Love Is Blind season 4 brings us best new villains (and relationship drama)

The pods are open, people are talking, and love is blind — maybe. (It’s the name of the grand “experiment,” after all.) The new, fourth season of Netflix’s Love is BlindThe reality series will be brought to Seattle, or at least it will after its initial five episodes, which were spread over the pod basement as well as the resort in Mexico. And the results are… wowza.

That’s not always a good thing. The first episodes of season 3, while filled with drama, are nothing compared to the chaotic chaos of season 4. People are making grand declarations about being smitten for so long and then remembering it’s only been six days. Couples can fall in love and break up. Swimming pool parties can be as messy and chaotic as the hell. That’s television, baby.

Let’s see, what can you say about the confusing decisions made? Love is Blind’s season 4 nonsense? It turns out, quite a lot.

Love Is Blind has finally found the perfect casting

An overhead shot of Kwame and Chelsea in the pods in a still from Love is Blind season 4 episode 1

Image by Netflix

Joshua: Netflix’s reality shows are basically all deranged social experiments, and Love is blindIt’s still one of my favorite. To me, it’s a heteronormative farce: People get engaged sight unseen and then have to grapple with their ideas of what a straight marriage should look like, in addition to regular-ass dating show contrivances like drama between the contestants and the temptation of what might’ve been.

For a show that’s so purely about interpersonal dynamics, Love is Blind really lives and dies on its cast — season 1 got by on a genuinely earnest relationship that formed, season 2 got by on the strength of an all-time reality TV villain, and season 3 was just kind of… there. However, this season? Oh my goodness. Although it takes some time to figure out who the focus of the show is (many people wash out), Zosha made an immediate impression.

Zosha: As someone who has sinned while listening to the comforting voice of a partner and then woke up feeling disoriented, Tiffany instantly struck me. But while her and Brett have love you can believe in (more on that later) I suppose the immediate folks who stuck out to me are Micah and Irina, the chaos agents of season 4 and immediate agent provocateurs of… almost every ounce of drama that gets wrung from the first batch of episodes? I’m not super well-versed in the world of Love is Blind, having only seen a single season (season 3) before this, but they stood out as the kind of reality show villains I didn’t expect from a show like this. They were not as successful in their bullshit.

Joshua: It’s quite a surprise that they are so surprising! Even Shake, season 2’s big villain, was just an astoundingly vulgar asshole: superficial as hell, And did not care about others. Micah and Irina — and let’s be clear, it is Micah and Irina, as I’ve never seen someone more committed to being a henchwoman than Irina — are god-tier shit-stirrers. They’re happy to blow up other pairings and mock other contestants in a way that is genuinely shocking. It’s sometimes hard to tell if they are out for themselves, or out to simply meddle with others, but maybe the best way to talk about them — and everyone else — is to bring up our favorite moments in these first few episodes.

Tiffany, wake up!

a close up of Tiffany crying in a still from Love is Blind

Image by Netflix

Zosha:Tiffany is a sleepy-eyed girl who I should be watching. This behavior is charming and Brett are just too cute. The Netflix Reality Overlords can do what they want, but in the first five episodes they don’t seem to be able to find much to edit drama around these two that isn’t just them gushing about each other. They might be gushing over by other people. Perhaps Love is blindIt is still love.

Joshua: You will be entertained by the little drama that they create Do try to wring from this — Brett, will you forgive your wife for sleeping in his love proclamation?? — is very funny, as it does not matter at all to them in the end.

But as much as I end up liking the rest of the cast, it takes a while for me to get a read on them if I’m honest. Do you agree?

Zosha: Paul and Zack are two people who I immediately hated. I found them monotonous and almost grating. I’m so glad you asked! NaturallyIn some odd pairings, these jabronis managed to survive. But you’re right! Jack, Marshall and Chelsea took me awhile to read the instructions. Kwame and Chelsea took their time getting their heads around it. But once I did — god, what charmers! These four people are trying their hardest to be honest in all circumstances. Even the surprising guitar performance.

What are your favorite movies, good and bad?

Joshua: I do think that I love this cast because with the exception Micah and Irina (and their poor, interchangeable dull partners), these couples truly want to go the distance.

Marshall and Jackelina, for me, are the perfect couple.

Marshall and Jackie please, make sure it happens

Marshall hugging Jackie in the closet

Image by Netflix

Joshua: Although Brett and Tiffany might be the most charming couple, Marshall and Jackelina are more genuine than any other. They’re a rocky mess but also endearingly sweet, and in episode 4 — once the couples are out of the pods and getting to know each other at a Mexican resort — the two have what might be the most moving moment ever captured on a Netflix reality show, as Jackie sobs in a closet as she vents her insecurities and Marshall goes in after her to hold her and says, “I know.”

