Look, I’m going to be honest - I’m not a huge fan of dating shows.
It’s not because I don’t enjoy them. I have spent countless hours watching some of the best dating shows on Netflix or in general. I have viewed many episodes of some of the most cringeworthy episodes of The Bachelor. I have seen the literal worst behavior in people who, supposedly, just want to get a date - which is why I tend to try and stay away from them pretty often and stick to other shows that come out on the 2022 TV schedule.
However, there is one dating show on Netflix that I believe you should watch, especially if the romance aspect of a dating show is something you enjoy the most, and that is Love on the Spectrum U.S. While the show is a spinoff of an Australian series of the same name, this Netflix original series will be unlike any dating show you have ever seen before. Here are four reasons why.
Love On The Spectrum Focuses More On Connection Rather Than Physical Attraction
I know the whole point of dating shows half the time is to show just how hot people are. There are dating shows that are quite literally focused all around the physical attraction of people - looking at you, Too Hot to Handle. Those are entertaining in their own right for the sheer stupidity of some of the stuff that we witness, Love on the Spectrum is just so different in the best way, because it doesn’t focus on the physical aspects of attraction.
While that’s obviously a part of the process - because usually you’re not with someone if you aren’t at least a little physically attracted to them - Love on the Spectrum instead dives deeper into the emotional connection that people form with each other rather than the physical attraction that comes. It’s more about how you vibe with the person and less about the way they dress or look.
Other shows have tried to do this - most prominently, Love is Blind, another dating show I tend to like more than others - but Love on the Spectrum really does it the best, because we see the true love and emotions behind every single pairing.
The Participants Are All Unique
With a show called Love on the Spectrum, there might be a little bit of concern for those who don’t know exactly how the show works. As someone who is related to people on the autism spectrum who's seen the stereotypes that are perpetuated in the media pretty consistently for autistic people, I was nervous to see if this show was going to be like that, and I was gladly mistaken.
This show is cast so authentically that it’s the perfect representation of people on the spectrum. There isn’t a single moment where I’ve watched this series and thought that the creators crossed a line and stepped a little too far into the stereotypes that have rocked the autism community, but every single participant in this show is so beautifully unique in their own way and a wonderful conglomeration of just how wide the autism spectrum is.
Many of these people, when you first look at them, you’d never think in a million years that they would have ASD, just based off of their mannerisms. But Love on the Spectrum does such a wonderful job of showing us, as the viewers, how they are affected by their disorder and how they live their daily lives, truly showing the different issues that each of these participants face. It’s seriously amazingly done.
Love On The Spectrum Actually Cares About The Relationships Of Its Participants
Something that I’ve seen in many dating shows over the last several years is that there will always be some sort of drama that feels thrown in there for the sake of drawing in viewers. Dating shows always do this, no matter the show's premise, and if they don't cast for drama on purpose, they certainly let it happen after the fact.
Let’s look at an example - the other show I brought up earlier, Love is Blind. The point of the show is to fall in love with someone’s personality, and not their looks, but the producers allowed Shake (in Season 2 of Love is Blind) - who was very much focused on the physical aspect of the relationship - to continue as a participant. That seems like blatantly milking drama on the show, drama that didn’t need to happen, all so that the reunion could be crazy.
But, with Love on the Spectrum, there is no need for that, because the creators genuinely care about the participants and their relationships. They want them to succeed so badly in every way, shape and form from the very first episode. There isn’t a moment in either season of this show where I’ve looked at the television and thought “this is blatantly put in there just for drama.” Nothing feels too dramatic - it’s just pure adoration and love, and that’s something I can get behind.
The Relationships Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
I’m going to get real here for a second. This world is not the best at times, and there are just certain shows that we need to make our lives seem better and to bring a smile to our faces.
Dating shows, in general, can frequently perpetuate this idea that physical attraction is really what you should be focusing on when it comes to a relationship. Dating apps that inspire hookup culture can further push that ideal on Gen Z, my generation (and other generations, in many cases).
I have been so sick of that for so long, and for some time, I almost lost my faith in humanity when it came to just pure love and dating.
But nope, Love on the Spectrum renewed it with a vigor and so much more. These couples just love each other, and I don’t mean just puppy dog, honeymoon type of love. I mean they get each other on an emotional and physical level that I would expect most relationships to be like, and it just makes me smile so much.
While Love on the Spectrum is over for now, I can at least inform other people about this show that truly stole my heart and refuses to give it back. But, damn, I don’t even want it back, as this series truly made me happy and want to believe in the idea of true love once more. For those that might be struggling with the same ideas, I’d highly suggest you go check this series out on Netflix right now. You won’t regret it. If you like it, be sure to watch the Australian version of the show, as well.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!