[This article includes spoilers for Love Is Blind, a Netflix original series.]
Given that the well-liked Netflix relationship series, which just finished its second season, has been formally extended for three more seasons, the show’s direction looks to be clear.
In the reality show Love Is Blind, single people build connections with others in “pods” for ten days without ever seeing the person in front of them. After that, they decide whether to propose to that person. The first season debuted in the middle of February 2020, just as the pandemic’s actuality and the concept of communicating with others without really meeting them face to face were beginning to sink in. The next season, which debuted two years later, had a high bar because two of those couples are still together today.
The creators of “Love Is Blinddating “‘s series “The Ultimatum” debut their trailer on Netflix.
In terms of people finding love, season two, which debuted in February, lived up to expectations without a doubt. It also sparked discussions about what people actually look for in a spouse. Iyanna McNeely and Jarrette Jones and Danielle Ruhl and Nick Thompson were married and are still together, just like in the previous season. The talk around the most recent season, however, tended to centre more on those who failed to find love, particularly Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee, who r aised eyebrows by asking the women in pods about their physical attributes and then disparaged Deepti Vempati after deciding to propose to her.
According to Chris Coelen, the creator of Love Is Blind, “I’m not disappointed that Shake made it onto the show.” Coelen is the founder of Kinetic Content, whose company has also produced shows like Married at First Sight and the Little Women series. Kinetic Content is also the creator of the upcoming Netflix dating series The Ultimatum, which is similar to Temptation Island and will only include queer couples in its second season. Deepti chose Shake; I didn’t choose Shake for Chatterjee and Vempati, he continues. In that regard, it’s quite representative of the real world that she chose him.
Coelen answers questions about the editing process, his opinion on the idea of increasing the show’s LGBTQ inclusivity, why he was initially “devastated” when Jones and Mallory Zapata split up, and how he feels when developments happen after the cameras stop rolling, like Vempati and Kyle Abrams recently spending time together. The third season of the show, which filmed before the release of season two and is scheduled to premiere later this year.
What are your initial thoughts on Love Is Blind now that you have two seasons under your belt and a third one set to go?
We constantly say, “It’s a TV show chronicling that experiment first, then it’s an experiment.” Insofar as an experiment goes, I consider it to be a huge success. 99 percent of those participating, or everyone involved, agree that it has significantly improved their lives. Because of the experience they underwent and the lessons they learnt about other people in their lives as well as themselves, it has been a transformational event. Additionally, some people who got married changed their life in a very dramatic and radical way, just as they had hoped they would when they first started dating. From that standpoint, I’m very appreciative of how the participants fully embrace the event and engross themselves in it.
Second, as far as the show is concerned, I’m really pleased with it. They go through a really intense experience, and we have over 30,000 hours of footage that we are trying to turn into a show. Therefore, I believe we did a wonderful job of distilling that into a watching experience that faithfully captures the experience, emotions, and journey that the participants underwent. We genuinely followed their narratives. When making the show, there are some things that we might want to happen or hope would happen that don’t, while other things entirely out of the blue appear that we weren’t planning on. It’s a dangerous high-wire to be a producer, but you just go with it, and whatever happens, happens. I’m incredibly grateful for the show’s huge audience support, which I couldn’t ask for more.
The two happy couples from season two must be amazing to behold. But Shake has been the subject of a lot of conversation regarding the season. Does that mean he slipped through the cracks during the screening process, or are you okay with it because it feels more like dating in practise?
Listen, we screen guests for the show. It’s not a foolproof procedure. I don’t mind that Shake was on the programme. The idea is to only allow individuals into the pods who have undergone a very rigorous selection procedure and who have made it clear that they are serious about dating. Since there is so much suspicion when people enter those pods, they all admit that they don’t actually anticipate it to happen. Nevertheless, you do change regardless of how you enter it.
And I’ll also admit that I recall speaking with Shake on the day of his revelation, when he first saw Deepti, and introducing myself and wishing him well in the future. I was deeply impressed and astounded by what I saw as his emotional development and transformation in the pods. He seemed to have learned things there about himself that were significant in terms of understanding why he felt the way he did and who he was as a person, and I believe he felt that way. Of course, the show’s stance is not that “Love is blind.” Actually, the show’s central question is, “Is love blind? “Is it blind? Shake was also in the attitude that “love is blind,” “this is the woman I’m going to be with,” and “I have changed as a person” when he first saw Deepti there. Naturally, once he enters the real world, that is what the show focuses on. Love is where you should start; can it endure the harsh reality of our world? Naturally, it didn’t for him, and I believe it is a true story.