It’s just beautiful and heartfelt television in a genre that’s big on artifice and performativity, the kind of moment that feels almost too real for reality TV, you know?

Zosha: It really does — and perhaps, unlike so much of Netflix reality shlock, better becauseIt goes unresolved in camera. There’s the part where the closet door bounces back open giving us an almost cinematic moment of comfort. But most of the resolution we get from that is Jackie recounting it the next day and seeming legitimately touched, while Marshall nods along at the pool party as the other men say it’s “so easy” being with their fianceés.

The one-two punch that these scenes provide is jarring at first, but it actually makes them seem more normal. RealitätIt’s thrilling and exciting in a way that reality television fails to do. It’s “drama” but not the type that makes us doubt how much fun they have with each other during their pool date. It’s like watching a younger sibling falling in love and just wanting so much for it to work out for them.

It’s the polar opposite of all Micah bullshit.

What is Micah’s game?

Kwame and Brett standing at the pool party drinking and talking

Image by Netflix

Micah and Irina swimming and looking shifty in the pool

Image by Netflix

Zosha:It’s true! I get it! This is the game of reality TV and I really, actually, don’t believe in the Love is Blind “experiment” to think that everyone is “there for the right reasons,” as the parlance goes. The Stockholm Syndrome is all about how quickly you forget that purchase-in. (I generally don’t think people should get engaged to someone they’ve only talked to for a few days. I am however. Do think if you’re gonna propose you should probably You can find it hereYou must marry at the end, as per the rules for engagement.

Micah, however! Micah! schemer. The way she just messes with people’s emotions in a totally flat way — the makings of a great reality TV show villain, tbh.

Joshua: She is SuchShe is a schemer She doesn’t even seem to LikePaul: The guy she is choosing to become engaged to. (Honestly? This is kinda relatable. Micah seems to want to be a poet, which is kind of like her. WinHe is a rare find in this area. Love is BlindShe was cast as she, quite frankly, behaves like an actual reality-show contestant.

However, her continual interference with the relationship between Kwame, whom she rejected, and Chelsea (whom she was kinda lousy), while pretending to be normal is what propels her into full-on villain territory. It is this that makes her a villain. Love is Blind So watchable: ContinuouslyYou can play with the standards of cishet marriage. Is someone like Micah, who clearly believes all’s fair in love and war, It is reallyAre you a villain because you don’t buy into the romantic premise? Is it? Love is BlindThis show is absurd and exploitative in nature. deserveto get its viewers to seriously consider it?

Zosha:Realistically, it is no. A very real and tangible level: No. As established, it’s hard not to buy into the Hunger Games Capitol element of watching the show. Micah is playing a game, and she’s doing it in a way that’s less outright clever than it is just shrewd, manipulative, and not the way (almost) anyone else is really playing it.

Zack and Irina… what a mess

Irina sitting on the couch laughing

Image by Netflix

Zosha: Truly if there’s a loser in this whole situation it’s Zack, who gets lassoed by Micah’s henchwoman. And what’s worse: He’s totally bought in! Zack goes to the mat to defend Irina against Bliss’ read of her! A slapstick a cappella tune he wrote for her is embarrassing! He says he knows she’d stick it out with him no matter how hard it got — she didn’t even stick it out when it got hard on day 3! Few bigger L’s in the history of reality TV, honestly.

Joshua: Zack: My man, go to therapy. It is not clear that you feel ready to meet people like me. Please see. I really do think the show plays up all of his hang-ups in a way that goes beyond cringe and into pity, and I’d get mad about it if it didn’t ultimately turn out that he and Irina are maybe more self-aware than they appear? The final episode of this series is an all-timer. Love is Blind Moment, Zack and Irina realise they are both playing themselves. They have an amazing conversation about how much they hate each other.

Zosha: It’s a great hope that they will know more about the editing, since the last note is something I have been waiting for! Sure, there’s the further dangled drama there: Will Irina become a spoiler for her “best friend” Micah now? Is Bliss going to say yes? (Why would she?) God, more reality television shows should show us moments such as two lovers just digging deep into the ways they hate one another during their pretend honeymoon. It’s what we deserve. Ultimately this show doesn’t (can’tWhile it is not clear that love can be blinded, it can provide some clarity-eyed images when it desires.

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