Netflix's The Ultimatum: 4 Things I Felt Watching Season 1, And 2 Things I Want From Season 2

rae looking sad in the ultimatum on netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s no secret that many people love bingeable reality shows, and that tends to be even more true when it comes to watching sexy singles find love. There are now several dating shows on Netflix that have really taken the internet by storm, with the creators of the hit, Love Is Blind, now bringing the first season of The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On to the 2022 TV schedule. And, viewers have been eating up all of the drama, tears, arguments, lies, and outright poor decisions since the show debuted as one of the exciting Netflix releases for April.

I made several predictions about The Ultimatum finale and reunion, both of which have aired on Netflix now, and not only did neither disappoint, with some major reveals and big Ultimatum reunion moments, but the season as a whole left me with some very deep emotions. We already know that the series will have another season, so I’d like to take the time to talk about both how I felt while watching The Ultimatum Season 1, and what I’d like to see in Season 2. Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead for the events of the first season, so, consider yourself warned!

nate upset in the ultimatum season 1 on netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Things I Felt Watching The Ultimatum Season 1


OK, I’m going to cop to this right up front. Despite the fact that I watched the entire first, kiss-filled season and did become rather engrossed in it, I do find the whole premise so confusing. As is implied by the full title of the series, the main reason people issued ultimatums to their partner was because they were ready to marry, while their boyfriend/girlfriend wasn’t (with also being ready for kids as the second reason). If you want marriage, and the person you’re dating doesn’t, do you really only want them to marry you because you forced them into it?

Also, let’s not forget that there were people who issued this ultimatum, pushed their partner to do the show, and then either became angry when they embraced the process (I’m looking at you Shanique!) or somewhat despondent (Poor April!).

Something else that confused me? How simply breaking up, swapping partners, and living with the new person would solidify any decisions on its own. But, I’ll get into that more later!


Ooooooo BOY! Were there ever some moments of The Ultimatum that chafed my gummy bears, y’all! From the first episode through the reunion, just when I thought I was used to the cast members and their wide variety of… not great behavior and poor decision making, something new would pop up to piss me off. While I was immediately annoyed by Alexis making her financial priorities such a big deal and by Nate talking about having kids like his time to do so must surely be running out, that was just the tip of a very infuriating iceberg.

Were you, too, angered when Shanique forced this whole experience on Randall, and then got super mad when he (clearly) liked his time with Madlyn? Shanique literally told him to “go sit in a corner and miss me”! How about when Zay dared to ask Rae if being heard by him was a “non-negotiable” for her? Uh, yeah, dude. Your girlfriend will need you to freakin’ listen to what she says! What about when Colby cheated on Madlyn with someone other than his trial wife and honestly tried to convince her that it was all her idea? 

Excuse me while I go scream into a large pillow and then take a brisk walk on behalf of everyone who was wronged during the course of The Ultimatum


I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more tricked by the participants of a reality show. After watching the first few episodes, I was able to put aside my many misgivings about the whole situation because I saw several people who really seemed like good folks, but were taking an odd path toward solidifying their relationships. Unfortunately, by the time everyone had reunited with the romantic partner they arrived with and we headed into the finale, I had been proven dead wrong on several counts. 

Colby was really a big one for me. While he did finally apologize to Madlyn for both cheating and trying to make it seem like it was her fault, we spent a lot of time with him just being manipulative and the worst to her. But, at the start of the show, he appeared to be genuine and forthright (like when he turned Alexis down), while still being as kind as possible. Such a big turnaround. 

Rae and Jake really shined together even before they entered their trial marriage, and he seemed like such a nice guy while with her. But, after Jake was forced to go back and live with April (whom he’d arrived with), his nasty side really came out in full force. It was obvious he didn’t want to be with her any more, but he didn’t treat April with nearly enough respect upon realizing it.


I am now a woman of a slightly advanced age, OK? And, I cannot imagine putting up with roughly 80% of what so many of the people on The Ultimatum endured. My guess is that my age does have something to do with that, but I will also get into this more in a bit. 

nick and vanessa lachey in the ultimatum season 1 on netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Things I’d Like To See In The Ultimatum Season 2

Older participants

And, here we are, talking about age again! I understand that shows of a dating variety tend to be a young person’s game, but if we could get some older people to participate in The Ultimatum Season 2 I would love it. I’d like to see folks with some more life/long term relationship experience (cast members in their thirties or forties, I’d say) go through this process to see how they handle it. 

Do they manage to stick up for themselves better, while still doing it in an understandable and respectful way? Are they better at getting their grievances across to a partner? Will the stakes be higher when it comes to making their relationships work because they’ve been together for more than two years (which is roughly how long most of the young couples on Season 1 had been with each other)? I’m genuinely intrigued to find out!

Counseling sessions 

So, this might be my biggest pet peeve with the first season. As a refresher, the couples arrive with one person in each pairing having issued an ultimatum to the other. They then breakup, swap partners, and live with that new person in a “trial marriage” for three weeks, before going back to their original partner and living with them in a “trial marriage” for another three weeks. But, at no point in time do the participants get any help in figuring out their issues!

Everyone has to just muddle through on their own, and while it seems to have basically worked out, I think this would be even more of a true learning experience if every couple (the new ones and the original ones) had to do at least a couple of sessions with an actual relationship counselor. I mean, these are people who are, ostensibly, trying to make their romances work, even if they don’t want to get married or have kids right away. I don’t see anything wrong with the show taking real steps to help them figure out their (individual and couple) issues so they can see the way forward with a bit more clarity.

As I mentioned above, The Ultimatum Season 2 will be along at some point on Netflix, and it’s already been announced that the cast is going to be all queer and mostly made up of women. I have no idea how this will change what we see on the show compared to Season 1, but I’ll be waiting to see what happens!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.