Top dating reality tv shows

They were diverse in geographic and racial background but uniformly young, brash, attractive, and heterosexual.

“Welcome to the most ambitious matchmaking experiment ever attempted,” then-host Ryan Devlin told the starry-eyed singles.

Each of the 16 cast members in its eighth season is, in the show’s preferred parlance, “sexually fluid.” There are eight pairs of perfect matches, but the contestants (and viewers) cannot assume they’ll fall along heteronormative lines.

In a highlight clip that finds the cast explaining why their season—and representation of queer people on television—is so important, one member offered a straightforward assessment: “If you have a reality TV show that includes the entire spectrum of, like, racial, sexual, and gender identities, you’re gonna have a really interesting show!

Like the hyper-branded festivities it coincided with, the show is a fascinating tonal mashup: The episodes that have aired thus far weave lessons about sexuality and gender (and the politics of dating while queer) into every element of the show.

This new installment, though, serves a multi-layered purpose.

For heterosexual audiences, it’s didacticism wrapped in an alcohol-soaked reality-TV bow, while for LGBTQ viewers, it’s an opportunity to be seen—for better or worse—more intimately than many dating shows have previously allowed.

Many of these shows weren’t explicitly dating-focused ( and applied an ethically dubious twist: The gay leading man, James, and his heterosexual best friend, Andra, initially had no idea that the mix of suitors competing for James’s heart on national television included both gay and straight men.

When it was revealed to them, midway through production, their objective shifted from a putatively romantic pursuit to guessing which men had been tricking James all along.presented this as an intriguing plot development, but the show replicated the kind of dangerous guesswork queer people must undertake each day—for gay men like James, incorrectly identifying another man as gay could lead to consequences far more dire than losing a game show.

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“This show’s the perfect experience because it’s really gonna help me figure out ” she mused in one of the intro sequences.

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