So, am I dissatisfied with it? I’m not upset about it, no. While I’m disappointed that Deepti didn’t have the happy ending she desired in that situation, I believe that even after speaking with Deepti, she felt that this experience had helped her grow as a person significantly. For that reason, I’m quite pleased. I’m delighted for her. If Shake doesn’t feel that way already, I’m hoping he will at some point. Look, it’s only our responsibility as producers to tell the truth. We don’t think, “Oh, we hope it’s people who look like this or people who look like that, or people who have this tale or that narrative – they discover each other.” None of that is under our control. “Well, the producers would prefer this to happen,” some people have said. We might, but we never have any kind of impact over it. Nobody is given instructions on what to say, feel, or think. We’re going to follow whatever happens, which may or may not result in no engagement. It might imply that we wind up with eight engagements, similar to what happened in seasons one or two. We put up the equipment and then stood back and watched.
But is deciding who deserves this platform and recognising who the public would support a difficult process?
We undertake background checks, psychological tests, and other forms of screening for sure, but we also want to allow a diverse group of people inside the pods. Say I believed someone to be a jerk and a chauvinist. The choice is not being made by me. You’ll notice that Deepti chose Shake, not me, if you look at Shake and Deepti. Because she choose him, it’s extremely representative of life in general. She was happy with her choice at the time, but as is again the case, reality ultimately proved that they shouldn’t be together. Allowing others to make their own decisions is my responsibility. Really.
One of the plotlines in season one had Carlton [Morton] talking about his bisexuality. Is it possible that LGBTQ inclusion will increase in upcoming seasons?
I’m a strong supporter of diversity and inclusivity in all spheres and am kind to all types of people. The most crucial thing to remember is to reiterate what I usually tell participants when this topic comes up: “We’re never going to tell you what to think,” as I just told you. Never will we advise you on what to say. We won’t ever attempt to influence how you feel. And we won’t ever deceive you in the same way. I never want to deceive someone, so if we’re doing a show about relationships, it’s crucial for them to have us as their safety net — to have a group of people in their life who, at the very least based on their claimed goals, are interested in them. That doesn’t only apply to your sexual orientation. It refers to your desire to get married and to marry someone who shares your interests. There are a variety of romantic tales that are entertaining to share. We’ve always tried to be inclusive of people from various backgrounds and races on all of our series, and we’ve done that with a number of LGBT love stories [including The Ultimatum season two].
Before you knew how season two would be received, Dallas hosted the filming of Love Is Blind’s third season. Is it challenging to have started filming without knowing how season two will be accepted, or is there really no way to get insight from a season of a show like this?
The authenticity of a show is what matters most to us when producing it. What occurs in season one, season two, season three, or any subsequent seasons doesn’t really matter to me. It just matters that we give children a genuine environment in which to experience life. The events shown in these episodes have an impact on them long after the show has ended. These are actual choices that could have an impact on their lives forever, including whether or not they have children, etc. We therefore take that component of it very seriously. We’ve probably been fortunate. It’s not like someone told us, “Oh my God, we did something wrong in season one; we need to learn from it and improve it.” Let it be real, and whatever happens, occurs, is what we got right in season one, and I hope we keep getting it right in subsequent seasons.
Lauren and Cameron’s relationship from season one exemplifies how successfully this method may be used. Before their major altercation, I had high hopes for Shayne Jansen and Natalie Lee from season two because of their early on-screen connection. Do you enjoy watching failed marriages as as much as successful ones, as a producer planning for seasons three and beyond?
I naturally want everyone to have a happy ending since I am a person. However, a happy ending doesn’t always translate into getting hitched in the end. I’d think the majority of people believe Deepti made her own happy ending. As a result, I want everyone to have the satisfying conclusion and to learn something from it. Therefore, the issue is not whether there should be more or less drama, or whether there should be more or fewer marriages. If everyone marries, that’s fantastic. It’s fantastic if nobody gets married. I don’t think it’s about that. It involves adhering to true stories.
