Love Is Blind Season 1 ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Netflix Original TV
Every good story needs conflict, and antagonists. When it comes to reality TV, the people most conflicted tend to draw the most viewer interest. That’s not to say we aren’t drawn to heroes, too, but the ongoing interest in a story generates from how the heroes, the protagonists, overcome the obstacles and challenges presented by the antagonists.
In the case of Love Is Blind season 1 reality TV show that means focusing on those who prevented — or at least seemed to prevent — having a successful love match.
Before we go any further with this in depth critique focusing on the antagonists, if you haven’t seen Love Is Blind season 1 on Netflix yet, this post will be loaded with spoilers. You’ll probably want to go see it first.
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead ….
Antagonists or people who failed at the experiment?
Are the people who said “no” at the altar antagonists? Those people are Jessica saying no to Mark, Carlton melting down on Diamond at the pool, Kelly passing on Kenny and (least controversial) Damian saying no to Gi.
Let’s take them in reverse order.
I personally don’t see Damian as an antagonist in the story, but Gi and him had some intense arguments. The first one, less intense was Gi giving him the third degree on the boat, then the shout out in front of their friends during Barnett’s birthday party, the “our sex is not that good” scene (they react to rewatching that scene on the Love In Sight podcast here), and finally the gym breakdown scene. At one point, Gi drops an MF bomb on him — in front of their friends!
Damian, it seems, measured Gi’s lack of maturity in social situations versus whether or not he wanted to spend the rest of his life reliving those scenarios and was right to say no.
Credit the couple, however, for developing strong love for each other in the pods and after the show they got back together and are dating, working through these issues together to see if they can live permanently with this.
While not having a physical connection with Kenny doesn’t make her an antagonist, there was something not very genuine about how she was portrayed in the editing of the show. The more I rewatch certain parts of episode, I’m liking Kelly much less. She might be more of a villain, dare I say, than Jessica.
Ironic, that Jessica and Kelly were the only two on the show who actually knew each other before the show, having met 10 years before through dating circles with ex-boyfriends.
Next up is Carlton, the man who held back his bisexual status from Diamond until after she’d accepted his proposal in the pods and was on a trip in Cancun, Mexico. The fight scene at the pool was a pivotal moment in the first season and the end of Carlton & Diamond continuing their journey on the show.
Though initially hesitant Diamond stood up and accepted his apology along with the friendship ring. The moment served as a step towards putting the explosive ordeal behind them, but that was sadly short lived. In an interview with cast mate Giannina Gibelli, for her podcast Love in Sight, Diamond shared Carlton’s actions after the reunion convinced her his apology was not genuine.Love Is Blind: Diamond Finds Carlton’s Apology & Friendship Ring Fake
Did Carlton have ulterior motives? It’s easy to see Diamond’s concern based on where has Carlton been until the show came out? If he was truly interested romantically with Diamond, where has he been the last year? Or could it be more innocent, that he simply wanted to give her time and space. The Love in Sight podcast mentioned in the quote above co-hosted by Giannina Gibelli is well worth listening to, if you want to hear the cast member share more behind what happened. There is also an interview with Carlton, so you can get his side of what happened.
Is Carlton an antagonist or just a star-crossed lover who made a mistake by not telling Diamond sooner?
Will add that media coverage of Carlton’s actions since the reunion show has been less than favorable. He’s not helping himself trying to patch things up with Diamond encouraging his Instagram followers to try and get her to unblock him from social media. Diamond explains why she blocked Carlton (he acted differently off camera than on and she’s not buying it).
Carlton is also lobbying for a return on season two. Just one viewer’s opinion, but I’d rather not see Carlton return. He had his chance and pretty much blew it. Having him return doesn’t make season two more compelling to watch.
I would, however, be interested in seeing LGBTQ representation in the series two structure from other participants. I don’t know how difficult that might be to pull off, but the rumor is they are asking potential season two participants about sexual orientation.
Her portrayal in the show is clearly edited in a way to present her as the primary antagonist. Almost every episode focuses at least in part on her interest and conflicted feelings toward Barnett. She’s also shown drinking in (too) many scenes. How much of her drinking was to calm her nerves (alcohol is a depressant, after all)?
Despite her coldness, her actions being portrayed as calculating to chase Barnett when he was already taken (and so was she!), I feel a little more sympathetic to her than after the initial viewing.
Jessica earns the Messica label by how she is portrayed in the series. She overdrinks, apologizes too many times to Mark, frequently obsesses over the 10 year age disparity between Mark and her and is wreck. Certainly she earns the scorn from some of her actions, but I kind of believe she did want Barnett and Amber to be happy. I think she came on the show wanting to be happy herself.
Guess I pity Jessica somewhat over the others.
Lastly, I’m not sure when she and Mark started having sex. There was a build-up to her holding back on the physical relationship with Mark similar to what Kelly does to Kenny, but then at some point that wall broke down and they started having sex. Seems like the editing missed answering that part of the story between Mark and Jessica.
Review by Others
It was more challenging for me to find reviews of the full season because most the blogs I subscribe to are movie-focused. Some cover both and I found some new blogs to subscribe to during this process. I like great entertainment and my preference are movies, but a TV show can be like a very long movie. Reality shows are definitely a departure from what we normally cover but these are different times and will gladly cover some TV series.
As noted here before, we have had some great viewing experiences going outside of what we normally watch. Keeping an open mind is important as reviewers.
That said, what are others saying about Love Is Blind Season 1?
- Harryb33 / He Watched The Sky: “…give me another season with a more diverse cast and without the pressure of marriage and you can consider me a fan. Regardless, there’s no denying that the experiment/hotel section of Love is Blind is thoroughly addictive and entertaining.”
- Katie Norris (3/5): ” It proves that dating a stranger through a wall can only produce soulmates in the luckier cases, and it helps if all the contestants involved are attractive.”
- Kristen Baldwin / EW.com (Grade: C+): “To Netflix’s credit, LIB is an addictive reality show, but it’s also one that will leave you feeling worse than when you started. Call it a guilty displeasure”
- Maisy / Hawthorn Book Reviews (3/5): “It was enjoyable, not too long and gave me a bit of drama to sink my teeth into. Definitely guilty pleasure TV!”
- Paul / The Captain’s Speech (3.4/5): “I just felt like the show constantly used 28 words to say something that only needed 11. You know what I mean? Just give me a concise show. I don’t want the Director’s Cut.”
- shonaharding / Moving Picture Review: “I think it would be fascinating to see this as a dating app. No pictures, just information on that person. You can include age and location if you want but everything else you learn about them is about who they are, not what they look like.”
- Tanya’s Blog: “…while not being the most practical way to meet “the One”, was a great show full of drama, romance, and problems, and it is a great binge if you are in the mood for some heartbroken feuding.”
- EnglishRosiee / Rinse Before Use: “If you feel inclined to watch this trash, I’m sure you’ll find some the plot twists entertaining. And while I think the experiment had the potential to be interesting, I think the fact that it’s so highly edited removes much of its value.” (ed. mentioned in post that hasn’t finished watched all the season 1 episodes through)
- RAZZ Mag: “Surely, this isn’t healthy. But break-ups at the altar undoubtedly make for better TV, and that’s the show’s aim. It presents couples to root for and couples to cringe at, and changes this status seemingly episode by episode, giving the people what they want: something escapist to watch.”
Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.
Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me,