Too Hot to Handle—Solely a Source of Drama or Helpful, Too?

Feeling frustrated that you can’t kiss your significant other right now? Imagine if you were told that you could hang out…but not touch each other? Well, that’s the main idea of Netflix’s current reality show, Too Hot to Handle.

Creating Emotional Bonds

The show is popular, and I, too, couldn’t resist. (I love reality shows with a dramatic flair!) It gathers people who signed up for a reality TV dating experience at an island retreat. The contestants arrive thinking they’re part of a dating show where they can have meaningless hookups. But, as they soon find out, according to the “rules” of the show, they’re not allowed to engage in any sexual activities, including any kind of kissing or touching. They’re also not allowed to masturbate. I do think this last rule is a little ridiculous, and people have the right to give themselves some self-love if they choose to! If any contestants break the rules, money is deducted from the grand prize of $100,000. Each “offense,” or level of contact, is worth a different amount of money. For example, if two contestants kiss, $3,000 is deducted.

I think the point the show is trying to make—besides being pure escapist entertainment—is for the contestants to create deeper, emotional bonds with one another and not just rely on physical relationships. For instance, there are several workshops provided to help them develop emotional connections with each other.

How a Reality Show Can Help Deal With Reality

I love watching reality dating shows, like The Bachelor and Love Island, to escape my own reality through the ridiculous drama of these shows. And Too Hot to Handle falls into the same category. I enjoyed it. While I thought the premise was interesting, I was mostly there to see what happened when the rules were broken! It gave me a few laughs and kept me entertained, which has definitely helped me get through everything right now with the global pandemic and quarantine.

Speaking of which, I connected the contestants’ experiences of trying to create deeper, emotional bonds to all the teen couples out there who are most likely not able to see each other in person right now, much less have physical contact. The quarantine could be a great opportunity for those in relationships to strengthen their emotional bonds, as they’re most likely not being physically intimate at the moment. Emotional intimacy can always be deepened, and I think it can make the physical attraction to your partner even stronger.

Overall, I enjoyed watching Too Hot to Handle as an escape and to see how a reality show could be made into one big workshop on how to connect emotionally and not just physically. It might make you laugh…and also think a little.

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