Weird Allo Reality Shows

These sex-and-romance-based reality shows are out of control! Today we talk about Love is Blind, Married at First Sight, Too Hot To Handle, Marriage or Mortgage, and Sexy Beasts.


Courtney: I’ve watched a lot of trash reality shows lately which really has me wondering are the straights okay? Are the allos okay? Because according to these shows, the allo-straights are very much not okay.

Courtney: Hello everyone and welcome back. My name is Courtney. I’m here with my spouse, Royce, and together we are The Ace Couple. And you know what we don’t really have? We don’t have any, like, asexual representation on reality shows. I mean, to be fair, there’s hardly any even, like, gay representation on reality shows. Save for, like, RuPaul’s Drag Race. But like dating shows? There isn’t as much. One of the shows we’re going to talk about today had, like, a couple of gay couples thrown in, but for the most part it is just straight allosexual, normally – I presume – conventionally attractive.

Royce: Oftentimes, yeah. Wasn’t there an episode or two where there is a big, like, bi controversy?

Courtney: Oh, the bi controversy! [laughs]

Royce: Where a guy coming out as bi was, like, threatening to destroy the budding relationship…?

Courtney: No? Um, well, that was a weird one. And we’ll– we’ll get to that. I think that one was Love Is Blind.

Royce: That sounds right.

Courtney: I think that was Love Is Blind. Sometimes in my head, there are certain elements of Love Is Blind and Married At First Sight that overlap a little bit for me. And that’s in, like, the honeymoon phase where some of those scenes are very very similar, regardless of which reality show they came from. So it honestly could be one or the other, because it’s been a while ago, since I’ve seen that one. But oh man, it’s messy. It is messy, it is muddy. There are issues that usually I cannot relate to at all in any capacity.

Royce: And to clarify, oftentimes when Courtney is working on something you need something in the background, and so sometimes you just need– you just say out loud, “I need to find some trash to put on.”

Courtney: I need to find some trash to put on. Because I don’t want to watch something that I really love and I’m really engaged in. Because if it’s something, like, really quality and right up my alley, I want to just sit and enjoy it for what it is on its own. But then these reality shows– if I just need some trash to put on there are enough interesting moments that have me going, “Oho!? What now? Pardon me? He said what?” And it’s just interesting enough to keep my attention, but there’s so much fluff and so much filler, that it would be excruciating for me to actually just sit down and try to watch a whole episode, beginning to end, without any other distractions going on.

Courtney: So I think we’re going to talk about five different shows today. Some of them are only going to have a couple of minutes because there wasn’t that much to them. I just thought there were a couple of interesting things to touch on. And that one being The Circle. So I’ve heard a lot about The Circle before I ever watched it. I had people, like, recommend it to me like, “Oh, this is actually a really good show.” And I saw exactly one season of it. And I think that’s all I need out of it. I don’t think I want to watch it again. But it isn’t even a dating show. It isn’t even, like, a hot sexy singles kind of a show either, like some of these other ones are.

Royce: Isn’t it like a popularity contest, though?

Courtney: It is. It’s a popularity contest where nobody can see anyone else. You’re only communicating basically via, like, text messages to each other. And the rules of the show are you can either just be yourself and be genuine or you can play a character. So you can go in and be like, “Hey, I’m not playing myself. I’m actually modeling a character based off of my best friend.” Or, “I’m going to pretend to be someone else.” And so there’s like people gender swapping their character they’re playing as and things like that. But I could not believe– knowing that that is one of two ways to play that you could basically intentionally go in saying, “I am a catfish. I am not being me. I’m specifically being someone else.” And everyone knows that that’s an option. I was baffled by how many people just choose to flirt with each other as a tactic. Because how–? That wouldn’t work on me even if I knew everyone was being themselves, and even if I was single and looking for a relationship. I’d be like, “We’re on a reality show right now. Nothing you say matters. I am not going to take anything you’re saying seriously.”

Courtney: But– I swear in the one season that I saw I was just floored. First of all, there were a couple of straight people who were flirting, who were playing themselves. And the whole time, they’re like, “Oh, I hope– I hope he’s real. I hope she’s who she says she is.” And if you get, like, voted out, you get a choice to go and see one person. You can decide one person to visit and see what their deal is before you go, to see if they were real or not. And so, there were people who are like, “I got voted out – and it’s like – I really want to know if they were real.” It’s like okay, but then what? Like this isn’t a dating show. It’s so wild. But in the one I saw – I kid you not, and this was actually hilarious to me – there was a lesbian woman pretending to be a straight guy who ended up flirting with the gay guy, who was pretending to be a straight woman. [laughs] That was like, what are you doing?! What are you doing? It was so silly.

Courtney: So just the way that that played out, I thought was hilarious. But other than that, all the people who were actually real flirting with each other, or hoping the other person was real flirting with them, it’s like, why? What are you doing? I don’t understand. So, aside from, like, flirting to try to be popular, as yourself or someone else, with people who may or may not be real, there’s also this whole wave of reality shows that are like can you actually form an emotional bond with someone if you can’t see them? If you aren’t sexually attracted to them? Could you possibly love them? And it’s like, this whole big question, like, could it be possible? Every time. And it’s like I don’t want to hear anyone ever again say that demisexuality is not a thing when there are all of these allo shows being like, “Can you even do that? Is it possible to form an emotional bond without being sexually attracted to them?”

Royce: The immediate comment I had when you started finding some of these shows that was frustrating, because trash as these shows are, it could have been an interesting social experiment, but the casting is 100% conventionally attractive people.

Courtney: Yes! Yes. Well, here’s the thing– So, I had, like, blocked the show from my brain until you reminded me of it. I was fully not even prepared to talk about this today because I’d forgotten, but there’s a show, Sexy Beasts, [wheezing laugh] where they have all these very conventionally hot people who get outfitted in these, like, really awful prosthetic, like full– full head, full face. Like, some of them are kind of animal based. Some of them are aliens or insects, or just like weird zombie creatures.

Royce: It gets into monster stuff.

Courtney: Gets into monsters, and they just, like, have them go on dates with people. Like that’s it. Like you go on a date with three people and then you eliminate one. But after you eliminate the first one then they take off all their monster gear and come out in, like, a really sexy outfit and like, do a twirl for everyone. And then everyone’s like, “Oh man, they’re really sexy, but I hope one of these other two is gonna be my type.” [laughs] And then you go on a date with the other two, then you eliminate one, and then you get to see them and you’re like, “Oh no. Those are– That guy– That guy’s also sexy, huh? But I picked this other person. And we’ll see.” And then they do a big reveal where they see each other at the same time and it’s– But then it’s so awkward. Because they’ll, like, see each other under this decorated, like, bridge. It’s very pretty. And it’s like, “Do we exchange phone numbers now?” Like, that’s the end of the episode. You never see these people again because the next episode is a new batch of people. So there are like no stakes to this whatsoever.

Courtney: So it also, in addition to just being an absurd premise, it’s boring. It is hopelessly boring. Because we don’t even know if they’re gonna decide to start, like, dating or actually form a relationship now. Like, I guess they have the option to if they want but we’re not going to see it.

Royce: The entire show revolves around the reveal.

Courtney: Yes, yeah. And it’s wild. And the thing is too – I think we did end up putting on every episode that was released at the time we found this show – and what really really was upsetting to me, because of course they’re not gonna address this, they’re just saying whatever these reality show contestants are saying, I think basically the only times that someone was like, did the reveal– like, they eliminated someone, they did the reveal, they’re like, “ Ah, that– They’re not really my type so that’s probably for the best,” was like, if it was a Person Of Color who was not of the same race of the person picking. And that was like a hundred percent of the time, the only instance. And it’s like, they’re all conventionally attractive people. I don’t personally see conventionally attractive people and be like, “Oh, they’re hot. They’re sexy.” But I’ve, like, trained myself over time to identify what other people identify.

Royce: You understand the social rules.

Courtney: I understand the rules. I understand what other people are going for. And so it’s like, what are you talking about? Like, that is a sexy woman, she’s just Black. Like, what are you doing? I hate it. I hated it so much.

Courtney: And then such a boring conclusion. It’s like what is– why– why this show? There just wasn’t even enough character development either. And there wasn’t enough time to sit with each date, that’s like I didn’t care about a single person. So we just didn’t see enough of them. So that was a weird one, but that was also kind of in the genre of like, “Can you learn to like someone if you don’t know what they look like?” It’s like… Okay.

Courtney: And also in that vein is Love is Blind. Which makes a much more compelling reality show than Sexy Beasts, because there are stakes and you have a lot more time with the people.

Royce:Yeah. Instead of having a new batch of people every episode, it’s the same group of– is it like a dozen people?

Courtney: I think they start with 15 men and 15 women in the, like, basically blind speed dating phase.

Royce: Right. But most of them–

Courtney: Most of them–

Royce: –don’t enter relationships and drop out.

Courtney: Right. Yes.

Royce: And then the rest of the season is focused on those couples.

Courtney: Yes. And that one is interesting because I think it’s an exploitative show. [laughs] I think this show is unethical for a couple of reasons. It is better TV than Sexy Beasts, but there are issues with it. And the thing is, one of my biggest issues is that they never call themselves a reality show. They call this a social experiment. And that branding is so, so done that the host do that, all the– all the contestants are like, “We entered into this experiment to see if love is truly blind.” We– [emphatically] “The social experiment to determine definitively whether or not you can form an emotional bond without ever seeing the other person!” And it’s like, oh my God. You know that there are actually people that are blind, right? [laughs] There are actually real life people who fall in love without ever visually seeing the person they’re in love with.

