An unscientific exploration of the most desperate men on television, ranked from best to worst
Love Is Blind
What: Series, 10 episodes, 60 mins.
Why you should watch: This addictive reality show shocked viewers and made headlines when it premiered in 2020. It follows a group of singles who “blind date” in isolated pods with the goal of getting engaged before ever seeing each other’s faces — and whether you buy into its claims of being a transformative social experiment or just accept it as batshit-crazy reality TV, it’s must-see viewing.
Netflix Original reality show Love Is Blind exists to answer the age-old question: What if a profit-minded corporate entity gathered a group of poorly adjusted millennials and forced them to scrounge for crumbs of human connection in an isolated, windowless compound before sending them off to get married, sight-unseen? The answer, unsurprisingly, is that it’s pretty weird!
Love is Blind follows a group of singles who choose to get engaged before seeing their partner’s face, and after the smash success of its 2020 premiere, the show has come back for an equally surreal second season — and yes, improbably white-teethed co-hosts Nick and Vanessa Lachey still insist on calling it a “scientific social experiment.”
It may be bizarre, pseudoscientific and inundated with near-indistinguishable characters who stumble through basic interpersonal relationships like freshly-birthed farm animals, but we love it just the way it is. To help you navigate the L.I.B. landscape, we’ve taken the liberty of creating a guide to the show’s men by ranking them from best to worst based on vibes alone.
If the name Vito is unfamiliar to you, don’t worry — he doesn’t have any lines or solo screen time, and after combing through hours of background footage, I’ve determined that it’s actually entirely possible he’s not even in the show at all. I found his name on the Love Is Blind Instagram cast announcement, where I also discovered that he owns a pizzeria. So far, nothing but green flags. Keep up the great work, Vito!
Salvador is kind, asks for verbal consent and is more communicative than possibly everyone else in the show put together. He also performs a romantic ukulele solo — points for earnestness.
Kyle, the Season 2 counterpart to Season 1 L-taker Mark, is ultimately a nice guy who gets a bum deal. Points docked for repeatedly comparing his desired sexual partner to his mother. More points docked for being attracted to Shaina (potentially the worst romantic partner in the show’s history) in the first place.
#4: Boat Instructor
The nameless, faceless resort employee who takes Shayne and Natalie boating in episode four might not be a key player in the Love Is Blind universe, but he does his job and he does it well. Water safety is no joke!
Kindly hangers-on Joey and Haseeb aren’t awarded any character development or romantic prospects, but they do appear often in the background of group scenes to offer vaguely encouraging words of advice to the show’s more major players. Healthy masculinity kings!
As far as I can tell, none of these characters have any on-camera time at all at any point in the show. Luckily for them, in this game, neutrality is an asset.
These two were also blank slates, bumped down only because they both dedicated their single line in the series to soliloquizing about their sex drives (“I get so horny when I’m hungover,” muses Jeremy).
#8: Nick Lachey
The series’s smarmy co-host is awarded the title of superior Nick by a hair’s breadth. I’m tired of everyone forcing Nick Lachey down my throat.
Nick, Nick, Nick. I had high hopes for Nick: He was the first on the show to get engaged, and his propensity for petty gossip and shameless shit-stirring made me feel a strange but intimate kinship with him. Unfortunately, his poor conflict resolution skills and bad haircut tanked his vibes as the episodes wore on. He also makes his own toothpaste and carries it around in a Tupperware container, which isn’t necessarily good or bad but definitely worth mentioning.
Jarrette gets points for his epic mobile hookah business but loses more for blatantly flirting with Mallory in front of both of their partners. It’s not entirely his fault that he’s scoring this low — the problem with getting engaged to the coolest woman on the show is that you’re always going to seem unfulfilled in comparison.
Amateur DJ and professional veterinarian Shake spends most of his early screen time asking women if they’re fat so he can decide whether or not to like them. His admissions of guilt and early character growth barely bump him up from last, but some crimes cannot be forgiven.
Shayne is a bad vibe machine. He has a strange, threatening stance and textbook crazy eyes. He mixes up the two women he claims to be in love with several times, including directly before he proposes to one of them, and he whines like a maladjusted toddler in the face of any conflict. Perhaps most importantly of all, the fact that the women on this show constantly treat him like sex on wheels shakes my faith in my perception of reality to its very core — like Chris Pratt, Noah Centineo, or any of the Bachelors, he’s got a face only a straight woman could love, and I’m big enough to admit that I resent him for it.