It was amazing to hear fans praise Nick and Vanessa Lachey for hosting the reunion and in particular for their willingness to hold Shake responsible for his deeds. Does your team support their right to express their emotions?
First and foremost, Nick and Vanessa make fantastic hosts. Nick and Vanessa are excellent at being genuine with others, and much like with the participants, we don’t instruct them on what to say or how to say it. Additionally, they have a strong connection to the participants and a strong viewpoint, therefore we never stop anyone from voicing theirs. Part of what makes the show intriguing is that any of them can say whatever they want again.
Following post-show developments, such as Kyle and Deepti spending time together and Shaina [Hurleyrecent ]’s engagement, fans continue to be very invested in the players. Do you follow where the show takes viewers after it airs?
Absolutely, I say. I can’t wait to find out what happens next with each and every one of the guests on our various shows. I always look forward to hearing updates on this one. Like everyone else, I find some of the rumours I hear about former show participants who may or may not be having problems surprising.
How did you feel about Danielle and Nick and Jarrette and Iyanna being the two remaining couples? Was that something you witnessed, or does it seem more logical in retrospect?
In retrospect, everything makes sense. You’re following along at the time, and as you watch Jarrette and Mallory break up in the pods live, you’re just as shocked and heartbroken for them both as anybody else. It’s amazing to see how things develop from there. We simply follow what actually occurs, so yes, of course, it always surprises you who ends up with whom and why, as well as what problems they encounter or don’t encounter. Naturally, everyone encounters problems because they are just human, but it’s always interesting to observe how they resolve them.
How does it affect the way you approach editing and the aim of your programme when you see the reality genre being criticised for techniques like “frankenbiting,” utilising a modified audio clip?
Every show is obviously altered. Over 30,000 hours of video are available. I urge individuals to express their opinions. Shake wants to make it known that he’s concerned with the editing, right? Great. I won’t remove that because that’s how he feels. However, you also notice how the general consensus feels, which is, “Actually, Shake, we think you got a really nice edit. We honestly believe that you came out as being more of a jerk than you actually are. They felt like way. Therefore, I won’t prevent either party from expressing their viewpoint. The main objective of my work is to attempt to accurately describe their journey.
Shake may have said something worse than what we saw, it was suggested during the reunion. What did you think of that?
Did he say anything worse than that? I would say that despite how much we record and how much material we have, we do not continuously capture their every move. He became unhappy at the bachelor party when they were scheduled to sleep in different locations, much like with Shayne and Natalie. He was unhappy and made the decision to head over to her house even though they weren’t meant to get back together until the day of their wedding. It was not being filmed by anyone. One of the reasons this works is because we want them to live their true life. I am not intimately familiar with everything Shake has said or omitted to say. We make an effort to accurately portray their experience as we see it.
Have you changed your mind about the engagements that were skipped over for season two?
We have a limited amount of bandwidth. Only a limited amount of episodes are available, and we only have such a large production staff. Each couple is given less time in the programme as you follow more couples. It becomes somewhat arbitrary as to who we should follow if there are more couples than we can keep up with. We must choose a course of action and carry it out, whether or not our choices are sound.
With programmes like Married at First Sight, your company enjoyed success on cable, and now streaming. Is it difficult to make unscripted shows work with a binge model and to choose the best release schedule for streaming series?
That is a Netflix query regarding the show’s release strategy. They choose where, when, and how the shows will air. What we can control is coming up with an idea, producing a fantastic show, and selecting a potential partner. A good partner is ultimately a supporting companion. You want a partner that shares your passion for the programme and who shares your goals for it. We have been fortunate to have excellent collaborators on every front.
Have you given any thought to producing Love Is Blind spinoffs, perhaps catching up with a particular couple as you did with Married at First Sight?
Without a doubt, we are open to everything, but it must make sense. We produced a brief, three-episode After the Altar in season one, but that was more of a catch-up than a genuine spinoff. We put our all into these performances, therefore we need to be genuinely enthusiastic about them.
The interview was condensed and made clearer.
Netflix is currently streaming Love Is Blind.
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