Like all dating reality show franchises, MTV’s Are You the One? A bunch of young singles are thrown together in a house, set in the kind of tropical paradise required for finding true love on television.
The twist: Using old-school matchmaking techniques and complex algorithms, dating experts have paired the housemates with their supposed “ideal” mates, but neither the cast nor the viewers know the matches.
The housemates themselves have to figure out the “true love” couplings by undertaking a bunch of elaborate activities.
Boy Meets Boy, which aired in 2003 on Bravo, involved a Bachelor-style butch gay guy finding love among 15 suitors.
But the plot’s reductive pretense revolved around the fact that some of the suitors were secretly straight.
But we felt by putting [the twist] in, we would get a much broader audience.”MTV’s own 2007 offering, A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, was the rare reality show featuring an Asian American star.
But it hewed to a similar logic, in which 16 straight men and 16 lesbians competed for Tila’s affections, with the curveball being that the contestants were not aware of her bisexuality.
That element takes a funnier turn through Jonathan, a more femme guy, who also has a crush on Justin.
To some degree, the housemates have to be serious about finding their “real” match — and in the show’s parlance, that means following your heart rather than your libido.
The show’s driving question became whether the titular “boy” would be able to tell the straights from the gays.
As the show’s gay producer and creator, Douglas Ross, admitted at the time, “If it were just a gay dating show, for sure we'd get a lot of gay viewers, probably not that many straight [viewers], [and] some looky-loos.
One of the fastest — and already most explosive — pairings taking shape early in the season is between Kai and Jenna, a cis, femme-presenting, self-described drama queen.