A grasshopper and a dolphin walk into a bar. There’s no joke here, only romance: In Netflix’s newly announced reality show “Sexy Beasts,” which premieres on July 21, hopeful daters don prosthetic-heavy disguises in search of a connection beyond physical attraction, a blind date by way of “The Masked Singer” and a nightmare.
A trailer for the show was posted online on Wednesday, to varying degrees of intrigue and disgust.
The show’s costumes appear to include not only animals, but a devil, a goblin, a scarecrow, a “Wizard of Oz”-reminiscent tin man and what appears to be a mummified Egyptian king. “Welcome to the strangest blind date ever,” says comedian Rob Delaney, the show’s narrator.
“Sexy Beasts” is actually a new version of a British show that premiered in 2014 and appeared for American audiences in 2015 on the network A&E.
In the Netflix version’s trailer, we see daters go bowling, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets to the awe of normal people and try to flirt without actually being able to see the physical qualities they would otherwise be complimenting. Some try to adapt.
“I like your fin,” the scarecrow says to the dolphin.
After getting to know the other singles, contestants will have to decide which one will be their “sexy beast,” and then finally get to see each other’s real faces.
The response on Twitter was swift and overwhelmingly mocking, with some users asking if the trailer was real or if they were on drugs and seeing things. Others — as seems to happen every time Netflix announces anything — listed all the shows that have been canceled to make way for whatever this is.
“Any day now we’ll find out all the Netflix HQ staff died in a fire or something years ago and their whole business strategy ever since has been the result of the servers achieving conscience and desperately trying to understand humanity, and failing miserably at it,” someone tweeted.
We're not going to make it as a society, are we?— Jason B. (@jebeare) June 23, 2021
Some made comparisons to the full-body, mascot-like costumes worn by some members of the furry subculture. But even furries were suspicious.
“This is like if you tried to draw Homer Simpson, tried to hit a middle ground between ‘cartoony’ and ‘realistic,’ and instead hit the perfect mix of uncanny and creepy,” one Twitter user and furry said.
The show will become the latest to join the landscape of buzzy Netflix reality show. “Love Is Blind,” another dating show where singles don’t see the face of the person they’re talking to as they fall in love through conversation alone (this time while in pandemic-prescient isolation rooms). On “The Circle,” contestants living in their own apartments talk to each other through a social media-like chat platform, with the goal of becoming the top influencer and sniffing out catfishes.
Like “Love Is Blind,” “Sexy Beasts” is supposed to be about connection on a deeper level beyond physical attraction. But some might argue the contestants are not actually concealing much of anything.
“All those people are thin and attractive underneath [the] costumes so the ‘based on personality alone’ thing is a bit of a stretch,” one person tweeted.
Though love might not be entirely blind in this case, it sure is strange.