Reality TV has always had its place, but it feels like it’s in its prime, especially when it comes to dating reality shows. Over time, the subgenre has reinvented itself, with new models like “Love Is Blind” and “Too Hot To Handle” showing different approaches to building a lasting connection. The former tries to prove that looks don’t matter and that what matters is the connection you make that will determine the success of a relationship. The latter takes really attractive people and stops them from dating each other in the hopes that they will make real connections. Those two — plus series like The Bachelor, 90 Day Fiancé, and Love Island — are fantastic. They bring a little drama into our lives by watching the story of complete strangers who fall in love over and over again. While dating shows have worked, they’ve also become monotonous.
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By the recent shows mentioned, the formula had become monotonous and predictable. Many of them have the same recipe: a man dates several women and chooses a winner or vice versa. It doesn’t reflect at all the advanced society that we currently live in for the most part. Dating is no longer black and white. And as entertaining as it may be, the reality dating world lacks a massive community of people. That’s where Love Trip: Paris comes in, and holy crepe, it’s succulent, addictive, and immersive.
A breath of fresh Parisian air image via Freeform
Love Trip: Paris is a freeform original that also streams on Hulu. The plot is about four American women who travel across the pond to meet French suitors. Reality TV has always been criticized for a lack of diversity in terms of sexuality, race and gender expression. Love Trip: Paris breaks down those barriers. It is a fundamental story about a group of singles living together in a house that is reminiscent of the real world and completely subverts all expectations by not adhering to strict heteronormativity. Three of the four women on the show are queer, and the suitors—as well as the love seekers—are of diverse backgrounds and races.
Many in the queer community are desperate for depictions of love and relationships in popular media and have difficulty finding them. In an interview with ABC News, as reported by GMA, one of the cast members, Josielyn Aguilera, expressed hope that the show would set new standards in the future of reality dating shows. “I hope this really breaks the glass ceiling that makes other shows like this exist,” she said. “I’m hoping that really breaks that down and we see more LGBT people falling in love and more people of color falling in love — more people just falling in love in general.”
An integrative and diverse show that could set a new trend through Freeform
A show so open to inclusivity and diversity for all can allow performers to shine and be themselves, making it easier to fall in love with yourself and those you love in the hopes of a true love court connection. The show features an elimination each week, with the four women deciding who stays and who goes. A new applicant is added each week to provide variety. The applicants include lesbians, bisexual men, bisexual women and people of color to ensure that everyone has a chance at love and may even discover something they weren’t sure they’d like.
Audiences see a diverse cast with sexual and racist depictions not typically seen on a dating show, and it’s refreshing to say the least. This could be the start of more shows bridging that gap and showing that society has progressed towards representation and acceptance, and it seems like it has.
Netflix has announced that The Ultimatum: Queer Love will debut on the streaming platform on May 24th. Season two will star five LGBTQ+ couples trying to figure out if their relationship will last forever or just for a moment. Queer Love is the second part of reality dating show The Ultimatum and the first to focus exclusively on LGBTQ+. The premise of the show is that half of the couple is ready for marriage and settling in, while the other half isn’t quite there yet.
Queer Love and Love Trip: Paris are exciting developments for the queer community as performance is the entire foundation of the show. Careful efforts are made to include all letters of the LGBTQ+ alphabet family, which opens the door for other broadcasts. While there have been other reality shows that have featured a queer contestant or two, it always seems like an afterthought or a way to invoke drama. All in all, there’s more room for LGBTQ+-friendly shows, and reality TV fans can’t wait to see more shows like Love Trip: Paris pop up.