Hear me out: Netflix's show about dating in animal masks isn't that weird
Two undebatable facts in this fuckery of life are that people will always be horny, and people will always love reality shows. So leave it to Netflix to continually marry the two and cause absolute mayhem on the internet today by releasing the trailer for their new show Sexy Beasts.
Last year we saw the success of a new kind of dating reality show on the streaming service in Love Is Blind, where contestants got to know one another from within their own Ikea-fitted bubbles, able to hear, but not see each other. Contestants dated multiple suitors at once, while the women and men of each dating pool also lived together in group houses (queue delectable in-fighting on who liked who more). Then there was the twist that in the end each contestant had to blindly choose a mate to MARRY, and hope their affection would be returned and they would be chosen back. The successful matches rushed down the aisle in a batshit kurfuckle that brought their families in on the drama as well. It was a hit, because people are unwell.
So enter Netflix’s new turn-off-your-brain-and-watch-people-ruin-their-lives treat, Sexy Beasts. It combines the concept of Love Is Blind with Fox’s reality juggernaut The Masked Singer, and sets its contestants up to date one another in full special fx costuming and makeup as...essentially, furries. It’s basically Furry Con with a production budget and permission to be horny on main, and everyone is beyond excited for it. In the mere hours since Netflix released the trailer, Twitter has already become abuzz with excitement alongside commentary like, “This looks like a 30 Rock bit,” and “what knucklehead called it Sexy Beasts and not Jump The Shark?”
The contestants’ costumes all range in how completely disguising they are (i.e. if their arms, body art, or body shape are visible), and how attractive their costumes are. Not going to lie: the bull and the owl are both cute af, and I am prepared for the incels to flood my inbox telling me I like to have sex with animals. (I don’t. Get off the internet, and go outside, boys.) In The Masked Singer contestants have a say in their costuming, which often portrays clues to who they might be and is representative of their personalities—we’ll have to wait until July 21 to find out if that’s the case in Sexy Beasts. What I do know is that there’s a woman in head to toe prosthetics as a dolphin-like creature, complete with a blow hole. She is undoubtedly going to be a crowd favorite, because it takes real balls to flirt with a blow hole.
The real societal question, though, that Sexy Beasts begs to ask, is why are we so enraptured by the idea of dating someone you can’t see? With apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble being all the rage, it’s undeniable that hookup culture has exponentially increased with the access the internet grants to hop on your phone and find someone to go out with on the spot. Long gone are the days of having to go somewhere to meet people. The aforementioned culture, while ubiquitous, is also widely bemoaned, as finding a real connection is often overlooked for finding someone to get naked with for the night — especially when anyone can just keep swiping if the person they land on isn’t up for a one night stand.
In a way, shows like Sexy Beasts and Love Is Blind are rebuttals to hookup culture. They show that people really do want to find love, and they want to do it without having the superficial at the forefront — and people want to watch them do it. Whether they’re watching because they’re a romantic who wants to see people fall in love based on personality alone, or if they just merely enjoy the chaos of it all, is hard to measure. But the excitement for another Netflix reality firestorm is undeniable, and we will all be in it together.