My first major critique goes out to Netflix themselves. As the largest streaming platform in the world with over 150 million subscribers, the least you could do is promote your original content. I had no idea this show existed and if it wasn’t for a friend of mine on Twitter (@ShayeWylie) challenging me to a 5 minute viewing, I never would’ve given it a single look. Shaye watched the first 5 minutes and turned it off, she found it absolutely disgusting and not worth her time.

She assumed this would be the case for everyone, so when I started the first five minutes of the show, I was wholly expecting to be turned off by the sheer vapidness and rank stupidity that comes with all reality TV shows. 5 minutes in and I was intrigued by the premise: Gorgeous, young singles have to live on a tropical island with attractive strangers and they’re not allowed to have sex. Interesting. There’s an AI bot codenamed LANA, who watches their every move, and comedian Desiree Burch narrating the entire thing like an armchair referee and it is hysterical. Oh, and if they can make it the entire summer without having sex, they’ll win $100,000 but every time they kiss or go too far, money will be deducted from the pot. 

See, you’re intrigued too, aren’t you?

It is my personal opinion that reality TV has ruined television and American society altogether as a whole. Up until Real World and Road Rules were invented, MTV was probably my favorite channel of my childhood, which says a lot considering it was competing with Nickelodeon, but reality TV ruined everything good about MTV. So as someone who has religiously avoided every Bachelor and Bachelorette, every Love and Hip-Hop, and every single fake housewife in any city, I’m happy to say that this was just too much fun.

First off, I can understand why this show won’t land with a lot of people right off the bat. There’s absolutely no reason why any of these people should be here. They haven’t done anything. They’re not famous or talented or insightful or anything like that. In fact, one could argue they are only there because of looks, and the sheer fact that they could walk away with a large sum of money for just being attractive can be a viscerally upsetting feeling. And especially in a time of lock down and economic uncertainty, you probably don’t want to see a bunch of kids living it up on a tropical island while you’re stuck at home. So at the very least…bad timing, Netflix. 

Now to be fair, the first few episodes are going to be tough to get through. If you’ve reached a certain age and understanding in life, the cast of characters will come across as the most self-entitled group of Gen Z snobs you’ll ever meet, and you might wish nothing but bad things upon them. This is true. And that feeling never really goes away for some of them, but as the season progresses, and real genuine relationships are fostered, both plutonic and physical, many of the characters begin to embody characteristics that we all have. 

Take Kelz. Now, if I had a body like Kelz, nothing could bother me. And clearly, nothing does. Except when people keep losing money from the pot. If you mess with my money, it’s going to put me in a foul mood. This happened to Kelz a lot as the other guests kept blowing his cut to smithereens 3 grand at a time. 

Or even Chloe, who is adorably daft to put it lightly. Her unmistakable cluelessness will be off putting in the first few episodes, but she’s got a grit and determination about her that eventually becomes irresistible, so much so, that you end up wanting the best for her.

But the clear standouts for me were Rhonda and Sharron. Instant chemistry from the beginning and they become the standout couple of the series by far. They avoid the trappings of meaningless hookups, confront their personality flaws and exemplify the true purpose of the show. It’s probably a guaranteed possibility that they didn’t make it past the summer, but for the show itself, it was nice to see them succeed. Now all we need is that reunion special, dammit!

Too Hot to Handle sucked me in because it combined two things that are fairly enjoyable: Competition and sex.  If you share those interests, you’ll definitely like this show. But also, after awhile, you begin to place yourself in their situation, and you ask yourself, “What would I do if I was on an isolated island with 9 of the most attractive people I’ve ever met and I’m not allowed to do anything with them, and if I don’t, I’m guaranteed to walk away with $100,000?”

I know my answer. I’d spend 30 days avoiding everyone like they were the Coronavirus itself. Not only would we not sleep together, we wouldn’t even speak. Unless it was to say, “Nuh uh, you ain’t messing up my money. You gon’ get from round here, now. GET!”

But still, watching 10 oversexed singles party to their hearts content, laugh, drink, be merry, and fall in love…isn’t that what its all about? Isn’t that what we all want?

I mean, yeah sure, we’d also like to do all that on a tropical island and come away $100,000 richer, but still, the end result is the same.

Too Hot to Handle is a laugh a minute series with some hilarious gags by Desiree Burch, who should definitely narrate all reality TV shows from now on. (I’m serious, she’s gold.) And maybe I’m secretly hoping this gets the green light for a second season. I could totally get behind this one reality TV concept. But I still don’t think Netflix would promote it.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

I love movies , gosh I love movies.