Courtney: And, and again, like don’t you dare come for demisexuality if you’re watching this show being like, [emphatically] “Is love blind?! Can that be a thing?” So, the fact that they set this up as a grand experiment, social experiment, it’s like no, it’s not. It’s a reality show. You have producers. You casted these people. Like, we have to drop this experiment. But the original premise– If they weren’t forcing them one hundred percent of time toward marriage, and if it wasn’t a reality show with producers, and casting directors, and presumably some contestants that maybe don’t care that much about the, quote, “experiment” but just want to be on TV or think, “Hey, this sounds like a fun thing to do.” If it was just like a service that someone provided– Like you can find speed dating things in places, like most major cities are going to have, like, some speed dating nights in the park or at a restaurant that you can go to to try to meet people.

Courtney: If there was just like a service like this, where you had two different pods with a wall between and you just have time to quickly meet a bunch of people, eliminate the ones that aren’t interesting, and then you can start having longer form dates with other people and try to foster this relationship, I don’t think it’s a bad premise. I think that’s a thing you can and should do. But, Royce, to your point, everyone is conventionally attractive. So they’re like, “Is love truly blind?” And it’s like, “Well, we’ve casted 30 highly sexy people.” Like, okay, and? And the thing is, the first time I saw this I was like, where are the fat people? Where are the disabled people? Where are… You know, there’s no one with a facial difference, a limb difference. Like there is nothing like that. So they’re like, oh, is love really blind? Like– But the person on the other side of the wall is gonna be attractive, conventionally speaking. And so I reckon the contestants know that, if they’ve ever seen the show before.

Royce: If they’ve seen the show before, definitely. But even if they haven’t, the men and women are in separate buildings, but you could look at your building and say, “Hey, this half of the show at least is all conventionally attractive.”

Courtney: Yeah. Like, “Oh! All these– all these other women I’m rooming with, like, they’re all good-looking girls.” You know? And so there’s also that. And I was like, if this is a true – quote – “experiment” you’d be pulling from a wider pool of people, first of all. But also, it’s like as much as I want to see a wider variety of, you know, body types, and– and types of people in this experiment, I almost don’t because it’s also a reality show. And I don’t want those people to be, like, mocked or humiliated or turned down for not being attractive. And so it’s like [scoffs] you have to remember it’s not an experiment, it’s just a reality show. No matter how much they want to push that it’s a social experiment, it’s not. Cut it out.

Courtney: But even then, even the fact that most of these people are very conventionally attractive, there are still a couple of, like, major skeeze balls that, like, get in and are like trying to find ways to find out what they look like, or how much they weigh, without outright asking it. Like one absolute jerk, one season came in and was like, “Oh, yeah I really love, you know, shopping for clothes for my women and I love surprising with, like, a nice dress. Like, what size do you wear? So I know. So I can buy–” Like, stop it. Or like, “Oh, I like going out on concerts and, you know, I, I like being able to put my girl up on my shoulders. Do you think I’d be able to put you up on my shoulder?” Like, what are you doing? Like that should have also, right then and there, been like– producers are like, “You’re out.” Like, you clearly are not here for the– the “soul of the experiment.” Like get out. But they don’t, they don’t do that.

Royce: Although a lot of times from the couple of instances I heard someone was being, like, overtly racist and the other people just walked out of the room.

Courtney: Oh, that did happen once. I don’t think that guy ever got partnered up at all, but it definitely showed him in a couple of, like, quick dates with like Black women who were like, “Uh? Excuse me?”

Royce: Yeah, they– I think there were two that I saw, when I was in and out between episodes, and it was like, this person gets two minutes of screen time and then they’re gone.

Courtney: Then they’re gone. [laughs] Yeah. And the thing is too, for as much as they’re like, this is about love, this is about your emotional connection that you created, sight unseen, but they’re also just adding all of this needless drama. Because all these people are dating each other in their pods until they start coupling up. So everybody knows everybody. And some people start saying, you know, I kind of like these two people, or I have a few different options here. But you have all the women living together, you have all the men living together. So if two people are dating the same person, and you’re getting near the end where it’s almost decision time, then like, you have all this tension. Like a woman eyeing the other woman as she comes in from the date, like– Or like being glad if someone comes back crying. And it’s like, it’s very weird to have all these people who are essentially competing for a limited dating pool. So you have this, like, scarcity mentality going on here. And you just put them all together, and you film them outside of the date. It’s also– it’s like that’s also icky.

Courtney: But then after everyone partners up, everyone couples up, and whoever doesn’t goes home. Then it’s like you propose to them before you see them. So it is always: marriage is the end goal, regardless. And it’s always straight couples too! I would love to see– not that I want bisexual people to be exploited, but for the sake of TV, if this was like– if someone made a scripted reality show that isn’t a reality show– you know what I mean?

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: I would love to see, like, a bisexual Love is Blind. We just have 30 bisexuals who all date everybody and see what happens. But this is actually the one, I think it was Love is Blind, where one of the contestants was bisexual. And he was a man, and he was very, kind of afraid of that. Afraid to let his fiance know that he’s bisexual. He wasn’t sure how she’d take it, if she’d still accept him, if she’d still love him. And like, I really felt for the guy in that moment. But it was also a moment where I was like, if this is something that you have this grave of a concern about, it probably should have come out in the pods during the process, not on the honeymoon immediately after the pods. Because he’s just, like, a nervous emotional wreck trying to, like, tell his fiance this. And it was like a shockingly big deal to her right off the bat, where she is like, “I just need some time to process this.” And she, like, left and went back to the hotel room. And so this guy is, like, broken and miserable. And I feel so bad for him.

Courtney: But then you see, like, a confessional of the fiancee and she’s like, you know, “I’ve thought about it and I need to support him. And I need to talk to him.” And so it seemed like she was surprised but she came around to it, and was still, like, ready to make this work. But by the time she goes back to have this conversation, dude is just, like, shut down. Like, “I have put up all of my walls.” He was very short. He was not willing to be, like, emotionally vulnerable again, and like everything crumbled from there. And I was like, “Whoa! Wow!” So that was a– that was a pretty memorable scene from that.

Courtney: But here’s also the thing that is so icky to me. Both Love is Blind and Married At First Sight do this: they immediately send these couples on a honeymoon. And I think it’s, like, always in Mexico, maybe even both shows, it might be the same resort. I don’t know. This is just the resort for reality show couples, I guess. They send them away, and then the hosts are like, “Ooh, they developed an emotional connection in the pods, but now’s their time to develop a physical connection.” And despite all of these people being very conventionally attractive, there are still a few people here and there who, has soon as they see their fiance they just got engaged to, they’re like, “Oh. Not really my type.” And then just also sort of just shut down emotionally. And then that entire relationship is doomed. And it’s like, I can’t fathom that!

Courtney: Like, granted I don’t have the sexual attraction – at all, period – to anyone. Never have. But if you love this person so much in the moment that you’re like, “Yes, let’s get married.” Why is that not something you can work on? Like, why do you just decide this isn’t gonna work? Or you sabotage the relationship by just being a brat? I don’t know. It’s very weird. But then I also– I just don’t like the very voyeuristic– because, you know, we’re watching this couple’s journey and, you know, having a physical connection is also very important. So it’s like, so voyeuristic where everyone’s watching, like, the first night when they get in bed together. And it’s like, [mockingly] “Are they gonna have sex? Are they gonna do it?”

Courtney: And then sometimes you have the camera still in the room while they’re still clothed, but they’ll, like, be starting to get a little frisky. Like, implying, like, “Oh, we’re about to have sex now.” And it’s like, I guess, when they’re ready to actually fully take their clothes off, they’re like, “Okay cameras, go away.” But sometimes you don’t see that before they go to bed. So then you’ll get like these couple’s cam– like selfie-like vlogs, where they’ll just be holding up their phone and they’re like under the covers in bed and their heads popping out there, like, [mockingly] “Guess what we did last night?” And it’s like– Oh my gosh! I really don’t care! And it makes me wonder, the allosexual viewers of this, if you’re an allosexual listening to this podcast right now, hello, welcome, we love that you’re here despite the fact that we’re making fun of your kind. [laughs] Your kind… If you’re allosexual listening to this, and you watch any of these shows, please tell me if you’re actually into this or if this is also just as ridiculous to you.

Courtney: Like, are you sitting on the edge of your seat being like, [whisper] are they gonna have sex? Are they gonna do it? Is that an enjoyable part of these shows for you? I have to know. I have to know! But then sometimes– sometimes they don’t have sex right away, and sometimes one of the two people in the relationship doesn’t like that. They’re like, “Oh, my- my fiance hasn’t even touched me yet.” And that’s I guess the– that’s the crossover with Married at First Sight that is very weird to me. Because Married at First Sight, the premise is you have full on matchmakers. But not in what is, like, most commonly still matchmaking that happens today, where you sort of get paired up but you get to actually meet the other person and oftentimes you still get to make the decision as to whether or not you want to go forward with the relationship. This is more like we’re just going to pop you in a wedding dress and put you down the aisle and there will be someone at the other end of it that you’re going to, good luck! And that’s also interesting.

Courtney: Because that’s another one where everyone has this, like, very magical, magical moment. Like, “Oh! I’m married!” And- and, oh my husband’s so attractive. And all these things, and everyone’s just like up on cloud nine when they’re feeling good. It almost occurred to me that this is like essentially the only way to have, like, a true modern, like, fairytale feeling. Because so many of the old fairy tales, and like Disney Princesses and things, it’s like they get married before you actually know them. But there’s still, you know, all this happiness, celebration that happens. And I know a lot of, you know, little girls especially, I think, grow up wanting that. And Disney started getting more self-aware. I think, ever since Frozen they only make like self-aware Disney Princess movies, where it’s like, “I don’t even know you!” So like, they’re trying to change that, and I think over time that will help, but people our age and older still grew up with the very, like, fairytale love at first sight. That’s it. That’s your person.

