Maybe love truly is ... blind. Love Is Blind season 4 concluded the most drama-filled installment of the Netflix dating series yet. Like Marie Kondo, I love mess, but Love Is Blind season 4 took it too far.
I hated the toxic stew brewed from mean girl antics, flirting between cast members not matched with each other, and the desire some exhibited to turn their time on the show into fame. I don't watch to see influencer origin stories.
When Love Is Blind first premiered in February 2020, it felt like a breath of fresh air. The premise was unique: singles meeting and matching, in audio-connected pods, without seeing one another. In the first two seasons, the cast members came across as genuine and there "for the right reasons." Things began changing in season 3, when individuals like Bartise and Cole were clearly too immature to get married (the purpose of the show).
Love Is Blind season 4 was even worse. Going into last episode, I thought only one couple would and should say "I do" (Tiffany and Brett). I chalked up this season as a dumpster fire. I wondered if the show had run its course. I was ready to tell Love Is Blind "I'm just that into you ... anymore."
And then, the finale aired and changed my mind.
Too much drama is a turn-off
Look, I enjoy reality TV drama as the next person. But when a show starts casting for drama, rather than for the stated purpose (e.g. marriage), it feels fake and gross. I liked Love Is Blind because it felt authentic, unlike The Bachelor.
Season 4 looked like it was headed down the same path, after casting people who didn't seem serious about getting married. Instead, some cast members seemed to have been selected for their ability to stir up trouble.
Irina Solomonova and Micah Lussier are the prime examples. The two were quickly dubbed by viewers as "mean girls," for their petty and rude behavior. They openly laughed at another woman's heartbreak, and flirted with engaged men.
It wasn't fun or funny to watch Irina spying on a tearful Amber after a break-up, as Micah giggled in the background. Nor was it amusing to see Micah and Kwame Appiah, former pod daters, having a cozy tête-à-tête away from their actual partners. I was disgusted by how Irina negged fiancé Zack Goytowski from the jump.
Then, there was the whole mess with Jackelina Bonds and Marshall Glaze. Though they got engaged, Jackie distanced herself emotionally from Marshall and questioned his masculinity. She was clearly unequipped to be in a serious relationship, no matter how hard Marshall tried to make it work. As the poor guy showed up for his suit fitting, Jackie skipped her dress fitting and went on a date with previous pod partner Josh Demas.
Ultimately, the only couple I was rooting for was Tiffany Pennywell and Brett Brown.
Three weddings and a breakup
I went into the finale with a general feeling of malaise about the show. With only one couple who seemed certain to say yes at the altar, Love Is Blind had seemingly fallen into the reality show trap of being all about manufactured drama.
But the finale surprised me, with three of the four couples getting married. While I remain dubious about Chelsea and Kwame (he seems way less into her than she's into him), I'm truly glad for Brett and Tiffany, and even Zack and second-chance partner Bliss Poureetezadi. Their weddings moved me to, well, not quite tears, but smiles.
As for Micah, I won't rejoice that she was dumped by Paul Peden. But as Taylor Swift sings, "Karma's a relaxing thought."
The fact that Love Is Blind season 4 ended with three marriages — more than the previous seasons — renewed my faith in the show. Still, I hope that the producers cast future seasons less for drama and more for actual romance. All that's left is watching the Love Is Blind season 4 live reunion — to see what the cast has to say about it all.