Netflix’s ‘Dating and Related’ Invites You to Watch Siblings Fall in Sexy Love

Photo credit: Ana Blumenkron
To be fair, the show isn't as grotesque as it first appears.
The upcoming Netflix dating series Dated and Related raised eyebrows to the next level of the stratosphere when the platform announced *this* title. Listen, we've proven ourselves for all of Netflix's dating gimmicks: fall in love without ever seeing your partner; go on dates while wearing prosthetics to look like monsters; Vacation with a bunch of hot singles, but - if it's even humanly possible! - not having sex. But the title of this new series hints at… incest?!
A trailer released Thursday clarified, but still proclaimed, that Dated and Related was meant to be "the most awkward dating show in history." The narrator is happy about this superlative. Now that I've looked at the footage, I'm not so sure if that's a good thing.
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The premise of the series is that the requisite "hot singles" (Netflix has tapped a seemingly endless supply) travel to a villa in the south of France, all hoping to find love. The catch: all her siblings are there, too — and they're looking for "the one," too.
Is it a welcome, wholesome thing to have a brother or sister there looking out for your best interest, checking out the red flags, and helping you make a connection? Will they be angry cock blocks every time you try to join? Or will they just be in the corner throwing up after watching you have a sloppy drunken makeout by the pool — something no sibling should see?
The whole thing is shameful. There's no thrill in second-hand embarrassment. The tingling isn't "so painful it's fun." It's queasy and annoying, and, as has increasingly been the case with this type of show, so gimmicky that you wonder if any of it -- be it the dates or the sibling explosions -- is authentic.
The immediate question one would ask at such a ridiculous show — "Who the hell would agree with that?" — didn't always have such an obvious answer. But as trashy dating series have become a lucrative cottage industry for average beauties aspiring to become an influencer of whatever vaguely altruistic origin, the answer has become obvious: money and attention.
What did we do to deserve 'Sexy Beasts'?
In the trailer there are shots of the cast posing seductively by the pool as if they were filming the opening credits for a Baywatch reboot and as if you can't get me dead before I do in the face of my siblings.
The show is admirably aware of the awkwardness, even proud of it. "This is probably the first time I've kissed a girl in front of my sister," says one guy. There's a montage of people taking uncomfortable sips of wine. A brother chokes as his sister kisses someone right next to him. Another threatens a guy for being disrespectful. I hate all of this!
The trailer's narrator at one point practically screams, "WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THIS?" before turning to a noble motive: Finding love isn't easy, and this might be an uncharted path to doing it.
Sometimes the road less traveled is closed for a reason. In this case, the reason is because your sibling is fucking someone a few feet away from you while you're being encouraged to do the same—all on TV. Let's not go there.
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