Courtney: So it’s almost like this is kind of the only way to have that fairytale, if you want that. If you’re someone who wants that, I’m almost like, you know, good- good on you, go for it. Why not? Except for the fact that it’s a reality show... Because, oh, there’s just so many people who can pull strings who might be trying to infuse drama into the relationship for the sake of TV. And there might be people doing this with ill intentions who think the show itself is more compelling than a legally binding marriage. And that’s what they always say in Married at First Sight, like they are legally married. This is a real legal marriage. And it’s like, why you gotta do the real legal marriage? Why can’t you do just, like, a little phony baloney marriage for the sake of the show? And then after the show, they can get, like, married for realsies if they want. But I guess– I guess that wouldn’t have the- the stakes. The stakes and the drama!

Royce: Don’t those shows also make a big point of saying like this is for life, this is permanent. Even though divorce is not that difficult.

Courtney: Well yeah, all of these shows actually come from a very conservative perspective where– I often find a lot of the people in these experiments are quite religious, or if they are not themselves, they come from a very conservative family. And they are all straight. And they do all want kids. And for the most part they’re all in their 20s, they’re in their 30s. So they- they are still young, but I feel so bad every time there’s a woman in her 30s and she’s like, “I want kids and I want to have a big family, and I’m not married yet. I’m not even seeing anyone yet.” And so all– like a lifetime of being told, like, oh your biological clock is ticking, like you won’t be able to have kids after 40. And don’t you want to be a young mom? Don’t you want to be a pretty mom? Don’t you– don’t you want to be able to play with your kids and have energy? Like, all those things that people say throughout your entire life as a woman, there– I think in the last season of Love is Blind that I watched, there were even like several women in the pods while they were dating having conversations about researching how much it costs to freeze your eggs.And like egg freezing is a thing. It’s extraordinarily expensive and it is not definitely guaranteed to work either. And it’s probably pretty painful. Like it’s– it’s a, it’s a procedure.

Royce: I didn’t pay attention to any of these shows as much as you did, but I think the only instance that I was aware of people not really wanting to or having the discussion of maybe not having kids came from the Japanese season.

Courtney: Which was very interesting. And we’ll get to that in a minute. Because you and I, both, watched Love is Blind Japan.

Royce: That one was better.

Courtney: Yeah, it was better! It was. And that’s why I don’t want to talk about it yet because I want to talk about the trash that is the US version, and then we can talk a little bit about the differences in the Japanese version. And there are more countries of Love is Blind. Like, I think there’s a Love is Blind Brazil, but I haven’t seen that one. I actually found out just very recently, in fact, that there is going to be a Love Is Blind Sverige, and oh, I will be watching that. Oh, I will be watching that! I hope they’re all speaking Swedish. I can’t wait. But also Sweden does not tend to emphasize marriage as much as our culture does here in the States. Is a big difference I’ve noticed between here and Sweden, so I’m going to be really curious to see what kind of people in Sweden are drawn to doing something like this. If they also come from more conservative backgrounds, and just sort of what the mentality is there. Because it’s also a lot more common in Sweden to have kids with someone that you aren’t married to. And not as like a “Oops, we got pregnant,” but as a, just like, “Yeah, I’m ready to have kids but we don’t need to get married to do it,” kind of a thing. Less- less of a social stigma I imagine, in most places in Sweden. They still have conservative corners of course, as every country does.

Courtney: But the mentality of this is very like, we want you to be making a lifelong commitment. They are casting people who are like, “I never want to get divorced. I want to get married once.” And sometimes it’ll be children of divorce. They’re like, “My parents got divorced and it ruined my life, and it messed me up as a kid, and I don’t want that for my kids.” And so that helps for the sake of TV to raise the stakes, but it’s also like– it’s all people who agree that marriage should be straight, monogamous, childbearing. All these things that we talked about the conservative worldview, when we talk about the people who are opposed to asexual marriage, or gay marriage, or trans people who are existing. Like it all comes from the same place of, like, marriage is the end all be all, this family is the backbone of society.

Courtney: So despite the fact that they are, you know, openly talking about sex and, in the beginning, dating multiple people before they couple up, like, it’s still very conservative undertones. And I wonder if that’s something that the average viewer can even identify. Probably not. But the Married at First Sight one, I’m like, all right, if you want to have your big fantasy fairy tale, like my prince has come to whisk me off my feet, I’ve never seen him before but it was love at first sight, and now, we’re going to live happily ever after. It’s like, all right, statistically it probably won’t work, but if it does, that’s going to be a really good story for you. So have that, I suppose. But then when they send them on the honeymoon, you have these hosts… And these hosts are also, like, there’s a sex coach, there’s like a relationship expert. There’s like a pastor who does marriage counseling. And- and they’re the ones who are deciding who to couple up with- with everyone and whatnot.

Courtney: They’re looking into the camera in there like, “Ordinarily, the honeymoon is where couples go to consummate the relationship, but our couples have only just met for the first time. So what are they going to do? Normally people wait to develop a little bit of an emotional connection before engaging in sexual activity, but they are on a honeymoon, they are at a tropical resort, they are legally married and they are adults. So if they want to do it, they have every right to do it.” Like, uh, what are you doing?! And that’s what gets me too. Because there’ll be these– It’s usually the men, sometimes the women will engage in this a little bit, but it’s normally the men that I see talking differently to the men than they do to their new wife that they get. Because there will be men who are like, “Bro, are you gonna have sex on the honeymoon?” And they’re like, “Oh, of course! Goddamn right I’m gonna have sex on the honeymoon! Like, that’s my wife. If my wife won’t have sex with me on our own damn honeymoon, then that marriage is over!”

Courtney: And then they’ll get in the hotel room and then the wife will be like, “You know what, maybe let’s just cuddle tonight. You know, let’s– let’s take a little time to get to know each other.” And he’s like, “Yeah, okay, I can respect that.” It’s like, wow. And sometimes they do have sex right away, but then you get the- the silly little vlog, like, “Hmm? What did we do last night? Oh, I don’t know, but it was good” Just like, [through gritted teeth] What are you doing?! It’s so weird!

Courtney: So, yeah, those honeymoon phases are the weird ones for me. But Love Is Blind has this extra twist thrown in on the honeymoon, where you’re also honeymooning with all the other couples. So it’s people you have either roomed with throughout this entire process, maybe you even dated the same guy, maybe you were even fighting over the same guy for a certain period of time. But then you’re also seeing all these other people you spoke to in the pods. So if there was a situation where you were getting to know two different people, and got really close to two of them, but you only married one, or you only got engaged to one, and now you’re seeing the other one for the first time…? And they’re putting them all together in swimsuits at a freaking pool party! All these very conventionally attractive people.

Courtney: So you have these, you know, hot girls in bikinis with their new engagement rings on their fingers. And when it was just them the day before, they’re like, [dreamy] “This is the best thing ever. This is wonderful.” But then you get them all together at a party and they’re like, “You know, that other guy that I was talking to is pretty sexy.” And then you’ll have these couples, like, flirting with other people now. And then, you’ll have people getting horribly jealous. You’ll have people being like, “We’re engaged, you can’t be talking to them like this.” And it’s just a mess. And it’s so unnecessary. You don’t need to do that. You could send them on separate vacations. You can– you cannot have these group parties where they’re all getting together. It’s, it’s, it’s great TV. It’s– But it’s a hot mess. It is hot garbage. [laughs]

Courtney: And the thing is too, like we know, there are editing tricks happening. And in fact, like, in these shows they always have the same, like, solid color, like, wine glasses that they’re always drinking out of. And those are provided by the show. And they drink them on the honeymoon at the resort, in their apartment when they move in together, like anytime they’re drinking something. And that’s so they can edit things in any order they want and people won’t be looking at, like, oh, the glass is full in this scene, but then it cuts, and it’s completely empty, and then it’s back again. Like that’s why they do that. They do it so they can do editing tricks. So the thing is, as much as I’m, like, getting invested in– take the bisexual controversy, for example. At first I was like, “Man! That woman was really out of line.” But then when she is like, “No, I thought about this, and I want to make it work.” Then I’m like, “Man, he’s out of line! He just shut down and they’re not even going to talk about this. Make it work.” And so you like going back and forth over who you– you get a side with, I guess, as if you have a say in anything.

Courtney: That’s the other weirdest part of here, everybody is watching and just judging these people. But you’re judging them based on what the producers are showing you. So I always have to remember, and everyone should remember, like you’re not seeing the whole story on any of this. There is always more nuance that is not going to get shown to you in reality TV. So it is weird anytime a couple does have, like, a fight or a falling-out. It’s like, online groups are going to start picking sides and start defending who’s right, who’s wrong. And it’s weird. It’s so weird…

Courtney: And yeah, I mean basically Married at First Sight, they are married on the first day. Don’t know a single thing about the other person. Love is Blind, they get engaged but they have had many conversations and many dates with this person.

Courtney: They do their somewhat similar honeymoon, but then they sort of move them into an apartment, that’s just sort of provided for them. It’s furnished, it’s sort of a blank slate. It’s neither of their places. They can both just move in temporarily. And then my favorite thing is when they start taking each other to their actual houses. Or their actual apartments and where they live.

Courtney: I don’t know why I love that so much, but I really do. It’s like, okay, let’s go see, you know, my wife’s apartment and let’s go see my husband’s place. Where does he live? And then you see these couples, who are now together, also just like severely judging each other for the places where they– [laughs]

Royce: Where they live, or the state of the place?

