What’s up with “Too Hot to Handle”?


Contestants Chloe Veitch (left) and David Birtwistle (right) having a romantic date with chocolate covered strawberries.

A show called “Too Hot to Handle” has been one of the top popular shows on Netflix since its release on April 17. At a first glance, it seems like your typical chick flick tv show such as the Bachelors, but its hilarity can appeal to both men and women. The show consists of 10 attractive people, half men and half women, who go to an island resort in order to learn how to develop emotional connections versus physical ones. Everyone starts out with $100,000 dollars, but money is deducted if any of the people have any physical contact with another. 

The show consists of eight episodes, where some people eventually leave and some new people are added. They also spice it up every couple of episodes by introducing a learning workshop for the group to learn more about each other. Based on all the different activities and events, I found the show pretty entertaining and would rate it a 8.5 out of 10. 

At first, I got the hunch this show was going to be another typical drama reality show, where the actors are asked to exaggerate their reactions, or there was going to be too much narrator buildup only to be underwhelmed. But, it turned out to be pretty funny trying to see everyone resist one another. I also questioned how it could be so hard for people to form an emotional bond, but I suppose if anyone were model-like and relied on their looks to meet others, it makes sense. 

Is there drama? Most definitely. But it seems pretty authentic and reminds me of typical high school woes of love, such as “Does he like me back?” or “Is there a spark?.” There are contestants who think they’re into the person, but then decide they aren’t; there are contestants who are torn between which person they have stronger feelings for. 

As the contestants stay at the resort for a month, they are guided by a virtual speaking assistant like Alexa, except her name is Lana. Lana, along with the narrator make funny puns as the contestants speak of their thoughts at the experience. For instance, one of the first dates includes chocolate covered strawberries, and the narrator says a pun like, “How berry fun.” 

A question I always wondered since episode one is, if the individuals form a genuine relationship, how are they going to work it out if most of them come from different parts of the world? After I finished the last episode, I did some searching and found that some of the relationships have fortunately lasted. Most of the lasting couples made the effort to meet their significant other in their homeland, while others have stayed in touch through the internet. Some relationships turned rocky, and some have sprouted after the show. An update as to where they are after the show can be found in this CNN article. Since the show’s release, it has also caused a great uptick in the contestants’ Instagram followers.

A picture of contestant Matthew Smith after the “Warrior of the Heart” workshop. Credit: Netflix

My favorite scene was when the guys had to do a workshop of self-empowerment and group bonding by smearing mud on each other’s body as a sign of self-respect. The workshop was called “Warrior of the Heart” and all the guys were grouped in pairs, and started by putting mud on each others’ hearts. Although they were reluctant, they eventually caved in and owned it. It’s amusing how the funky workshops brought them more together as a group.  

This show may not appeal to everyone, but it was a nice change from all the other popular rewatches I had on Netflix. There were times where I did fast forward some parts, but it was worthwhile to get invested in the show and finish it. A second season has yet to be confirmed, but there’s already a growing fan base for this new reality TV show.