"Love Is Blind" is in its flop era. The fifth season of the Netflix dating series hasn't even finished airing, and I'm prepared to declare it the worst instalment yet. The couples aren't worth rooting for, the gratuitous drama is at an all-time high, several contestants have exhibited problematic behaviour, and one key ingredient is missing amid all the chaos: actual romantic chemistry.
This season is a lot to unpack, so let's start by first dissecting the couples, shall we? In the pods, we see three pairs get engaged — Stacy and Izzy, Lydia and Milton, and Taylor and JP — which is half the amount who typically get engaged. That number gets reduced even more when Taylor and JP call it quits in Mexico, leaving just two sets of fiancés heading to the altar.
As each situation stands now, it's hard to imagine either couple following through and saying "I do." The only thing Lydia and Milton have in common is a love for rocks, and they spend more time insulting each other or making out than they do discussing their future together. Stacy and Izzy's most in-depth conversation, meanwhile, revolved around paper plates and Solo cups. Everyone's chemistry feels forced for the cameras. How are we supposed to get on board with these couples if they haven't exhibited any signs of a genuine connection like that of season one's Lauren and Cameron or season four's Tiffany and Brett?
In lieu of love, the season zeroes in on unnecessary drama.
In lieu of love, the season zeroes in on unnecessary drama. Most prominently, there's the whole Uche-Aaliyah-Lydia situation, which eats up far too much screen time. Sure, it's an effective plot twist no one saw coming, but it ended up detracting from the experiment at hand and making me question the show's casting process. Plus, we're stuck with four whole episodes set in the pods, which is one to two more than usual; it feels like the producers had no choice but to drag out the Uche love triangle, Johnie's indecision between Izzy and Chris, and Aaliyah and Lydia's shady "friendship" because only two couples come out on the other side.
"Love Is Blind" has had its fair share of villains in the past, but nearly every season five contestant is a walking red flag. There's JP, whose unasked-for opinions on makeup left many viewers fuming. Lydia may or may not have followed Uche onto the show and forges a suspicious bond with Aaliyah. Uche berates Aaliyah from his self-made pedestal — first, about cheating (even though he admitted to also cheating in the past), and second, about her leaving the show (even though his dishonesty was partly to blame). And don't even get me started about Izzy bullying Johnie to tears or Stacy's materialistic, classist tendencies.
Judging by recent "Love Is Blind" casting calls taking place in four new cities, there are quite a few more seasons in the pipeline. Moving forward, I sincerely hope the show does a better job at vetting cast members and focusing on their present relationships to get back to the heart of the experiment. No more clout chasers, no more creepy shots of shower makeouts, no more narcissistic misogynists, no more confrontations for the sake of confrontation, and for the love of god, please no more live reunions.