Courtney: Mostly the state of the place, yeah. Which is interesting because everyone’s going to have their own personal preference. Sometimes it’s like, “Oh, that– this person’s kind of messy and that’s going to be a problem for me.” But sometimes it’s like, “Oh, I opened up his closet and it was filled to the brim with 50 pairs of shoes that all have their own separate, you know, display boxes.” And it’s like, “Where’s my stuff gonna go if he has 50 shoes?!” And it’s like, I don’t know. I just think there’s something so weird about seeing someone’s place where they live for the first time after you’ve already resolved to merge lives. Like to me that’s so much weirder than not seeing them. It’s just like– Because you’re gonna come in with a different set of expectations. One’s like, “I am now going to live with this person. I have never seen the place where they live.” It’s just so weird and I kind of like it. [laughs]

Courtney: I kinda like that one. Because then they also at least start having conversations about where are we actually going to live after this is done? Because apparently, they don’t get to keep the apartments that they put them in, because they need to decide: are we moving into his place? Are we moving into her place? Are we going to get a third new place together? So they start having those discussions and those are at least discussions that I find interesting to see how other couples approach it. Because anybody who’s going to choose to cohabitate with each other is going to have to figure out how to do that, at a certain point. So that at least seems like a– that only seems like a real relationship issue. As opposed to, “Oh, let’s throw all these people, some of whom recently got their heart broken by someone who is now engaged to someone else, let’s just put them all together in a party with bikinis and see what happens.” And alcohol! Lots of alcohol. Incredibly strange.

Courtney: And so, Married at First Sight, they do kind of have a decision day, which is weird because they’re like marriage is final, it’s a lifelong commitment, but then after a period of time, they do have a decision day where it’s like, do you want to stay married? Or do you want to get a divorce? And that’s weird because if you are already married and you’re deciding to either get a divorce or stay together, like, it doesn’t have to come down to a very specific day. There is no reason to have it be that day except for the sake of drama for the show. So that’s interesting.

Courtney: And Love Is Blind has the marriage day, because you’re engaged and you’re getting married on this day, which is only like– it’s only a few weeks’ process, I think. It goes fast.

Courtney: In fact the season of Married At First Sight that I saw was really interesting, and the reason why I decided to watch that one, was because it was the one that happened right as Covid-19 broke out in the States.

Courtney: So they ended up not only being in the middle of this experiment with a brand-new person they’ve never met being married, but they had to, like, quarantine together. And it ended up being a much longer season because they had to, like, shut down production for a while. And so we saw a lot more vlogs of what they were doing. And they couldn’t go out and do the things they normally would. So I was like, wow, what a test of a brand spanking new marriage to a stranger. And now you’re quarantined with them…? I know established relationships that couldn’t handle the quarantine. So I thought that was fascinating to watch personally.

Courtney: And yeah, the thing is then Love is Blind gets to the wedding day. And some couples do break up before this point, some get so, you know, upset and over it with the other person that they’re just like, “No, I’m done. I’m out.” And then they essentially leave the show.

Courtney: But other people are encouraged to wait until the wedding day to make a decision at the altar. So there are people getting in a tux, getting in a wedding dress, walking down the aisle. Venue and everything, family and friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen. And then you have this officiant upfront who’s like, “You decided to get married sight unseen. Now it’s time for you to prove if love is really blind.” And they have the officiant say that every time. It’s wild. And sometimes someone, right there at the altar, just says no. And it’s such a gag.

Royce: In those instances too, don’t they normally have the person who’s about to say no, say no after the other person says yes?

Courtney: Sometimes, it usually seems to work out that way. But I wonder if the producers kind of get a temperature check on them individually right before it happens. And try to manipulate that in some way. But it’s wild. The first one I saw was so melodramatic and poorly edited. So, it was this couple– I don’t remember their names, I am so bad at names on reality shows that have big cast like this, I really am the worst. And not only that, but I watched it a while ago. But I just remember this woman who says yes and then her fiance says no, and she just goes running. She starts crying and she goes running out of the room. She goes running through the venue. People in the halls are, like, looking. They’re like, “What’s going on?” And then she runs all the way out the door, and she’s running across a grass, like, lawn of this venue, and she falls and trips in the grass and gets her dress all muddy. And then she gets up crying and continues running! And like runs across the street. And I was like, “Girl! Where you running to? Where are you going?”

Courtney: And then they showed a scene of the two of them having a conversation where she walks in and they privately have this conversation. And there’s no mud on her dress. There is no mud on her dress! So I’m like, they filmed her running away after they had this conversation. Was that her decision and she asked to do that? Or did the producers just say, you know, “You run out of there really dramatically. Let’s– let’s Crank that up to 11.” [laughs] It was so messy. I was cackling though, and I kind of felt bad. Because it was like this very melodramatic scene where you had to know that this was a possibility, and even if you are genuinely devastated, like, I want to feel bad for you but here you’re just– you just take off running. And then I see the next scene, you don’t have mud on your dress. What are you doing? What are you doing now?

Royce: Is this the same show that concludes with, like, a reunion where the entire cast gets on stage?

Courtney: Oh, Love Is Blind and Married At First Sight both have reunions. And they are great. [laughs] They’re terrible! They’re so bad! Oh my gosh. It’s– It is drama, mama. It’s wow. Oh my gosh. I live for it. Actually this last season of Love Is Blind that I just watched was maybe the messiest one I’ve seen yet. Oh, it was so messy! Because there was a, “I’m not attracted to him, I’m gonna break up with him,” but then there was like, “But that other guy who got attracted to my best friend when they got engaged, he’s kind of attractive, maybe I’ll make a move on him.” And then a guy ended up calling someone he turned down after– after the honeymoon…? And like, must have asked producers like, “Oh, I chose wrong.” Like several people said that this season, “I chose wrong.” So they went back and tried to get the other person they turned down. And I was like, what are you doing? This is so messy.

Courtney: So they must know how big of a mess this is going to be. Because, coming up soon, I heard that the finale, like, the reunion episode is going to be live on Netflix. And by the time you’re listening to this episode it’s probably already happened, so you can probably go back and watch it. But I was like, Netflix is doing a live reality show reunion? Oh they must know this is gonna be gold, they must know. And there have been a couple like that– there have been a couple where there have clearly been like a villain of the season. And it was interesting because there was one season where normally if someone says no you feel really bad for the other person, but there is one guy who was just a jerk and you saw in the pods that he was a jerk. Like, I think he was one of the people trying to, like, ask women their weight while in the pods. He got engaged. I actually do remember her name, her name was Deepti, and she ended up saying no at the altar. But it was such a “Good for her” moment. Because she was like, “I choose myself.” She’s like, “You have disrespected me.”

Courtney: And this guy– like his mom even – when they were meeting the family during this process – Like his mom even told, “Hey, like, you better respect that girl. She does not deserve–” Was like, oh whoa, mom knows her son. And then like, yeah, the season after there was another girl who also tried to do a similar thing, like, “You have disrespected me and I say no.” But people were a lot more torn on that one. Because it’s like, “Oh, she wanted to have a Deepti moment. She thought everyone was gonna be on her side, like they were with the girl from last season.” But this poor guy just, like, started crying. And he’s like, “I don’t– I didn’t mean to hurt her. I didn’t think I did anything.” And then everyone’s like, “Whoa, was he being gaslit this whole time? What’s going on?” And like it was wild. Because at the reunion for that, everyone universally hated the guy that Deepti said no to. At the reunion everyone was like, “Ahh. This guy! This fucking guy!”

Courtney: But in the next season the cast was so torn. And like, most of the men were on the guy’s side, and most of the women were on the woman’s side. And they were like, “She told us what you were like. We know what you said to her.” And, you know, like being friends to her and trying to defend her. But she actually brought up– she’s like, “Oh, there was a time where you fat shamed me. You asked me why I was eating so much.” And blah blah. And he was like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” And she’s like, “I know exactly the day.” And– and all these women were like, “Uh-uhm. That’s right.” But then the producers at the end of that reunion, pulled that clip that didn’t make it into the original edit, and they were fighting over what actually happened here. And I was like, “Producers! Oh my gosh!” And I was like, are you just doing this to stir the pot? Or are you doing this to defend the guy? Because you don’t want people to think that he was actually being, like, horribly abusive like she was saying. And so it was just a mess.

Courtney: And the thing is I thought, based on what the producer showed us, both of them did not handle things well at various points in the relationship. So best that they aren’t married probably. But the reunion is such a mess. I love it so much. Sitting here eating popcorn being like, “Ahh!” In fact, the reunion episodes are the only ones that I will actually sit down and watch without working in the background. Because the actual episodes– there’s so much fluff and filler and like conversations between the couples that do not interest me whatsoever. But the reunion. It is like lightning speed. Drama. Drama. Drama!

Courtney: Yeah and then in the Married at First Sight last reunion they had was also a hot mess. Because one of the guys, like, shutdown, wouldn’t really engage with his wife emotionally, physically nothing, and he was just like a brick wall, and it was super weird. But then found out that he’d gotten the phone number of, like, one of her best friends at the wedding who was like a bridesmaid, and had been, like, texting her and, like, forming a relationship with her. And we didn’t find this out until the end. So they, like, actually brought out, like, a different friend who knew the whole story who is like, “Here’s what she was telling us.” I was like, “Ah! Whoa!”

Courtney: And the thing is, for as entertaining as these reunion episodes are, it’s so gross also because these are actually real people who do have real emotions. And that sucks. I hate that. I hate that! So it’s– it’s something else really. But yeah, so other than the US Love is Blind episodes, we did watch Love is Blind Japan and we actually watched that one together and there were some notable differences.

Royce: Yeah. I was in the room for most of that, whereas I generally wasn’t for the other series. One, it was interesting to just see culturally how people in a different area of the world approach things and what they valued. [Courtney agrees]. Everyone was also generally less shitty than in the American ones.

Courtney: Yes!! Oh my gosh, it was much more respectful.

Royce: Like every time someone would get engaged they’d run back to a room full of cheering people who are happy for them.

