Courtesy of Women’s Health Magazine
By Kat Kaderabek
Steamy and entertaining in an unexpected way, Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle nears the peak of reality TV with its laughable premise and even more ridiculous cast. The show brings together a large group of hot, sexy singles on a tropical beach in order to explore their strength and ability to resist each other.
Prior to the show, the cast was not told the exact motive behind this “retreat.” After the first night of the show, this is revealed when Lana, an artificial intelligence robot, finally speaks up. The cast would collectively win $100,000 if they could abstain from anything sexual for the one-month duration of their stay. For every rule that was broken, money was deducted from the cash prize. Now, the average person would most likely see this as rather simple; however, this incredibly naive and horny cast found this challenge extremely difficult (enough to cost them over $50,000 worth of rule breaks).
The members of this show are truly laughable and rather unbelievable people. Addicted to sex, stubborn, and self-serving, much of the cast was not likable nor relatable. The experience of watching the show was like watching a social experiment of some sort. Too Hot to Handle does nothing to debunk the airhead stereotype of attractive people. However, one admirable trait of the show was that the stupidity of the cast was universal; members of the retreat stemmed from the U.S., Australia, England, and Ireland. If their accents weren’t entertaining enough, then watching them interact with one another in a non-sexual way was surely the best part of the show.
One of the cast members, Francesca, quickly developed a relationship with Harry, a tall Australian boy who set his sights on her from the beginning. Their relationship proved to be the most costly as they could simply not keep their hands off each other. The pair ended up costing the group $29,000 worth of fines for engaging in sexual contact. Their relationship was absolutely ridiculous and unlikable. Harry acted very disrespectfully toward Francesca after a confrontation over his own lies, while Francesca chose other men over him on various occasions. And yet, for some unknown reason, the two ended up together and Francesca claims she has “never been more obsessed with someone in her life.” All in all, the pair acted like children throughout the majority of the show and very little growth was seen by the audience, despite what Lana and other cast members claimed.
Unlike Harry and Francesca’s lustful relationship, there does seem to be a true and healthy relationship within the show. New Jersey native Sharron quickly swept Rhonda off of her feet, and the two, while they broke the rules one time, they grew rapidly into a loving and accepting relationship. The audience sees the two share very personal aspects of their lives in their newfound relationship and their connection grows even deeper, fulfilling the intention of Lana’s “retreat” in the first place. Rhonda even opens up about her son, and invites Sharron into his life to which he gratefully accepts. Their relationship is very likable to witness and their maturity speaks volumes in comparison to Francesca and Harry’s relationship.
Too Hot to Handle is not only about finding romantic love, but also practicing and growing in self-love as well. Throughout the show, the men and women separately engaged in group activities about self-empowerment and acceptance. Through several interesting and at times weird exercises, the cast members learned to own their sexuality in a healthy way. Self-validation and acceptance was taught to the cast members, as well as vulnerability and openness to the process. Those who were unsuccessful in this were sent home by Lana. From the beginning of the show to the end, it is clear that the cast members learn more about themselves and each other to some extent. Whether or not a one-month no-sex retreat will change them from their player-ways has yet to be determined.
Two of the show’s fan-favorites were U.K. natives Chloe and Kelz. Kelz is the self-appointed “accountant” of the group and his dad-like personality came into play when he tried to keep the men in line during their stay. To him, the money was worth more than the women and he encouraged the others to respect the process. Audiences saw Kelz open up during several group activities and was one of the more mature and wise members of the group. Chloe was the exact opposite of the quiet and observant Kelz. She was wild, rambunctious, and self-appointedly dumb. She was hilarious to watch because of her rather ineloquent vocabulary and clumsy falls. Chloe made mistakes throughout the show, but was obviously the most open to the process of getting to know her castmates and creating strong, valuable connections. Despite her airhead appearance on screen, it was easy to see her good heart. This made her an entertaining and lovable person for audiences to root for.
Overall, Too Hot the Handle is the perfect show for a great laugh. The premise is entertaining and the cast was unintentionally hilarious which made the show easily watchable. It is a great binge-watch for quarantine and its lightheartedness will carry through to viewers who need something amusing and rather ridiculous to entertain them.