Are You the One? is back for another season, and if you thought there couldn’t possibly be enough people willing to brawl on national television while ostensibly searching for an MTV-sanctioned soul mate, well, you clearly have no idea how much pocket money can be earned shilling teas that will cause you to sh*t out your spleen on Instagram. But there’s no denying this show is poppy escapism, so let’s just go ahead and pretend. Let’s pretend the participants are truly invested in finding love and not in parlaying their appearances into careers in the Reality Arts. Let’s pretend being followed by cameras is totally conducive to forming healthy relationships. And let’s also pretend a few of these contestants will feel just a teensy bit of internal shame for what we’ll all eventually be exposed to when they stumble into a location actually named “The Boom-Boom Room.”
For those who have never seen the show, the premise is as follows: A bunch of singles show up in Hawaii and each is tasked with finding his or her expert-assigned match. If the entire group eventually matches correctly, they all share a cash prize. And since I’m entirely of the belief that some of my own dates should have ended with me being handed a sack of money just for surviving the evening, I approve of the fact that these kids have a chance to prosper.
Our cast is introduced to us through a lovely montage during which they curse one another out and punch walls while bright pink text appears onscreen describing each person’s most defined qualities. Shockingly, none of the words we see are things like erudite, self-aware, mentally stable, or unlikely to punch in someone’s face at the slightest provocation. No, we get competitive and intimidating, so at least we can admit we’ve been warned.
Once they all run into the house and break open the first of many drinks they will consume, we find out Kayla is a hopeless romantic, Samantha is wildly independent – and she will shake her ass in a crowded kitchen on command – Lewis hides behind what he claims is humor, but it might be creepiness (he immediately points out the t*ts on one girl and the ass on another), and some girl named Nutsa who is just fine with being addressed as “Nut Sack.” Tevin likes to meditate and the focus of his meditation is about how he should cope with the tragic curse of being born handsome – Namaste! – and Kenya takes one look at him and decides she’s been passive long enough. (It’s been three minutes.) She grabs the guy, takes him into the confessional room, LICKS HIS FACE, and then the two start making out. In non-licking news, we also meet Jasmine. She has been coined “Perpetual Side Piece” by someone behind the scenes who clearly just landed himself a raise, but Jasmine wants her side piece days to be over because she has the same name as a Disney Princess, dammit, and she will find her Prince, so f*cking help her.
The group gathers in the hot tub for formal introductions, which includes someone standing up and declaring himself awesome. When the party moves inside, we learn Bria – who is branded “Literally Obsessed” – has decided Zak’s the guy for her. Now, I don’t know anything about this Zak guy, but I’m concerned for him. See, Bria describes herself as “crazy,” and though I’d love to applaud her for her honesty and I’m not all that skilled at Math, I do know the answer to this equation: Crazy + Drunk x Attention Given By A Camera Crew = A Walking Terror Who Will Stalk You Until the Very End of Time. I guess Zak will just have to explain to the officer he eventually files the restraining order with that he couldn’t help falling for this girl. After all, he loves drama! And who wouldn’t get all tingly being told by some girl you met four hours ago that she will f*ck you up if you stray? This is called romance, you guys.
I know…after such a meaningful love story just developed between Zak and Bria that was born out of something real and true and not just misguided physical attraction, you’d think there would be no residual hysteria, but Bria reads lips – of course she does – and she watches Zak’s mouth form words that herald another woman’s ass. She handles the entire situation very well. She storms off, explains to the one person who tries to comfort her that Zak is the walking epitome of why she doesn’t date white men, and then she decides to let her fists do the talking. She stalks back to the house, all the while screaming about swinging at Zak or one of the chicks he was ogling. But this display of insanity does not bother Zak in the least. He enjoys when girls threaten him with physical violence! He likes attention, and nobody doles out more attention than a deranged person.
Also: If you’re not already expecting Bria to star on the next seventeen seasons of The Challenge, you’re as insane as she is. Night one on this show is her f*cking audition tape, and my guess is she totally knows it.
Also: Simply because Lewis busted out the sentence, “You ain’t his wife! Relax!” right to Bria’s face, I have decided he very well may be my soul mate. It’s all good, Lewis. I hide behind humor also. Still, please try not to comment on my t*ts in the first five minutes of our initial conversation. I’m a lady. I require at least eight minutes before we chat about my nipples.
In more normal news, Cam the Conservative and Kayla the Romantic bond in a swing, at least until Cam begins waxing poetic about Donald Trump and how he is doing such a wonderful job. Kayla, um, doesn’t agree – which means perhaps she’s my soul mate and I’m gonna have to break the bad news to Lewis that we’re over – but Cam is tolerant of her views and there are no TVs in that Hawaiian house anyway, so they can wait until they’re back in the real world for one of them to heave a remote control into a cable box when they fight over turning on FOX or MSNBC. Since a bipartisan meet-cute did not end in bloodshed, let’s head back to Bria and Zak! She informs him, menace dripping from her tongue, that she was born with the superpower of being able to hear everything, and that includes the murmurings done by men about asses. Then she straddles him and all is wonderful again.
Also: These two scare the sh*t out of me.