Welcome to Reality AF, where each week Terry Terrones checks in on the state of reality TV.
“How do you spell Cole? So not like the ‘coal’ like Santa?”
“This is a deal breaker. Do you like the Jonas Brothers?”
And with those two absurd quotes from two different singles, I was hooked on yet another season of Love Is Blind, a reality relationship series that takes the word “cringe” to an entirely new level.
The Nick and Vanessa Lachey-hosted Netflix series is back for a third season, this time set in Dallas, and it’s crazier than ever. While the formula remains the same (chat via pods for 10 days, propose, meet your fiancé, get married four weeks later, drink from golden goblets) the players have all changed—and what an oddball group of characters they are.
The first four episodes of the 12 episode season, which follows the lives of 15 single men and 15 single women, dropped today, and to get a jump on the fun I dove into a pod and devoured all four early. The initial episodes are funny, awkward, and full of meme-worthy quotes. Here’s a spoiler-loaded preview/review for Love Is Blind Season 3.
Alexa the Sailor (29, insurance agency owner): Confident and curvy, Alexa doesn’t shy away from what she wants. A straight shooter with a fascinating backstory, Alexa has a good sense of humor and dives into this experiment head first. She also drops f-bombs like a sailor, which I always appreciate.
Zanab the Survivor (31, flight attendant): Zanab lost her dad at 13 and her mother at 18. That kind of childhood has made her grow up fast so in many ways she’s more mature than most of the singles. The independent flight attendant is not just stunning but intelligent and immensely likable.
Cole the Dudebro (26, realtor/flipper): Cole is this season’s Shayne but with an 80 IQ instead of a 70. He knows he’s good looking, he’s kind of charming, and is a bit of a dufus. Cole makes for good TV and is entertaining (unlike Shayne) but like his predecessor is not relationship material. However, his lack of a filter and a dorky sense of humor makes him fun to watch.
SK, AKA the Adult in the Room (34, data engineer): SK comes from Nigeria and has made a fine career for himself in the US but his life hasn’t been easy. He comes from a polygamist family but that’s not what he’s looking for. Thoughtful and kind, SK will be a fan favorite but should have probably gone a more traditional route to find love.
Raven the Fitness Queen (29, pilates instructor): Raven likes to get a workout in while people pour their hearts out. Jumping jacks, crunches, resistant training, you name it. Nothing says you’re paying attention while people give deep soliloquies like getting your steps in and breaking a sweat. Raven turns the tables on Bartise, dumping him in the middle of him dumping her, a gamey move. She can also be judgmental.
Andrew the Sexual Kung Fu Master (29, consultant): Andrew is THE WORST. He’s constantly talking about himself in the most pretentious way possible (“I’ve climbed 70-story skyscrapers and climbed 71 stories of a crane ladder and watched the sunset above the New York skyline.”), casually talks about unique or crazy experiences (his time in “the bush” with leopards and lions or the 41-year-old woman in Bali who taught him about orgasmic pleasure), and is just smart enough to sound intellectual and confident. However, every word Andrew utters sounds like the world’s worst humblebrag. While it is possible he has done all the things he claims, his radio voice and pompous demeanor make him seem like a blowhard. Even the way he holds his goblet is asinine. Thankfully Nancy dismisses Andrew’s poo poo platter and he shows his true colors at the start of episode three when he fake cries.
Colleen the Shallow Ballet Dancer (26, ballet dancer): Colleen thinks her profession makes her appealing but she lacks depth and an ability to read the room. She seems certain Brennon is her guy but when he tells her he’s interested in someone else, she cries then moves on to Cole. She thinks Cole’s her guy but when he asks her to go deep with their conversation her reply is, “I don’t want to say I’m shallow or anything but I like to keep things surface level and fun because that’s who I am.” Clearly wife material yet dumped by Cole, Colleen eventually finds the third love of her life, Matt (28, private charter sales), all while wearing clear heels.
“I would be a great mom to like, 10 kids. My ovaries are dancing.” – Nancy is clearly ready for some children.
“I actually saw a UFO as a child.” – Nancy NOT describing a scene from Resident Alien.
“And when we’re old, yeah, you’re going to be wiping my ass.” – Nancy on the age difference between her and Bartise.
“Life throws… shit in your face.” – Matt needs to find a new line of work and maybe a therapist.
“I’m a ballet dancer.” – Colleen, approximately 389 times.
“I’m going to pump a couple of kids in you.” – Bartise when Nancy says for the second time that she wants 10 kids.
“How do you spell Cole? So not like the ‘coal’ like Santa?” – Colleen letting viewers know she doesn’t know about homonyms.
“This is a deal breaker, do you like the Jonas Brothers?” – Cole showing his depth.
“Who would win in a fight, a bear or a gorilla?” – Cole, asking the important questions.
“She has bigger boobs than I expected. That was a good surprise.” – Cole on how Zanab exceeded his expectations.
“I never thought I could care for someone that would bring me to tears.” – Andrew “in tears’’ after applying eye drops twice to make it look like he was crying.
“The thought of proposing to somebody in 10 days is still, to me, like crazy.” – Brennon in Episode 1. He gets engaged 14 minutes later.
Best couple (so far)
Of this season’s five couples, Brennon and Alexa are the least dramatic after four episodes. They seem happy, attracted to each other, and laugh a lot. That doesn’t mean there won’t be issues. Brennon seems much more into Alexa than she is into him. That could lead to problems if they can’t balance things out.
Worst couple (so far)
There’s more red flags with Raven and SK than you’d see at a flag store. SK’s much too cerebral for Raven, who seems to be annoyed with everything he does. These two are doomed.
This season’s villain
It’s a bit early and you don’t see him in Episode 4, but it’s definitely Andrew. Did I mention he’s THE WORST? We’ll have to wait and see which half of the married couples becomes the villain later because we all know that’s inevitable.
This season’s single who picked terribly and we’ll all feel bad for them sooner than later
There’s a lot to love about Nancy (31), who’s either a speech therapist or real estate investor depending on where you get your information. She’s fun-loving, family oriented, and looks like Salma Hayek. And to be fair, things start out well for her and Bartise. However, Bartise’s immaturity and inexperience comes out at the end of episode four when he spills the beans on how he was deciding between Nancy and Raven and how after seeing her he’s reminded of old feelings. A preview for the rest of the season makes it look like the two split and Andrew (Who is THE WORST!) gets another shot at Nancy. I’m hoping this is just clever editing.
The singles that should have picked each other but didn’t
Time to reshuffle the deck. I’d leave Alexa and Brennon alone, they seem fine. Same with Matt and Colleen… maybe. The rest of the couples should be rematched. Zanab and SK make more sense together. They’re both bright, mature, and thoughtful. A better fit for Raven is Bartise. He has the energy she’s looking for and is more playful. This leaves Nancy with Cole, a better fit because their personalities are more closely aligned.
Terry Terrones is a Television Critics Association and Critics Choice Association member, licensed drone pilot, and aspiring hand model. When he’s not laughing at Andrew for showing his true colors, you can find him hiking in the mountains of Colorado. You can follow him on Twitter @terryterrones.
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