The Love is Blind reunion was billed as Netflix’s first live reunion show, following on from what has been dubbed the reality dating show’s best ever season, the stakes were high.
Season 4 brought us more drama than any other, from mean girls Irinia and Micah to six engagements, two break-ups, love triangles, cheating accusations and the wholesomeness of Brett and Tiffany, who appear to have found genuine love sight unseen.
As fans around the world prepared to tune into the live episode, they were left unread. A technical issue caused the reunion to air two hours later than billed, with many viewers struggling to get the show to play and fans in the UK left unable to watch it until 8pm on Monday April 17.
The 96 minute episode run time left me feeling hopeful, there were six couples we needed to talk through - plenty of time to get to the bottom of things. However, it didn’t go that way, the reunion lacked depth and tip-toed around these issues, with host Vanessa Lachey (Nick who?), leading the reins and bulldozing ahead with awkward questions including asking Brett and Tiffany Brown if they had consummated their marriage.
Fans were expecting some juicy content and even after the screening delays and revised release date, I was ready for the tea I had been promised, yet what was served was lukewarm at best. The Chelsea, Kwame and Micah love triangle was briefly mentioned and was all very amicable, with Micah barely speaking for the first half of the reunion.
Despite not featuring in the trailer, series villain Irina joined the cast members 30 minutes in to address her behaviour in the pods and how she had treated her ex Zack in Mexico. She apologised for her treatment of the Criminal Defence Attorney, telling him: “I completely treated you so poorly, Zack, and nobody deserves to be treated like that at all.” And revealed that she had wanted to end things after their first meeting but had been convinced by producers to go with him to Mexico. Zack called her out, telling Irina: “If we’re real, you went on this show to get famous.”
The only person to say “I don’t”, Paul faced a grilling from Vanessa following his comment about not seeing Micah as nurturing, with the host asking the environmental scientist to explain what he meant three times. Whilst the comment was uncalled for, the pressing of Paul to give a direct explanation as to why he said “I don’t” left him telling the host “it’s a little bit ineffable.” The interview lead Paul to tell Entertainment Tonight: “I think I said my piece. I think Vanessa might have had a little bit of personal bias in that scenario or at least I kind of detected that. I don’t know. But that’s just my assumption based on how she continued to drill into it after I gave my full rationale for why I felt the way that I did.”
One of the most disappointing moments of the reunion was the absence of Jackie and Josh, who instead opted to do an interview with Vanessa over Zoom instead, leaving fans and fellow cast members unable to get any answers about what was ultimately the most shocking storyline of the season.
Whilst, the most uncomfortable segment of the reunion saw host Vanessa repeatedly push the married cast members to disclose when they would be having children. Before the finale ended, a clip of season three bad boy Bartise Bowden who has recently welcomed a son was played, with Bowden asking: “Who is going to be the first to become parents?” Vanessa pushed on the question, telling the cast members: “Okay, seriously, if that doesn’t make your ovaries burn?” Adding: “Okay, I need to know, who’s is going to give me our first Love Is Blind baby?”
The host proceeded to ask for timelines, heaping more pressure on the couples, leading Brett to reply: “I was just about to make a joke, like Jesus, ya’ll really put the baby pressure... My god.” Seemingly Vanessa is unaware that it’s 2023 and that asking someone about their fertility plans on a TV show watched by millions is not only incredibly insensitive but unprofessional. I couldn’t help but let out an audible scream as the scene brought back vivid memories of being cornered by elderly relatives who asked me the very same awkward questions following my own engagement and wedding.
The last 20 minutes of the reunion featured filler of clips taken by the happy couples in their new marital homes. It was wholesome content, but nothing fans couldn’t see on the couple’s social media accounts. As we edged into the 90th minute, I found myself willing the episode to end. For such an exciting season, the reunion dragged on and failed to get to the bottom of fan’s burning questions, despite the hype, fans including myself were left disappointed.