in Wired, ” basically says that physical intimacy is a barrier to emotional intimacy, that liking sex is a character flaw, and that twentysomethings should get off dating apps and just settle down already.” “Chronic swipers” being put in a situation they were unaware of and then subsequently mocked for felt bad. Add to that the fact that there’s nothing wrong with having a “slut phase” (whether that’s in high school, college, or your entire life), the point seemed to be that these attractive people who like f*cking are lesser than others, just because of their preferences. Did I like watching the show when I was bored and drunk and didn’t feel like rewatching Gossip Girl? Sure. Did I feel good about the outcome, the reasoning, or the way the contestants were treated and portrayed? Not even a little bit.
Basically, as someone whose only dream is to be cast on a reality show and immediately be shot to stardom for no reason other than appearing in 10 episodes of a Netflix special, I have to say, I was pissed. When my 15 minutes of Instagram fame finally happens, Netflix better pull this sexist stick out of its ass and not do me dirty like that.
Images: Netflix / “Too Hot To Handle”
We’re just a few short days away from the premiere of Pilot Pete’s season of The Bachelor. Thank god, I was starting to get a little too productive on Monday nights. Get your wine and yoga pants ready, because the contestants have been announced (are three flight attendants really necessary?), the bar has been set high, and we’re ready for our annual Bachelor hiatus to end. I, for one, always love to see what new and inventive terms the contestants will come up with to mean “aspiring influencer”. (“Content creator”, anyone?) So, in anticipation of the new season, we’ve rounded up the craziest job titles from the past few seasons.
Tiara, Chicken Enthusiast
Season: Ben Higgins
When it comes to Tiara, I just need more details. What kind of chicken? Does she prefer nuggets or tenders? Is she a breast or a leg girl? Has she tried the Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich? And if not, can she even call herself an enthusiast? Does she, too, want a man to get her Chick-fil-A on Sunday like that contestant on Pilot Pete’s season? This job title leaves me wanting more, and I feel like it’s my journalistic duty to interview her and get all the facts about how enthusiastic she is about her love of chicken.
Season: JoJo Fletcher
Okay, I’m curious what exactly a professional Canadian does. I imagine they say “eh” a lot, play hockey, eat Canadian bacon, and love Justin Bieber, Drake, and Ryan Gosling. But if you have any other hypotheses about what it means to represent the entire country of Canada as your profession, without being the Prime Minister, please let me know your thoughts.
Heather, Never Been Kissed
Season: Colton Underwood
This is a lie, I’m sorry. Heather, there is no way you HAVEN’T ever been kissed. She just wanted to top the virgin on the show and this was the next best thing. Or maybe she thought she was supposed to write down her favorite movie instead of her job? Either way, I’m not f*cking buying it.
James, Bachelor Superfan
Season: JoJo Fletcher
This was genius and I want to shake James S.’s hand and thank him. I can almost hear the gleeful screeches from groups of women at watch parties declaring him their dream man. An attractive single male who loves The Bachelor and can help me with my fantasy bracket? WHERE CAN I SIGN UP? Whatever happened to this guy anyway? Can we get eyes on James S. ASAP?
Alexis, Aspiring Dolphin Trainer
Season: Nick Viall
I, too, love dolphins and definitely wrote down “dolphin trainer” in elementary school as what I wanted to be when I grow up. But that was elementary school, and not on national television. And I can’t help but feel like I need an update on the status of Alexis’s aspirations. Going on The Bachelor brought her nowhere closer to achieving that dream—probably further from it, to be honest, since we realized she can’t even tell a dolphin from a shark. But she does have her line of hoop earrings, so she has something, even if that something is not dolphins.
Season: Kaitlyn Bristowe
WTF does this even mean? Is Tony a “doctor” that focuses on natural remedies? Is he a therapist? Is he just like my manipulative ex-boyfriend who claimed he was a “spiritual healer” which actually just meant he would bully people until they broke down so he could build them back up? Whatever the case may be, Tony definitely sounds like he did a lot of drugs at Burning Man and just declared himself a professional healer in the middle of the Nevada desert. He kinda looks like he just escaped a fire, so maybe he should use some of that magical energy on himself. Has he ever actually healed anyone? Also, what insurance does he take? Inquiring minds need to know.