Courtney: [laughs] Yeah. Which, you know, sometimes happened in the US version, but there’d be one or two people that would be, like, giving the side eye from the corner. But that one also did have a few people thrown in who would not culturally be considered conventionally attractive. Because they did have one guy who was a lot older, for one. I don’t remember how it– like, he wasn’t– he wasn’t elderly, but he was notably older than the rest of the contestants. Maybe in his 50s.

Royce: Yeah, that’s true. That’s what I was trying to think. If you– If most of the cast was 20s and 30s, I think he was maybe 40, 50.

Courtney: Yeah. And so they did have a guy who was older. And they had, I think, two different guys who were cosmetologists, who did hair and had like, bleach blond hair, and– or like a funky color in their hair, which was actually kind of an issue for a little bit for a couple of the women there. They are like, “He has blond hair. My parents are not gonna like him.” So yeah, there were a couple of, I guess I don’t know, a lightly more diverse cast in, like, that sense. I mean you still didn’t really have anybody with disabilities, you didn’t have, you know, anything that was super outside of the norm. But they did have ones that it’s like– there were more than one person who was bringing up the– like, I think someone even said like, oh it could be a deal-breaker if he has like– If he dyes his hair or something. Which is something that, like, culturally I can’t quite relate to, because it’s– There just isn’t as much of a stigma there, but– Was tattoos maybe one? Did we have a guy with tattoos? I think.

Royce: I think so.

Courtney: I think we had a guy with tattoos, at least one, which also does culturally have much more of a stigma in Japan than it does here. But yeah when I say that that show was so much more respectful, I mean that. Like, I don’t think there was a single couple that went to the altar just to say no. I think there was one couple who broke up on the wedding day, and I actually think it was the older guy and a younger girl. I think he went to her on the wedding day before the wedding happened, and they had a conversation about how, “Hey, I don’t think this is going to work. It’s best that we call the wedding off.” And then they called the wedding off because they were like, “We are not going to put on this wedding. I’m not going to humiliate this other person in front of me, in front of friends and family. We’re also not going to make friends and family, like, gather to sit around this.” Like they didn’t make a spectacle of it in the way the Americans do. So I did like that. I like that one a lot more.

Courtney: And there were also– I’m not going to be able to remember the name of the village, it’s been long enough now. But we were definitely, like, googling things that they were saying and just learning more about different areas in Japan and different ideals. Because they kept saying, like, “Oh, he’s a real– He’s a real stereotypical guy from this place.” And we’re like, what’s a stereotypical guy from that place? Because I like to learn while I watch things and I don’t learn anything in Love Is Blind or Married at First Sight US.

Royce: Yeah, I can’t remember the names either, but there were more than one, like, prefecture of Japan where there are apparently social stereotypes. Like being more conservative or something like that.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: More traditional.

Courtney: Yeah, and that’s– that’s what we found. Like when we were looking up the place in question, it was like: very conservative, traditional values. Sort of like, wow, okay, I see what you’re saying now. And I don’t recall. Do you remember, did they ever make sex a thing in that show? Like in the US version it’’s always like are they gonna have sex? And if they don’t have sex it’s a big point of contention and it’s a big issue.

Royce: I don’t remember it being as overt or prominent.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: I don’t think they completely sidestepped talking about that aspect of relationships either, but it definitely wasn’t brought up as much.

Courtney: Yeah, it wasn’t as big of a focus. And if there ever was a mention here and there, it didn’t seem as voyeuristic. I don’t know, you’re just taking these very intimate moments in people’s lives, and I’m not even just talking about sex, I’m talking about all of the intimacy that comes with forming a relationship. It’s like– And you’re just putting it on a reality TV show for millions of viewers and it’s very weird to me.

Courtney: So then we have, talking about sex being the focus, we have Too Hot To Handle. Ow… You watched the first episode with me.

Royce: I saw part of the first episode because we were eating.

Courtney: Yeah, I ended up skipping.

Royce: Then I left.

Courtney: I skipped through so much of this. I put it on in the background while I was working for a little bit. And then the last few episodes, I’m like I am just skipping through large swaths of this to get the cliff notes because I can’t anymore. It was so bad. First of all, the first episode was very funny because you’re getting all these conventionally sexy people together, but they also think they’re on a different reality show – which I don’t love the bait-and-switch – but they’re like, “Ooh, we’re on Wild Crazy Love.” Or something like that. And so they show up in, like, their skimpiest, sexiest outfits. You’ve got guys with muscles. You’ve got super skinny girls with, you know, boobs and a butt. And, you know, everyone’s just super polished. And you’re getting all these confessionals and they’re like, “I’m so glad I’m on Wild Crazy Love!” And I don’t even know if that’s what they were calling it at that time, but it was something of the– something of the type. They’re like, “Oh, I wanna sample all the flavors!” They’re like, “I’m gonna have sex with everyone here. I’m gonna– I’ll have one of everything please.”

Courtney: But they also weren’t bisexual. They were all straight as far as I could tell, as far as they were talking. So I was like, all right, they’re coming on this show, they think they’re going to have a lot of sex with everyone, and then they’re like, okay, time for your first challenge. And they show up and they have, like, Mario Lopez being the host just for this first episode. And they think Mario Lopez is the host of the show. So he shows up and he’s like, “Okay, well here’s your first challenge.” This car rolls up with a sunroof that opens, and this, like, giant purple talking traffic cone, like, rises above this. And apparently they know what this means – because I didn’t, I’d never seen the show before – but they were like, [dramatically] “No!!” They’re like falling over on their knees being like, “Why God!?” they’re like, “We’re not on– We’re not on Wild Love. We’re on Too Hot to Handle.” And Mario Lopez was just like, “All right. Peace.” He’s just, like, kind of fighting to crack up and he just leaves. And I thought that was very good. And then you never see him again.

Courtney: But this giant purple traffic cone – I guess, she’s not giant, she’s not that big – but they call her Lana, she has a name, Lana. And she’s like, “You are on Too Hot to Handle.” And she’s like, “We have chosen you all because you prefer casual sex and meaningless flings to intimate emotional relationships.” And everyone was like, that’s true. Then she’s like, “But now I’m gonna take you on a resort and you have to follow my rules. No sex allowed!” And then everyone’s like, “This is the worst thing in the entire world. Are you telling me I can’t have sex with all of these people?!” And then you have some people who are like, “Oh, no… I should have had sex before I left home. Otherwise, I didn’t know that my vagina was gonna be on lockdown. Bummer.” [laughs]

Royce: Early on in this series, weren’t you like, “Giant purple traffic cone sex police: ace icon.”

Courtney: Ace icon! Well, listen [laughs] Listen. So, I almost was about to love the premise of this. Because I thought it was just gonna be like: get a bunch of horn dogs together thinking they’re going to have sex on the first day, and then be like, “Sike, you can’t.” And that there’s going to be this like, I don’t know, person with a spray bottle or like a bat, like, like, “Bonk. Go to horny jail,” kind of a thing. Like, I almost thought this is going to be hilarious. It wasn’t…? It wasn’t. But it was very weird. It was very weird. But yeah, this– this little traffic cone, Lana, like lights up purple when she talks to them. And so this was literally a sound bite, someone said like, “The devil literally wears purple.” And I was like, “Yes. Ace icon Lana.” [laughs] And that was like the beginning of episode 2 or something. So I was like, I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Courtney: But the thing is, I quickly disliked the premise of it for multiple reasons. First of all, the bait and switch is weird. You kind of have to do that for a show like this because they want people who don’t want to – I guess – stay celibate for a couple of weeks. They want people who want to have sex because the show is basically fighting your urges. So they need to get people who are fighting their urges. And I was thinking, like, I don’t know if or what kind of, like, psych evals the show had. I’ve had a number of friends who have been on reality shows before, and so I know some reality shows do have, like, a psychological evaluation that they put all the contestants through during the casting process to make sure they can like mentally handle it. And I don’t know enough about them to know if they’re good, if they work. Like, I can’t talk to that at all.

Courtney: But I was immediately thinking the way these people were talking, I was like, I don’t know enough about sex addictions to be able to identify it, or talk to it too much, but I do know that there are some people who do have, or have had sex addictions, that can actually be like, “I am making life-ruining decisions. I’m making bad decisions,” that can be very detrimental to a person. And I wasn’t sure that this show was necessarily being sensitive to that, and I was like, do any of these people actually have what could qualify as a certifiable sex addiction? And if so, why are you doing this to them? So, it’s like, what– what’s the line? How do you find people who just really like sex but don’t actually have, like, I guess, disordered behavior. And how do you not exploit people in that?

Courtney: So I got very weird, very weirded out by that early on. Because they basically announced there’s a twenty- two hundred thousand dollar prize pot that someone’s going to win at the end of this. But if you break a rule we’re taking money away from the pot. And so like the very first day, five out of the ten contestants made out. So they, like, immediately lost like three thousand dollars per kiss. And then Lana’s like, “Well, you’re breaking my rules, real bad. So now the– the fines have doubled.” I learned a new phrase while watching this actually. I said I like to learn things while I watch, but I could have gone without this, I think. Have you ever heard, Royce, the phrase heavy petting?

Royce: Yeah, that’s a pretty common one.

Courtney: Is it?!

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: Well, I’ve never heard that in my life! I had to google it! They were like, “No kissing, no heavy petting, and no sex.” And I was like, heavy petting? Like, what is that? A massage? No, it is– Well, maybe kind of– No. No, it is not. How is it pretty common if I’ve never heard anyone say that before?

Royce: I feel like I heard that phrase used for long enough occasionally, like I knew that it existed, that I don’t know when the first time I heard it was. I was probably a teenager or so–

Courtney: Uh, interesting!

Royce: And just heard it. I don’t know, in media, heard someone say it to refer to something in a softer way, I guess, instead of being explicit.

