Netflix filmed an all-star dating show like Bachelor in Paradise – reality blurred


Netflix has gone full-in with dating reality TV, especially with Love is Blind, which is its breakout Bachelor-style hit, having already devolved into just another opportunity for desperate people to meet new Instagram followers.

Dating shows work so well Netflix is even flavoring its other competition TV with romance: The new season of The Circle, which comes out in a few weeks, has a cast of (actually, not deceptively) single people, so the trailer plays up their flirting and possible love matches.

The next logical step for Netflix is creating a way to recycle all these disposed-of cast members, now that viewers know them—or love and/or loathe them.

That’s actually been in the works for more than a year, I’ve learned, with an all-star dating competition called Perfect Match.

(Or is it The Perfect Match? Also, this could be a working title, since Netflix already has a Taiwanese drama called The Perfect Match.)

What is Netflix’s Perfect Match?

Jarrette Jones and Iyanna McNeely kiss on Love is Blind season 2
Jarrette Jones and Iyanna McNeely kiss on Love is Blind season 2, which was produced by the same company behind Netflix’s new dating competition (Image from Love is Blind via Netflix)

I’ve confirmed Perfect Match’s existence through reports from various crew members who worked on the show. Producers and crew members have worked on shows from Survivor to Naked and Afraid, The Bachelor to The Ultimatum.

Like Netflix’s Love is Blind and The Ultimatum, this new reality TV dating competition will be produced by Kinetic Content.

The format is that of a dating competition, so think Love Island and Bachelor in Paradise, and/or their (rebooted) predecessor, Paradise Hotel.

That means new cast members will be coming in throughout the season, while others will leave. However, it will not be live like Love Island, so viewers will play no role in voting people in or out, or matching them together.

I do not know more about the format or its nuances, such as how the game works or if there will be a host. The title suggests there could be some kind of Are You The One?-type matching, but having cast members not entering the competition until later episodes makes that unlikely.

The one obvious difference between those other dating competitions and Perfect Match is that Netflix will draw its cast from its own pool of competition and dating reality TV shows.

That means cast members from:

  • The Circle, Netflix’s first real competition hit
  • Love is Blind, in which straight people decide to get married after talking to each other through a speaker for a few days, and then are annoying until they decide to split up
  • The Mole, Netflix’s revival of the classic format of deception
  • Sexy Beasts, Netflix’s version of a dating format in which people go on first dates wearing stage makeup that makes them unrecognizable
  • Too Hot to Handle, the show that rewards horny people for not acting on their horniness
  • The Ultimatum, more straight people being annoying

The only individual person I’ve confirmed is on Perfect Match is the winner of The Mole.

When will Perfect Match be on Netflix?

Too Hot to Handle star Chloe Veitch on The Circle season 2
Too Hot to Handle star Chloe Veitch crossed over to The Circle season 2, so Netflix has shared cast members between shows before (Image via Netflix)

Perfect Match was in production during the first few months of 2022, and obviously is still not yet on the air.

It’s not yet been announced by Netflix. That’s not unusual; The Mole wasn’t even announced until more than a year after it filmed.

People who worked on Perfect Match, however, have talked behind the scenes about how chaotic the parts of the process have been, especially in post-production.

While episodes were targeted to broadcast length of about 42 minutes, at one point the premiere episode was about 90 minutes long thanks to a ludicrous number of notes from executives.

A lot of shows have suffered during production or post and come out perfectly fine. For example, the first season of the charming and delightful Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman-hosted Making It was notoriously a complete mess before it was fixed with reshoots and in editing.

Based on the production cycle and Netflix’s past competition show schedules, I’d guess we’ll hear more about and see Perfect Match in the first quarter of 2023.

The single-themed season five of The Circle doesn’t premiere until Dec. 28, so if some of its cast members have been cast (I have no idea if they have or not), Netflix couldn’t reveal Perfect Match’s cast until after The Circle.

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