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Tolentino’s taping happened at the end of 2004, alongside the birth of the technological revolution that would make mainstream reality television obsolete — why tune into an absurdly premised show airing at a set time when you can watch people at any hour of the day, anywhere on the globe, on no fewer than a dozen different apps, do all of the things they might do on a show?Nearly 15 years later, the phrase “reality TV” is an oxymoron — you don’t have to turn on a television to see real life.Then, after a meet-up drink, someone asked me to have dinner with him and insisted on paying. What is someone with terminal cancer doing on a dating app? I told him, as I devoured a duck breast like I was a medieval king, that I don’t eat lambs because they’re cute, and I don’t eat octopus because they’re smart, but it’s O. to eat ducks because I read that they can be necrophiliacs. ” none of the singles are heterosexual — which is practically unheard-of for a reality-dating show, even in 2019.
A night-vision camera shows Jenna, sleeping in the nearby communal bedroom, then cuts to Kai, who is lounging on an outdoor bed (are there any couches in this compound? The two flirt for a few moments, kiss and then go ... Later, Kai crawls into bed with Jenna, who has slept through the entire debacle, and the two embrace.
You almost expect David Attenborough to start narrating this millennial mating dance.
I’m a voyeur, so I might be biased, but what happens next is arguably the most pleasurable eight minutes of reality television in the last decade.
The cast of 16 singles, all in their 20s, is a racially and geographically diverse array.
Everyone has a complicated tale about how their background intersects with their queerness, one that’s often more nuanced and expansive than you get with characters on scripted television.