Courtney: No doubt that was news to me, so– [laughs] And you listeners out there, tweet at us and tell me if that’s new to you. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe I’m the only one in the world who hasn’t heard this phrase. But yeah. So the thing is it’s not just ‘horny sexy people can’t have sex’ and that’s almost why I don’t like it. If it was just that, I’d almost think it was funny. But this Lana is like, “I want you to foster deep emotional relationships.” So she’s like, “All of you prefer, you know, sex and flings and casual things to, like, real intimate relationships, but we’re going to change that while you’re here. We are going to focus on the emotional relationships. I want you to form emotional bonds.” And so–

Royce: Is Lana a licensed therapist?

Courtney: Well, here’s the gross thing about it. There were some, like, pseudo-therapeutic, like, workshops that they were putting them through, which was really gross. It was very weird. Because first of all, aromantic people exist, and it’s not inherently a bad thing to prefer casual sex to romantic relationships, so… These people didn’t even know that this was the show they were going to be on. So, no one opted into this. Nobody chose to enter into this program. And it’s like, yeah, some of the people did admit, like, “I have been, like, really shitty to people in the past. I have ghosted people. I’ve been really disrespectful to people.” And like, we don’t know that all of them have been like that. We don’t know that. So it could just be someone who genuinely does just, you know, prefer sex to romance or isn’t looking for a relationship right now. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Courtney: And we have no reason to believe that these people do have an issue like that. Let alone, the fact that they want to change or want to overcome it. So that got very, very, very icky, very fast. But then, to go back to this is like pseudo-therapy that they’re putting them through, but also like do we know for sure that these people don’t have sex addictions? Because they get to Lana’s resort and they’re like, “Okay, here are the rules.” They make them couple up immediately and sleep in the same bed together, like, the whole time. And– And the couple that broke, like, the most rules at first, right off the bat, she was like, “You broke all these rules. So as a test, I’m putting you in the suite.” And all these beds that they’re all sharing are like in the same room together, but the people who broke the most rules and lost the most money from the pot, so of course everyone’s like, “You just kiss them and that cost us six thousand dollars!” Which is also like, I care so much more about the money than anything remotely sex-related, I can’t fathom what headspace you have to be into essentially spend six thousand dollars on a kiss. My God.

Courtney: So she sends them to the suite. It’s like, you get this solo suite for the night. There is a bathtub, there are rose petals on the bed, there is champagne. And you’re alone in your own suite. And so she’s like, “Here’s the test. You stay in the suite, but you don’t have sex. No breaking the rules.” It’s like, what are you doing?! What are you doing? Because if this is someone that you’re saying has an issue that you want to fix, why are you torturing them like that? Like, either they do have a genuine issue and you are genuinely torturing them, or it’s really not that bad and they’re just playing it up for the camera and for the reality show. Like, whatever the case is, it’s weird. And like, yeah, that was the couple, like, they kissed a couple of times and then they were like, “There’s technically no rule against showering together, right?” And so they, like, they show us all this too. They show them, like, stepping into the shower and we see them from, like, the shoulders up. And then they’re like washing each other’s backs and then they broke a rule because she washed his penis.

Courtney: And I was like, you just met this person two days ago! And you’re told don’t have sex with them, and you’re like, “Let’s just– let’s just get in the shower real quick. How about–” And then they’re like, “To this suite with you.” What is this?! What is this? I don’t understand. But yeah, then, the best student, the– the man who had not broken any rules, the one who is very serious. And his, like, I guess, girlfriend for the show – since they’re kind of coupled up – is like, “I really like physical affection and I want more physical affection from you.” And he’s like, “We can’t break any rules.” And since he was like the star student, Lana dubbed him the sex cop, like, “I’m going to give you a badge. You are the sex cop. It is your job to make sure that nobody breaks any rules tonight.” And then I was– that– this was the best part of the whole show, was nominating a sex cop. Because then he’s like going back and forth, he’s like, “Oh, a couple just went into the bedroom alone.” So he’s walking in like, “Hey guys! What’s going on?” Then you get these confessionals and they’re like, “Oh, that guy’s totally cock-blocking us.” It’s like, yes, he is the sex-cop. That is his job.

Courtney: This might be the only cop that is not a bastard. Because I like him. [laughs] I like him so much. Sex-cop. So, I kind of want to be the sex-cop. The perfect purple traffic cone on my head and walk around with those squirt bottles and a baseball bat. [laughs] So I thought that was hilarious. But even though he was the sex-cop, he’s being the sex-cop for all these different people. So the people who decide to shower together just, like, snuck right by him and he didn’t even know. And yeah, then occasionally, she’ll be like, “Oh, you two are gonna go on a date.” And sometimes it would be dates with people who weren’t kinda dating each other. It’s weird because it’s not really a dating show, but it kind of is. And so they’d have, like, a dinner on a beach, but it would be kind of within extended view of where everyone was staying. So there would be some people just, like, crossed arm, just like staring at this date from across the beach. And it’s like, this is so weird. It’s very, very weird.

Courtney: And the number of rules that people broke. It’s like, is it really that hard to not have sex? I really don’t think it is. But I guess you get all these, like, things online that are like, would you stop having sex for an entire year for a million dollars? And then people who are actually like, “Oh, that’s a really tough one.” Like is it? Is it really? Those are the situations where ace people look at this and they’re like, “Wow, we really are just an entirely different species, aren’t we?” [laughs] But yeah.

Courtney: And it was– So these, like, pseudo therapy things were also just very gross and weird. Because the first one was: let’s channel your sexual tension into something that’s more creative and more productive. But this manifested as these couples, like, getting paint, they’re like, “Okay, paint each other’s bodies.” Where you’re in, like, swimsuits, like, bikinis, swim trunks. And you have these couples painting each other. And then you just, like, writhe around on a canvas with your bodies.

Courtney: And so people are, like, painting each other’s butts and like, slowly paint– they are like, “Ah this is so sexy.” And she’s like, “Yeah, but channel that energy into making art! Not having sex.” It’s like, what are you doing? You’re intentionally riling them up. It’s so weird. It’s so weird. Like, this is not what therapy is. And these people didn’t even consent to this to begin with. This is so strange. But then they’d start inserting, like, new couples. They’d be like, “Ooh, two new sexy people are arriving, and I let them pick who they want to go on a date with.” So these people who are already coupled up, who are being told, “Don’t have sex with this person, but develop an emotional reaction– like a relationship with them,” get yoinked out of their couple and have a date with this brand new sexy person. And it’s like a test to see if they’ll stay loyal to the other person that they’ve only known for a couple of days, and didn’t even want to date monogamously to begin with.

Courtney: And then Lana gives these new people a free kiss. So at the end of the date they’re like, “You know, Lana gave me a free kiss. We can just kiss right now and it won’t cost us any money.” And like that’s the test. But then it’s like, what do these two new people do? Because now they’re coming in, and they’re trying to find someone to couple up with now. And they did that, like, twice. Just introducing new people. Very strange. And at a certain point, they gave them all, like, watches that could light up in different colors, and she’s like, “If I see a developing an emotional bond, I’ll give you the green light and you may kiss.” And it’s like, that’s also weird. Because now you have this purple drop talking traffic cone watching them on their dates, and as soon as she deems that they’ve developed an emotional bond, she’s like, “You may kiss now.” It’s so weird!

Courtney: But gosh. Yeah. And some of these workshops, one of them was just like, oh, here’s a punching bag, write a thing about yourself that you want to fight, something you don’t like. And so that was, like, fine. I didn’t see too many issues with that. But then they had, like, a guys-only and a girls-only workshop session. And man, it was weird. Because they sat the guys down and they gave them these weird-looking puppet things, and she’s like, “These are Yōnī.” And that’s the Punjabi word for vagina. I was like, do you speak that language? And– and they’re just weird looking things. Very, like, muppety. Like very– like they had a face, very exaggerated features. And like, I kid you not, one of the guys just started, like, humping his… And I was like, what is wrong with you? You’re the worst kind of person.

Courtney: But then the workshop, the whole thing, he points to someone, she’s like, “Where are you from?” He’s like, “Oh, I’m from Texas.” And she’s like, [aggressively] “Wrong! You’re from the Yōnī! You all come from Yōnīs!” And that was like, supposed to teach them how to respect and worship the Yōnī. And okay, that. But then the– the women, on their women-only workshop, were taught that if you have sex with a guy who has guilt, or grief, or anger, or any of these other emotions, that you absorb those emotions into your womb and it can stay there in your body for up to 50 years. And how you actually absorb the DNA of every man you’ve ever slept with and it becomes a part of your body, and therefore, you have to be selective about who you welcomed into your sacred womb space.

Royce: I did not expect to be here. [Courtney laughs] This was a surprising development.

Courtney: It was a horrifying development.

Royce: Yep.

Courtney: And all these women– I’m like, I don’t know if they actually believed that. Because they’re bringing in all these people to do these workshops, and they’re calling them experts in whatever field they’re in. I don’t know if these women actually legitimately all believed her when she was saying these things, or if they were just pretending to believe for the camera. Because everyone’s like, [whispering] “I did not know that. I didn’t know that all that bad energy from all the negative people I’ve slept with stays in my body for 50 years.” It’s like– what a horrible thing to tell someone. What a horrible thing to tell someone!

Royce: Particularly a lot of people who everyone knows have already had a lot of sex.

Courtney: Yes! Exactly! A lot of sex! And this whole thing was like, “You have to think about who you want to welcome into your sacred womb space.” And like a couple of the women who had been coupled up with these guys for like, I don’t know, four or five days at this point, it was under 10 – I think it was only like a 10 episode season – So, it’s like, you’ve known this person a week. And– and so this woman’s like, “This workshop really made me realize that after developing an emotional relationship with this guy, I am ready to welcome him into my sacred womb space.” Like, you already had sex with him and that cost you like 13,000 dollars!

