With the appearance of Sexy beasts on the coast of the United States, we’ve officially run out of ideas for a dating show. To encourage researchers to judge each other on anything but looks, the singles in this series agreed to date while wearing elaborate makeup. So they can look like a demon, a statue or a small forest creature. But they are not like themselves. Crazy? Sure. But is it silly-good or silly-horrible?
SEXY BEASTS: LEARN IT OR IGNORE IT?
Opening scene: After seeing someone dressed as a raccoon go out drinking with someone dressed as a bull, narrator Rob Delaney says, “When it comes to dating, we all go for looks first. . So in this show, everyone looks as weird as possible.”
Gist: The idea behind Sexy beasts it was a man, whose face was obscured by prosthetics and bizarre makeup, dating three equally obscured suitors. The idea is that they should get to know each other by personality and see if there’s an attraction there. After three “speed dates” at a London bar, the playboy removes a suitor who will reveal his/her true appearance. Then, after two longer dates, the eater will make his or her choice. The losing suitor is unmasked and the dater’s true face is seen. Then, the hidden “winner” meets his unmasked mate.
In the first episode, Emma, a model from New York dressed as a demon – complete with a split chin and horns – entertains three boys: Bennett (dressed as a mandrill), Archie (dressed as a mandrill), and Archie (as a mandrill). dressed as “stoneman”) and Adam (dressed as a rat).
On speed day, it looks like Archie has no games and Adam is super aggressive, but Bennett is smooth and laid-back, as his California beach lad would suggest. Emma chose the two for a longer date, citing the fact that the person she rejected spoke to her. Two longer dates – one where both got a massage and the other at an amusement park – went well, but one would be better than the other.
Our Take: Believe it or not, the original version of Sexy beasts aired on BBC Three Way back in 2014, so this quirky concept has been around for seven years. And the concept is definitely weird. Yeah, we got the idea that dating without having to judge people’s looks is an attractive thing; that’s why we watch Love is blind so attentive. But watching people talk about sexy items while they’re wearing fancy masks is another story.
The producers know how silly this show is, which is why Delaney did the narration on the Netflix version. If no one was there mocking the proceedings as well as the data makers themselves, all we’d be looking at were people in weird costumes talking softly over drinks. Delaney’s narration makes us laugh the most, at least when he laughs at what’s funny instead of the absurdity of it all. A line about foot punches surprised us, and then what Delaney unleashes when the loser sees the winner cuddling with Emma is also pretty funny.
The show itself… well, it’s a short-form dating program. The weirdness of the elaborate costumes doesn’t take away from the fact that the people who sign up for these performances aren’t exactly the greatest minds on the planet. So the conversation is stiff and dull and the kiss is a bit vulgar – actually less gross than with a mask on. The revelations are what the show is all about, and sometimes they’re surprising. But for the most part, it’s people with good looks.
We think the show should go its own way and put these people in full costumes, like mascots or theme park characters. Yes, it would conjure up the world of fur, but who cares? It will also remove any hint of attractiveness, which the makeup the show uses doesn’t. Of course, the daters need to exercise normally and eat. But do you want to see a big fluffy sheep go on a date with a flamingo?
Gender and Skin: Some snoopers wear masks, but that’s it.
Farewell shot: Emma and her winning suitor begin and we’ll see the highlights from the next episode.
SleeperStar: Trust us, we think the makeup artists and VFX did a great job with the masks and other parts of the costume. Sometimes their results are too real; Adam’s mouse should look like this and less like this.
Most Pilot-y routes: Emma heard Adam’s Manchester accent and immediately thought of Peaky Blinders. Netflix couldn’t have found a better product placement if it tried.
Our call: STREAM IT. We really just recommend Sexy beasts for Rob Delaney’s narration. The rest of the show is weird at times, horrifying to others.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting, and technology, but he’s not kidding himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and others.
https://decider.com/2021/07/21/sexy-beasts-netflix-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?