Or how about Tiny Pretty Things, set in the world of an elite ballet school and features plenty of LGBTQIA+ representation? If you want something to dance and sing along to, then, of course, there’s always the musical drama series Glee. Or, if you love a probing documentary, there’s Pray Away, which follows the ex-leaders and survivors of the gay conversion movement and takes a deep dive into how it affected members of the LGBTQ+ community. A member of the band Poison, Michaels had to find the perfect girl to go on tour with him from a group of diehard Brett Michaels fans. Boy Meets Boy creator Doug Ross held out hope for a second season. He acknowledged that the popularity of season one would make it practically impossible for another season with the same twist but also said that he has come up with another twist which Bravo executives thought was fun.
This spin-off of the 2014 film of the same name follows nerdy and shy Lionel Higgins as he comes to terms with his sexuality and finds a Black queer community at an elite, predominantly white college. The fourth season of Dear White People takes a turn with a musical within a musical, but the first three seasons are classic dramedy satire. This LGBTQ show has filmed most of its seasons in middle America but did a mini season in Japan in 2019. Featuring a gay man with cerebral palsy living in Los Angeles, it’s one of the few gay shows to address queerness and disability with the lightness of the sitcom format. Special stars creator Ryan O’Connell, who first came to fame with his listicle blogs on Thought Catalog in the early 2010s.
The thought of a show featuring a group of people interacting only with a screen might not seem like the most interesting concept, but “The Circle” is a colorful and energetic reality show for a social media-obsessed generation. Watching how the contestants choose to play the game and the tactics they use also says a surprising amount about how easy it can be to deceive others online, proving we shouldn’t always accept things at face value. With hints of “Catfish” and “Big Brother,” “The Circle” is a thoroughly modern game show that sees contestants compete for popularity on the titular social network. While they all live under the same roof, the contestants only communicate through the Circle as they aim to win friends and influence people. Would you place your future happiness in the hands of a team of experts who’ve supposedly found your perfect match? This is the question asked by “Married at First Sight,” a reality show with the utterly insane concept that sees people marry someone they’ve never met until they walk down the aisle.
On season one, the show featured three leads, one of whom was a gay man. Viewers then got to know all the love interests who came into the show to pursue a relationship with him. In season two, the three leads consisted of a straight man, a gay man, and a lesbian woman. This meant that two thirds of the entire cast consisted of LGBTQ+ love interests vying for either the gay lead or the lesbian lead. Unfortunately, HBO Max has completely deleted this TV show from its catalog.
The show focuses on the contestants talking to each other through pods without getting to see each other. The participants have to choose a person to get engaged with and get to know that person before deciding if they want to get married to them. Adapted from an Israeli miniseries, the American version of Euphoria stars Zendaya as Rue, a recovering drug addict, and Hunter Shafer in a breakout role as Jules, a new-to-school trans girl. Beyond the development of Rue and Jules’s romance, the show is worth watching for its attention to lighting and all the incredible looks sported by the cast. If you like gritty teen movies, it’s time to add Euphoria to your queue. Alreadyestablished couples are put to the ultimate test in this self-proclaimed social experiment.
This riveting game show starts off with contestants counting hundreds of quarters for 24 hours straight. Then, each sleep-deprived contestant has to compete in a series of physical and mental challenges until the final round, where the remaining contestant gets a chance to win a million dollars. Dating is certainly hard enough on your own — but have you ever tried searching for love in a French villa with,wait for it,your sibling? That’s what seven sibling duos set out to do inDated & Related, which tracks them as they set out to find their soulmates — and potentially win $100,000. The cast is made up of British twin brothers, Italian cousins from New Jersey and gorgeous Iranian twins, among others.
The first season of Yellowjackets had us hooked with a decades-spanning tale of female friendship, survival, and queer romance. Now that winter has settled and the girlies have gotten a taste for flesh, we’re expecting some Lord of the Flies-style mayhem to ensue. Indian Matchmaking isn’t really a reality television show compared to many of the others on this list, but it’s still a show about dating that follows a specific set of people and what happens when they meet Sima.
LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Judging from his Instagram, Nick is currently single or keeping his personal life offline. After putting his entire marriage in the public eye, it’s understandable if he’d rather keep things private. In another Netflix original, Love on the Spectrum follows a group of young adults, who are all on the autism spectrum, as they look to find love within the dating world. Another original on Netflix, Love is Blind follows 30 attractive singles from Atlanta, who are dropped into a blind-dating facility, with the men living on one side and the women on the other. The only contact they have with each other is through pods, two rooms filled with plush sofas, and separated by an opaque glass wall. Whether you’re looking for a Netflix original like Love Is Blind or shows from other popular TV channels, Netflix has you covered with some awesome dating shows.
The point of the show is to find love, but instead it becomes all about how contestants are trying to cut their competition out of the show. The arguments that happen in every episode are supremely entertaining to watch and so petty that you’d want to grab a bucketful of popcorn and binge away. Too Hot To Handle is probably among the horniest shows on Netflix and we can say this knowing that the OTT platform has literal documentaries about porn. In this show, 10 young men and women are locked up in a place where they must flirt and indulge in activities with one another for eight episodes.
Monday – Summer House
The series stuck to traditional reality dating show techniques, with awkward first encounters and cheesy flirting galore. But what leaves Indian Matchmaking lower on our list is its less-enticing second season, which recycles old storylines and offers few new voices in its main cast of clients. When it comes to this dating series, watch the first season, skip the second. Right after winning Celebrity Big Brother 21 in the UK, Courtney Act was hired as the host of a bisexual dating show called The Bi Life. The series wasn’t necessarily received well by the critics or the public, but it was still a TV show that made history for its wide visibility of bisexual people on reality television. And yet the couple still had to navigate a show that, for all its supposed idealism, was working hard to sensationalize their different backgrounds.
The twist with “The Circle” is that the contestants have a choice — to be 100% themselves, to present the best version of themselves, or to pretend to be someone completely different. This sees many of the contestants choosing to lie about their age, relationship status, appearance, and even gender in order to increase their chances of winning. The perception of most dating shows is that they often feature one type of person — something that shows like “Love Island” definitely help perpetuate. Originally an Australian series, the U.S. version of “Love on the Spectrum arrived on Netflix in 2022, and it seeks to throw the doors wide open, focusing on a group of people on the autism spectrum as they navigate dating. Netflix has proved to be a big contender in the world of reality dating shows, and “Love Is Blind” is one of the best examples.
Everything down to the kisses that the couple shares are scripted, leaving the audience on tenterhooks as to whether or not the couple will truly develop feelings for each other outside of their reel life. They are joined by local stars such as model-actress Kiko Mizuhara and comedian Naomi Watanabe. Tamura is a former playboy who now works as a comedian, whereas Yaguchi is a former Japanese idol who fell from grace after being caught having an illicit affair by her husband. But the catch is that at the most inopportune of moments, any one of the participants could be made to expose their dark secret – this intentional sabotage of their search for love is the show’s main selling point. Over the course of the 3 days, participants get to know each other and go on dates – it’s business as usual so far.
Exploring polyamorous relationship structures with a light touch, the indie production features moving performances and very gay lighting in its apartment party scenes. Finding true love as a young adult on the autism spectrum comes with its fair share of challenges, as evidenced by this unique and heartfelt series. The show centers on a group of people on the spectrum as they trumingle try to figure out the complicated world of dating. Dig deep enough and you’ll encounter some wacky-sounding titles, including a series all about “animal influencers” and a show where contestants try to make gourmet meals out of leftovers (Best Leftovers Ever!). While I haven’t seen either of these, I know Netflix has some great original reality shows you won’t want to miss.
This rather groundbreaking TLC show followed the life of Jazz Jennings, a transgender teenager. The lyrics explain the premise for each new series and also reveal which other dating shows will return this year. Unfortunately, none of the song lyrics mention “Dating Around,” arguably Netflix’s most underrated reality show.