This article will discuss the first nine episodes. Love is blind Season 2: Details
It took two years of waiting out the pandemic, but Netflix’s most addictive, frustrating, and occasionally moving dating show finally returned this month for a second season. Despite Love is blind season 2 wasn’t quite as compelling as the 2020 debut—which charmed viewers with the still-flourishing love that blossomed between Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton—it has still offered plenty to discuss. Why didn’t any of the more conventionally appealing singles make it to the pods. How much manipulation did the producers have to do to make the Kyle-Shaina-Shayne love triangle a carbon copy of season 1’s Mark-Jessica-Barnett fiasco? Is Shayne okay? A pair of sailor suits will be available for the final due to drop February 25, TIME writers weigh in the season’s highlights (and low points) and predict who—if anyone—will say “I do.”
There were no Cameron-and-Lauren-style perfect couples this year, but who was the best or most compelling duo?
Judy Berman Unlike the first season, which immediately got everyone I know hooked on Cameron and Lauren’s incredibly sweet though not uncomplicated relationship, season 2 had me rooting for different couples at different times. I loved Danielle and Nick at first. They made such an instant and deep emotional connection. He was patient with her overthinking and insecure. Saintly. Then, after pegging Shayne as a player in the pods, I came around to his and Natalie’s goofy, opposites-attract romance. They seemed to have a genuinely fun time together, and the scenes where each meets the other’s family—and the two moms meet each other—had me tearing up.
But by episode 9, Danielle and Nick were bickering too much about stupid stuff, and Shayne’s emotional outbursts were making me doubt that he was ready to dive into a lifelong relationship so soon after his father’s death. So, going into the finale, I’m backing Jarrette and Iyanna. They seem to have started off with a miserly start. Jarrette proposed to Mallory in pods. However, their relationship seems to be developing and I’m able to see that they are now flirty. You can see that they are two regular, kind people ready to settle down, build a family, and have chemistry.
Eliana Dockterman:None of these couples made me feel compelled to do so this season. This could be due to casting. The casts in first seasons of reality TV shows—when the contestants don’t yet quite know what’s in store for them or how to game the system—tend to be better than those in the second. But this also may be a quirk of COVID: I suspect the cameras didn’t have as much access to the couples this season. Again and again, we saw an argument we’re told occurred the night before rehashed onscreen for the benefit of the camera.
It may be why Judy was acting in such inconsistent ways. Deepti and Shake also puzzled me. Deepti and Shake were immediately attracted when they first saw each other. He literally grasped Deepti’s butt and held onto it for dear life. It didn’t track that his admission of being not attracted to her physically a mere seven days later. (Nor did it track based on objective reality: She’s beautiful!) I was confused and cold by the relationships that this season brought. These relationships will not end in marriage, I pray.
Love is blind is an unusual reality show, in that it’s not really a competition, but it does have a set structure, with each season split into different stages: the pods, the resort vacation, cohabitation in the couples’ home city and finally the weddings. Did any one segment feel like a standout—in either a positive or a negative way?
ED: It will probably be an unusual regional quirk but, as a Chicagoan, their choice to shoot at the most boring locations in this beautiful city drove me crazy. By default, I’d say that the parts in Mexico are the most captivating.
JB: Eliana, I’ve only visited Chicago a handful of times, but even I could tell they were showing us a really generic version of the city. Still, I’m always most interested in the homecoming episodes, because they feel truest to—and least manipulative about—the challenges of combining two lives that might be very different. A lot of the issues that came up this time around, from religious and cultural differences to the wide range of relationships people had with their parents, really resonated in ways that the more structured “reality TV” segments did not.
ED: I agree the “meeting the parents” segments were the most emotionally compelling. I particularly loved Natalie’s parents. Her mother seemed to be one of the few parents on any reality show ever to blatantly acknowledge that marrying someone you’ve known for a few weeks is an utterly insane idea. Her father’s unwavering support gave us the briefest glimpse into this loving family dynamic. These two seemed real people, and not characters.
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The show got some criticism in its first season for failing to include singles who weren’t conventionally attractive. The second season succeeded in broadening our view of different shapes and sizes.
ED: Lol. No. The pods seemed to have a wider range of sizes and appearances. It was, however, the conventionally thin and attractive couples that emerged. I’m honestly confused about how that could be statistically possible, so I am calling malarkey on the producers.
A second blind spot was my sexual orientation. Although casting bisexual or gay contestants might make it difficult to arrange dates on pod dates, reality dating shows can be very helpful. SoThat is all I want Love is blindI would be open to being more inclusive.
JB: Both points are agreed upon. It would be cool to see the show figure out how to do a same-sex couples season, or a sexually fluid season, like MTV’s Are You the One? A few years ago, it did very well. Love Is Blind can feel oppressively traditional at times, and I think having singles who defy sexual and gender binaries—but, I guess, still want to get married—would shake things up a bit.
When it comes down to appearances, it is safe to say that a lot of things took place in pods which never got to the final episodes. We were able to see some women asking loaded questions about their health, which was clearly allowed by the producers. But we didn’t see what happened if the women who weren’t thin said so. This leads me to think the worst. I believe that love does not blind in pods. Singles were able to connect with each other without needing to prove their conventional beauty. What I can’t decide is whether I think the producers’ choice not to show any of these interactions was ultimately for the best. I don’t want to see anyone get humiliated just for existing in their body, but I actually think the rejections would be more embarrassing for the people who reveal themselves to be superficial.
Time for prediction: When will you get married? Who won’t? Who will abandon whom at the altar, and who won’t?
JB: With the exception of Jarrette and Iyanna, I’m not sure any of these couples should wind up together. However, Deepti’s and Shake’s chemistry would be amazing. I found his dithering extremely frustrating, but when he explained that it wasn’t about her looks so much as the fact that their shared background made him feel like she was a member of his family, I kind of got it. When you’re part of a small cultural minority (I’m Jewish), you can get so used to dating people who aren’t It can be difficult to find someone like you, it may take some adjustment. Is In a romantic manner. But, if he breaks his heart, I’ll spit nails.
Episode 9’s cliffhanger teased Nick renouncing Danielle. I think it was so painful that he actually thought it. Will say “I do” in the end. But something has always seemed precarious about Mallory and Sal; not even the show’s editors seem invested in them. And I’ve been certain Shayne and Natalie aren’t getting married since we saw both of them, separately, confirm that they had already decided to go through with it. I’m thinking she’s the one who says “I don’t.”
ED: I agree Jarrette and Iyanna seem the most stable and genuinely into each other, despite Jarrette’s initial indecisiveness. Nick and Danielle absolutely should not get married—all they do is fight—but probably will for the fake-out reasons you cited, Judy.
I don’t know what to make of Mallory and Sal. The show has thrown them several curveballs—the whole silver vs. gold ring situation, Mallory’s sister disapproving of the marriage, and the specter of a girlfriend Sal may or may not have had when he was cast on the show. These storylines were quickly dropped by the producers. (We didn’t resolve the question about Sal actually being single. Mal and Sal don’t fight much, which is maybe a sign of apathy. Perhaps it is a sign of their compatibility. It’s hard to tell. As you observed, Judy, they don’t get much screen time. But, they could be seen unexpectedly making a commitment at the altar.
Deepti, please say no to Shake. Someone should appreciate how cool she truly is.
And I’m betting that Shayne and Natalie will end up together. Given that Shayne acted like a big ol’ baby and threw a fit about not being able to hit a baseball at his bachelor party, I wish Natalie the best of luck with dealing with All that and more.