Thank you for submitting “Love is Blind: A Social Experiment” to the Journal of Social Science. We sent your “documentary” out for review and received three referee reports in response. Two of the reviewers expressed qualified support for some portions of your research into whether reality show contestants could fall in love, sight unseen, and then follow through on a wedding within 40 days of meeting the other person. In particular, Reviewer 1 praised “the sensitive conversations about race and racial identity that occurred between Lauren, Cameron, and Lauren’s family over the duration of the experiment.” Reviewer 2 observed: “So many hot messes on this show. I loved it!” Reviewer 3′s most positive comment was, “there were a lot of nice throw pillows in the pods.”

That said, all three reviewers raised significant questions about presentation, methodology, and research ethics in your submission that will need to be addressed in any resubmission. Regarding the presentation, both Reviewer 1 and Reviewer 2 raised questions about the analytical leverage supplied by hosts Vanessa and “I’m Obviously” Nick Lachey. Reviewer 1 noted, “The value-added of the Lacheys seemed dubious at best, beyond saying the phrase ‘social experiment’ ad nauseam.” Reviewer 2 added, “Who were these clowns?”

The more serious charge was whether this was a tough or easy test of whether love is truly blind. As Reviewer 1 explained, “For this social experiment to have any external validity, there should be variation across dimensions that might be important to the visually inclined. While there was some variation in race, height and age, by any standard metric all of the contestants appeared to be very conventionally attractive. Is any test of whether love is blind a real test if all the possible candidates are aesthetically pleasing?” Reviewer 2 was more direct: “Were the cast members told in advance that everyone was hot? Maybe next time cast someone who didn’t look like they used to model for Abercrombie & Fitch?” Reviewer 3 had a more specific concern: “For the life of me I could not tell the men apart. They all had the exact same look: short-cropped hair and a beard. Seriously, were Damian and Kenny even different people?”

Reviewer 1 also thought a resubmission should explore in greater depth some additional issues. “Carlton and Lauren tackled race, and Carlton and Diamond addressed sexuality. Jessica and Mark addressed gaps height, age, and pliancy. Surely, class differences could be directly addressed as well. Amber and Barnett clearly had very different class backgrounds, but it was never explicitly addressed until the reunion episode.”

Finally, all the reviewers raised questions about the ethics of your research methods. All the reviewers asked why some couples were filmed but others were not. All of them wanted to know the extent to which the families of the cast members were properly briefed about possible contingencies. Reviewer 1 noted, “The scripted vows seemed at variance with traditional liturgies.” Reviewer 2 asked, “Did a psychopath write those vows?” Reviewer 3 wondered if a metal tumbler company was given promotional considerations, since that was all anyone seemed to be drinking from. Reviewer 1 added, “If I can put my social science concerns to one side, it remains a mystery how three women found Barnett to be such a catch.”

In conclusion, the revised documentary must somehow be less tawdry. As Reviewer 3 concluded, “I feel like I need to watch 20 hours of PBS to regain my soul.”