Royce: This is like the progression of high school abstinence education. [Courtney laughs] This is the adult form.

Courtney: [laughs] It was so weird! Yeah, so it was just– It was something else, let me tell you. And yeah, I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like forcing monogamous romance on people who don’t want it and didn’t ask for it. I don’t like the armchair psychologist role that the producers are playing by picking these people and saying you have a problem, let’s fix that, as a premise, by doing all these very pseudo-scientific, like, workshops to try to help them. And it was very, very gross. I will not watch another episode of it. I wanted to finish the season just so I could talk about how it ended, because I was like, “Wow, how many times are they going to break the rules?” They ended up with a pot of like 89,000 dollars, down from 200,000 in the span of ten days. [laughs] And so that was quite something. I– I really can’t fathom it.

Courtney: But then the way they picked the winner seems so arbitrary too, because they didn’t pick the person who followed the rules the best. They picked people for the final who made the most progress. So the people who were actually up for the money in the last episode, they picked two couples basically, were people who in the first couple episodes were breaking most of the rules, losing most of the money, but then by the end of it were like, “I choose my partner instead of this new sexy person.” And so, it’s like, if you’ve seen the show before and you were on it, the real strategy is actually: be terrible right off the bat, and then play by their rules at the end. And I don’t know if anybody knew that, but eventually, it was basically like Lana chose two couples, and then everybody who wasn’t a part of those two couples got to vote on which got the money. So might have also potentially been a popularity contest, or which of those couples didn’t tick you off as much, and which one didn’t cheat on you earlier. Or like, I don’t know. It was so weird.

Courtney: But yeah to win 89,000 dollars split between two people when you started with 200,000, it’s like that’s so painful. That’s so painful! And the thing is too, coupling all these people up, they’re from all over the world. This wasn’t even just people in the US or in a single country. There were people from Hawaii, Michigan… I think there’s a woman from Peru. There were Europeans, Australians. Like they had people from all over the world, and it’s like, are you hoping that they stay a couple after this? Even the couple that won the money– that won the 89,000 dollars were like, “Man, I can’t get– I can’t wait to get out of here so we can have sex.” Like, oh my God… Like it’s a strange show.

Courtney: So, let’s talk about our final weird allo reality show, which has nothing to do with sex, but I still want to talk about it anyway because it was still infuriating. But was maybe the most entertaining for me as the viewer that I am. And that is Marriage Or Mortgage. There were only like 10 episodes of this. I don’t even think it’s getting renewed, but it should be called emotional manipulation in late-stage capitalism. Because– Oh boy! The premise is: there is a realtor and a wedding planner, and they are, like, fighting to see each individual couple that comes to them, whether or not they’ll buy a house or whether or not they’ll spend all their money on a lavish wedding. And those are the only two options. There can be only one. And so these couples come in, and they’re couples who are doing pretty good. Like they are all middle class, if not better. Because they’ve all got, like, enough money for a down payment on a good-sized house.

Courtney: They’re like, “I have– We have 30,000 dollars saved up, and we are pre-approved for a mortgage, and we want to get married.” So they’re like, “Should we put our 30,000 dollars on a down payment towards the house? Or should we spend all of that money on a wedding?” And so these hosts, this realtor and this wedding planner take this couple around one at a time, showing them what they can do if they choose a house and what they can have if they choose a wedding. And I liked the searching aspect of it. Like I liked– I’m not someone who likes shopping myself, but for big purchase decisions like this, I like watching other people shop.

Royce: You like the– the home shopping aspect of it. This– The seeing the houses and planning, decorating, and that sort of thing.

Courtney: Yeah, I– I did really like that. So I like seeing a couple shown, like, three different houses and saying, “This is what we want. This is the family we’re hoping for.” Do they have pets? Do they not? And having this realtor say, “Okay, here are three options.” And just hearing what they like about each, what they don’t like, what gets them emotional. I do like that component of it. And even to a certain extent – even though I vehemently disagree with spending 30,000 dollars on a marriage versus putting it on a down payment toward a house – I did used to work in the wedding industry, like I worked at two different bridal shops. I was part of, you know, helping shop for wedding dresses, helping plan a number of weddings. And I loved those jobs at the time I had them. So there’s even still a bit of, almost, a nostalgic component to see people, like, shop for wedding dresses.

Courtney: Even though I don’t really watch things like Say Yes to the Dress either, because I’ve tried it, and it’s like the reality show gets to me too much. I can’t do it for too long. But here, seeing the comparison, I thought was an interesting premise. Because here you get to see the bride shop for her wedding dress, but then the next day, she’s going with her fiance to see a house, and they’re thinking of their future together in this house. And I like seeing the comparison, because to me, I think the house is the obvious decision. Like, if you can buy a house, and you have tens of thousands of dollars saved up for a down payment, and the market is good, the rates are good, you found a house that is really good in the place where you want to live… That’s like, that’s long-term life planning. Like, once that money’s gone if you’re spending all of it, if you’ve resolved to spend all that money on a single day, how long is it going to take you to build that back up to be able to put a down payment on a house? When home ownership is something you’ve expressed interest in.

Courtney: It’s not for everyone. And certainly not everyone can afford it. But I should think, especially people who can’t afford to buy a house, seeing people make the decisions they made on here, is really wild. Because most people chose the wedding! Most of them did. I think there were only two people that, at the time of the decision, picked house. But the thing is, since they’re fighting back and forth, this realtor and this wedding planner, they’re like, “Nothing less than the dream. All your money is going to one or the other. We’re not going to do a modest wedding and get you a smaller starter home. No, no, no. All or Nothing. It’s either the dream house or the dream wedding.” So, they’re, like, learning about this couple and they’re learning about their traumas and their woes. And they’re using that to sink their teeth into them for their frickin sales pitches. And it’s disgusting! As someone who did use to – you know – work in a bridal shop, I am disgusted by the things that this wedding planner is doing.

Courtney: And even the realtor for that matter. Because so, for example, there was a woman whose dad had recently died, and the realtor found out, “Oh well, her dad really liked to cook. He had his own recipes for these things.” And one of the things she wanted was, like, a big nice kitchen so she could cook and recreate some of these recipes and stuff. But they also– they wanted to adopt children in the future. So they were like, “Oh well, we want a house that has a room so that, you know, when we adopt, they’ll have a nice place of their own.” And so, this realtor, like, stages every single house specifically only to suit these couples. She got her dad’s recipes, and framed them, and put them in the kitchen. And she’s like, “Imagine cooking your dead dad’s recipes right here. And imagine cooking those recipes for the kids you’re going to adopt.” And then they go into this children’s room that’s set up like a kid’s room, with toys and a kid’s bed, and on the wall there are these, like, really disgusting sayings about– I mean, I think they’re disgusting, they’re– they’re supposed to be emotional and happy. And it’s like, “Loved. Chosen. Adopted.” Like those– [sighs]

Courtney: We can’t turn this episode into all of my thoughts about adoption. We can’t. But it’s gross that that poster even exists, I think. Most adoption is done not in the best way. There are better ways. I think too many people that adopt kids have a bit of a savior complex. And I think that’s evident in things like this. And maybe we’ll do a future episode with more about that. I’ve spent a lot of time on adoptee Tik-Tok, friends. Actually, I spent a little time there and then did a lot of other research. I also have many friends who have been adopted who have a variety of opinions on the matter. So it’s not always as happy and kind as people like to talk about it.

Courtney: And, so, first of all, obviously these people are, like, crying. And then you have these, like, cutscenes with the realtor and the wedding planner who are like playfully fighting and bantering back and forth.

Courtney: And like, “I really think they’re going to pick the house because I put her dad’s recipes there, and she can really start to visualize it.” And then the wedding planner is like, “Oh well, wait till you see what I’ve got up my sleeve.”

Courtney: And then she takes the bride wedding dress shopping, which is almost always a very emotional thing, which is something I’ve observed first hand. Front row seats to this. Nearly every person I’ve ever put in a wedding dress will cry when it’s the dress that they’re going to pick. And part of that, I think, is socialized into us.

Royce: I was going to say, I think that I am definitely the odd one out in this show, because the entire premise of a wedding just does not make sense to me on any level.

Courtney: Mmm. Yeah. Well, we didn’t have one. [Royce agrees] We put a downpayment on a house instead. [laughs]

Royce: But– yeah.

Courtney: So that’s our bias.

Royce: But even in weddings that I’ve been present at for friends and family, and you know, throughout media representation of weddings – which there are so many – I have never understood the fascination with a wedding dress.

Courtney: It’s pageantry, it’s theater. And I eat that shit up. Like, I– I acknowledge that it is a performance, but I like that. So I totally also get where you’re coming from, where you’re like, what’s the reason? Because when you add the expense on top of it, it’s like 30,000 dollars on a single day… Oof, that’s– And these are not people who have that kind of money. These aren’t multi millionaires who aren’t going to miss that 30,000 dollars. These are people who have saved up this money, and will need to now spend several more years saving it up again. So it’s just weird.

Courtney: But yeah, then this, you know, wedding planner comes out and – while she’s in her dress that she picked, while she is crying already, while she’s saying, “I wish my Dad could see me in this dress,” she brings out– She’s like, “I made this for you so you can use it on your wedding day.” She pulls out this nice, like, lace handkerchief that’s embroidered with her dad’s name on it. And that’s the moment she gives it to her. [groans] That’s so gross!

