Netflix, once regarded as the provider of so-called high-profile TV shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black”, has recently entered the realm of the genre of trashy programming that was once relegated to the wilderness. cable and odd hours of broadcast. You’d think, with its billion-dollar budgets and global reach, that the streaming service could be more demanding as it tries to outperform its competition. But Netflix’s latest series “Sexy Beasts” commits a crime worse than bad taste: it’s boring.
Netflix recently got into the realm of trashy programming genre that was once relegated to the cable wilderness.
Until recently, reality TV was the last bastion of broadcasting, the saving grace of terrestrial networks as viewers turn massively to demand. Audiences for television series airing have been steadily declining year on year since 2014, with the exception of “The Bachelor,” the Disneyesque dating franchise, which peaked in four years in 2020. Meanwhile, the only one success that made waves on social networks. The medium for Fox in recent years has been the richly costumed “The Masked Singer,” which drew huge viewers when it debuted in 2019.
Frankly, it was only a matter of time before anyone thought it would be a good idea to add the two together.
The concept is simple: each episode features a single man or girl who has failed to find true love because stares get in the way. Either they’re too focused on it, or their potential dates are, or both. So Netflix is here to help, facilitating a series of dates while both parties are obscured by full prosthetic makeup. Kariselle the Panda is going for a drink with Josh the Taurus; Ibrahim the wolf finds himself meeting Bella the dinosaur. Everyone is hoping to find the fantastic character / person of their dreams.
And to be fair, Netflix’s original reality shows have started to delve into increasingly weird and contrived storylines. “The Circle,” for example, is a pandemic dating show, with applicants living in isolated apartments, their only means of communication via text-based internet chat. “Too Hot to Handle,” which has already started to cross competitors with “The Circle” in its second season, is a dating workshop show, where contestants are prohibited from all physical contact. “Love Is Blind” forced the contestants out without seeing each other, allowing eye contact only after a marriage proposal.
“Sexy Beasts” is a cover of a 2014 British reality TV show that only lasted one season, and an attempt to take the “Love Is Blind” format and make it a bit more “Bachelor” friendly while still getting a lot of “The Masked Singer’s Attention. In truth, the setup is much closer to a much older series,“ The Dating Game. ”The person in question is paired with three suitors of the opposite sex. for a round of drinks and questions, before deciding which one she will have a first date with. The “winner” gets a second date.
The extraordinarily low stakes for the “winner” of each episode are the first problem. No one offers marriage or happiness forever, or even stays stable. Part of the reason “The Bachelor” has worked so well for almost two decades and it matters is that people can’t get enough of the weird spectacle of watching someone on TV and literally use a game show to get started in life. (The fact that this engagement usually fails and the candidate in question ends up with little more than the dubious honor of an automatic “Dancing with the Stars” spot is irrelevant.) Here, we don’t even get there. not to the point where one could add applicants to their Instagram follows.
But the bigger problem is that the series undermines its own premise from the start. Whatever one might think of other Netflix shows, they really do engage in the gag order. Competitors to “The Circle” seem to be really trying to judge whether their date is legitimate or if they are just being trapped, an experience that anyone who has flirted with a stranger on the internet can relate to. “Too Hot to Handle” at least tries to force its competitors to know each other as people before they become intimate.
But the bigger problem is that the series undermines its own premise from the start.
But “Sexy Beasts,” which also claims to take appearances out of the dating equation, does no such thing. The opening episode, “Emma the Demon,” features a woman whose job it is to be a model and whose clearly ultra-conventional beauty is not well hidden under her Hollywood-level “evil” prosthetics. Even those with wilder, unorthodox makeup covering their face (a praying mantis comes to mind) don’t have much more than a little makeup on their hands. Competitors know what they are getting under their necks, which means that male competitors who openly declare that they like ‘big boobs’ or ‘big butt’ are able (and too happy) to look at the physical forms of. their dates, even as everyone worries endlessly about ending up with someone who isn’t fortunate enough to have a perfectly symmetrical face.
The series attempts to poke fun at its own failures by having comedian Rob Delaney narrate. His commentary is the saving grace of most episodes, as he grits his teeth with us at home. The banality of the procedure is matched only by the superficiality of the competitors. For those who are junkies of movie magic (or really love the old SyFy “Face / Off” reality contest), makeup magician Kristyan Mallet’s design work is worth the price of watching the first few minutes of each. episode, just to see the kind of detail that turns a man into a beaver. But once dating begins, it quickly escalates.
Whether you’re hoping for some kind of kinky titillation, or even just the fun of being the fly on the wall on a bad date, this show fails on every level. Netflix can hope to make a splash with “Sexy Beasts” on social media – the trailer certainly did. And it’s clear the streaming service thought it had a winner, as there’s already another six-episode series in the works for later this year. As the old saying goes, appearance (even modified by prosthesis) isn’t everything. With such a bad personality, “Sexy Beasts” isn’t a worthwhile date.