Season: Ben Higgins
Honestly, props to this girl for being honest. She’s not trying to make us believe she’s anything other than what she is. Look, the girl is 23, of course she’s unemployed. These people who come on here at age 22 and say they own a business are just liars. I guess this was before we could all just call ourselves influencers, so good for her. Respect, Rachel!
Jonathan, Tickle Monster
Season: Rachel Lindsay
Yeahhh, “tickle monster” sounds like a bootleg Sesame Street character, not a profession for a 31-year-old man. Jonathan is like that lingering guy at the bar who does not get the hint when you tell him you “have a boyfriend” that it means you’re not interested, forcing you and your friends to move to the other side of the bar. If an adult man ever tried to tickle me, I would call the cops, and that’s not an exaggeration.
Lucy, Free Spirit
Season: Juan Pablo Galavis
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like people who are actually free spirits don’t declare themselves as such. It’s kind of like calling yourself a hipster. Lucy probably just did acid at Coachella one time while wearing a flower crown, and here we are. I’d love to see her these days, because I have a feeling she realized that she needs money to live, and has a boring job like the rest of us. Being a free spirit isn’t so cute when you can’t move out of your mom’s house.
Evan, Erectile Dysfunction Specialist
Season: JoJo Fletcher
Please always remember that before Evan married Carly and had two kids with her that he was an erectile dysfunction specialist. I mean, this is just incredible. He’s basically advertising his sexual abilities via his job title. Like, he literally specializes in guys not being able to perform, implying that he’s an expert in it, and I admire that. Even if it’s not true, which it probably isn’t, you’ve only got one shot on this thing (unless you’re Chris Bukowski) so why not lay it all out on the table? Of course, he still has his ED clinic, and has recently been in some legal hot water over making misleading claims.
Hayley & Emily, Twins
Season: Ben Higgins
I will say that even though “twins” is not a real job, Haley and Emily might just be the closest thing to professional twins this world has ever seen. I mean, they were a package duo even on Paradise, and even tried to have a spin-off show that just focused on them being completely incompetent at life. Most twins I know didn’t even want to attend the same college, so I guess I respect Haley and Emily leaning into their one strength.
Season: Rachel Lindsay
Lucas, your dumb little catchphrase was an embarrassingly overt attempt to make sure you got your 15 minutes. Now, I get that all of these people must want their 15 minutes, or else they would go on a dating app and not a reality TV show, but Lucas didn’t do it very deftly. Frankly, I’m annoyed that the producers even humored him by casting him at all. The fun of watching The Bachelor is pretending that all these people are there for the right reasons and not to become Instagram influencers, even when we know they’re all going to become influencers anyway.
Kelly, Dog Lover
Season: Juan Pablo Galavis
Honestly, I’m a huge dog lover, so this is my dream job. Although it’s not exactly clear how one could make a living off of loving dogs, because if you could, every single person on Instagram in 2019 would be a millionaire. Kelly, tell us your secret! We could solve world hunger! If I had to guess, I’d say Kelly walks dogs sometimes and maybe even started an Instagram for her parents’ dog, and it has 700 followers to date. Chase those dreams, girl!
Kamil, Social Media Participant
Season: Becca Kufrin
Kamil, I hate to break it to you, but we’re ALL social media participants. You might as well have put “human man” as your job title. He is definitely the guy who has a passion for starting Twitter wars with strangers on the internet. Or maybe he was just getting a head start on his post-Bachelorette career, which doesn’t appear to have worked out too well for him.
I honestly don’t even understand the point of giving the contestants job titles at all, considering half of them are fake and all of them just want to shill weight loss tea. But at least it gives us entertainment and extra fuel for our roasts.
Images: ABC (15)