Courtney: Like the extent of the emotional manipulation when I was selling wedding dresses was like, I think this is my dress, so it’s like, “Okay, let’s bring out the veil now. Let’s put the veil on your head.” Then once you put the veil on their head, after they think it’s their dress, then, like, flood works like, “Yes, this is it, I see it. This is– this is the whole vision, this is the fantasy.” But like, why are you doing this? It is so… It is emotional manipulation. Because now you’re getting their emotions so high and then you’re saying you can only pick one.

Royce: Which is why most of the couple’s went with the wedding and not the sound financial investment. [Courtney uhms] It wasn’t just, “Hey, we’re going to help you make your decisions.” Weren’t both sides trying to throw in things to monetarily incentivize picking their choice?

Courtney: Oh, yeah.

Royce: Like, if you did buy the house it wasn’t just, “Hey, we’ve helped you go through the realtor process.” Like you were getting extra stuff.

Courtney: Yes. Yeah. Because on– on decision day, like, they’d sat the couple downs, like, “All right. You already saw a few different houses. You already saw, you know, the venue you wanted, the dress you wanted, the food catering that you wanted.” All these bits and pieces that go into wedding planning, and they were working within budget for house and wedding. So, occasionally, there’d be something that they really want that even with their budget they’d be, like, “We can’t quite afford that.” Or it would be like a house that was right at the end of their budget but it didn’t come with appliances, so they’d have to buy their own appliances. But it was already at the highest end of theirs. So they’re like, “We can’t get the new appliances in this house.” So it’d be things like that. So they’re like making compromises and trying to make decisions. And you know, tweak things here and there.

Courtney: But then they sit them down on the last day, and then the realtor is like, “So, I have good news for you. I talked to the homeowners and they’re going to throw in an 8,000 dollar credit for you to get all new appliances.” And they’re like, “Ah! That was the only thing that we couldn’t have gotten that we wanted, that we needed!” And– But then, wedding planner would come in and be like, “I spoke to my friends at the catering, and they are going to give you half off of your alcohol. And they’re going to throw in these curtains that you wanted absolutely free.” And they’re like, “Oh, that’s everything we wanted.” Or you wanted a food truck at the end of the day, but you couldn’t afford the food truck. Well, guess what? I got you the food truck. And you know, all these things, or you know, “I really like this house but there’s no, you know, privacy around it, there is no fence or anything.” They’re like, “Well, guess what? We’re planting hedges for you.”

Courtney: So they– In the last minute when it’s time to make decisions, they’re like I got this cheaper, I got this for you for free. Oh yeah, well I got this for you for free. And they’re like fighting and going back and forth. So then this couple is like, “Wow, what a tough decision. This is our dream home. But at the same time this is our dream wedding.” And they almost all picked the wedding. And it kind of pained me. But even– even the one that picked the house – and I think this was the right decision – but it was again emotional manipulation through and through. Which, admittedly I think was easier for the– for the wedding. Because weddings are already just like high emotions. And everything that’s high emotion that comes with a house, there is like, “Okay well, I’m a homeowner.” That can be very emotional for some people, but there isn’t pageantry with it. There isn’t the whole, like, grand reveal. Getting dressed up to the nines, having that special moment in the photos. Like, it was very, like, life planning investment, place to live, or a memory. But a cherished memory that you’ll have forever.

Courtney: There was even a couple that had kids that brought their kids to look at houses. And these kids were, like, choosing out their rooms and everything, and they picked the wedding. And I was like, “Why did you bring your kids home shopping?!” Because their kids, like, share a bedroom, they don’t have their own rooms, and they were like, “If we get a house, you’re going to have your own rooms.” And they’re like, “No, we’re gonna do the wedding.” Then you shouldn’t have taken your kids house shopping with you! If this was ever going to be on the table. I thought that was very strange decision. And some people who turned down the house were like, “We’re in a cramped apartment that’s too small for us and doesn’t even have laundry.” And they’re like, “Okay. Well, here’s your dream home.” But they’re like, “Yeah, let’s do the wedding.” What are you doing?!

Courtney: So, one of the couples that did pick a house, they were very particular about things they wanted. They wanted to be close to her family, because he was actually about to be deployed. He’s in the military. And so they were like, “Well, we kind of want to get married before he goes, so that we, you know, are a married couple. We can have that moment and that memory before he leaves.” But he was also like, “I want to set her up in a house, so she can have her own house and have a place to be safe while I’m gone, and while I’m not here.” And her grandfather had just died, and her grandfather meant, like, everything to her. And so this wedding planner doesn’t even say, “Hey, this is a thing we can do.” She’s like, “Here’s what we can do to honor your grandfather at the ceremony.” And she pulls out a box, and opens it, and doves fly out of it.

Courtney: Like she staged the doves! Someone had to pay for those doves just to show her! She didn’t even just say, “Oh well, we could have doves fly out.” She’s like– she had to show her. And she’s crying and she’s like, “That would be beautiful to release doves for–” It’s like– That’s so gross. That’s so gross. But then they were very particular about things they wanted. And they wanted to be close to her family. Because she said, “Oh, my grandfather always said that, like, family is life’s greatest blessing,” or something. And she’s like, “So, I want to be close to family.” And the realtor couldn’t quite find everything to their specifications that was within the proximity to family they were looking for. So she found an empty plot of land that was, like, right around the corner from her family’s house, and brought them to this empty plot of land. And was like, “I want you to picture it. We’ve had, like, blueprints drawn up. We will build a house on this plot of land with everything that you wanted.” This, that, the other thing. And she’s like, “I know you can’t see the house. You can’t, you know, picture yourself in it, but we’ll make it to your specifications.”

Courtney: And– and then they were like, “Man, that would be really good. That is really close. We can get exactly what we want for all these things.” And then she, like, pulls down– she had, like, a stone engraved that was sitting there on the plot of land, and she’s like, “Just think of it. What did your grandfather always say?” As she bends down and, like, brushes some dirt off this rock. And this rock is engraved with: “Family is life’s greatest blessing.” And so she starts sobbing, she’s like, “You’re right! My grandpa would want me to be close to family, and want me to have this house where we can start our own family.” And I was like, this is so gross! Ow!

Courtney: But they did end up picking that house and it was beautiful. And it was lovely. And I think it was the right decision. But I don’t like the– the avenue to getting there.

Courtney: Because, like, yeah, some financial decisions are going to be emotional, but you– it’s not ethical to exploit that. And when it comes to something like a wedding– Like, there is a lot of expense to a wedding, if you’re going this big, and this lavish. But here’s the real kicker, most of those people who picked wedding had to either scale back, or postpone, or completely change everything anyway. Because this was right before the pandemic. So, their wedding was scheduled during lockdowns. And so they had to do, like, a small intimate ceremony with family instead. They’re still in their too small apartment without laundry, but they had a nice intimate wedding that they liked just as much. And it’s like, that was even more painful! Because that just really, really drives home the, like, okay, well, now you’re staying home a lot more than you used to and you don’t have your own house to do it in. You’re in a place that’s not ideal; a place that’s too small; a place that you had issues with that you wanted to move out of…

Royce: A place that you had to leave your apartment to go do communal laundry.

Courtney: Yes, and then you didn’t even get the wedding of your dreams anyway, because some of the things had to be changed so that you could get married at this time anyway. So that was– [sighs] The– the irony… It was really– I– It’s pretty weird how that all worked out. I bet everyone who picked house was really happy with their decisions by that point. But this was the show that did at least have, like, a couple of gay couples. I think there were two lesbian couples, who both picked wedding. One of them really surprised me. One of them was an older couple, and one of the wives was actually a, like, pastor at a local church that was, like, obviously really LGBT inclusive. Was sort of a community leader in her area. And they were currently living in a house that was one of the pair’s, like, house from a previous relationship. So there was like, bad blood and– and memories there, and everything.

Courtney: And they found a beautiful home for them, that had everything that they could have wanted. And I thought for sure, especially at– And I mean maybe this was silly to think, but I thought especially at their age. I think one of them had already been married before. If I remember right. They were at least in, like, a cohabitating relationship, if not outright married. But I know most of the older couples I know that have already been married before tend to forego the wedding thing later. At least the ones that I know. Or they majorly scale it back, or keep it small. But they were like, “No. We want this wedding to be big. We want this to be a symbol of gay love. We want all of our, like, queer community to come and be able to celebrate with us.” And so, I was– I was more okay with that, because I was like, yeah, okay. And I think they did have a more reasonable living situation than some of the other couples did. Some of them just, like, really hated the place they were at. But you know, most of the other decisions, I– It was kind of painful to watch. It really, really was.

Courtney: So yeah, I think those are all of the weird allo reality shows that I have watched lately. I watched them so you didn’t have to.

Royce: Which the last one not necessarily allo, but still even the very concept of the wedding and and the way that that goes is very structured, it’s very– Even if it isn’t heteronormative, it is still very nuclear family and monogamous, sort of the status quo that we live in.

Courtney: Well, and also just the– the tradition of a wedding.

Royce: Yes.

Courtney: But yeah, for as infuriating as it was, and for as kind of funny or sad – depending on how you look at it – that most of the people who chose ‘wedding’ didn’t get to have the wedding that they signed up for in the first place… I think that might be the only show of these ones that I would, like, gladly watch another season. [laughs] Just because that’s so much more up my alley, when it’s more of a financial situation, shopping with a lot of options. An already established couple that’s planning their own life and their own future. I find that a lot more interesting than the drama of relationship issues in these other shows. So I guess we personally, the two of us, we have our answer: mortgage over marriage. But Royce, is love truly blind?

Royce: I don’t like the nature of that question.

Courtney: [laughs] “I reject that question.” I guess I will be watching Love is Blind Sweden, whenever that comes out. I don’t know when it’s coming out, but it will eventually. I’ve also been watching Drag Race Sverige and love it. Absolutely love it. Very, very happy. Forever grateful to SVT and my VPN. But at any rate, that is all for today. So we will see you all next time.