Netflix announced a new dating reality series, Sexy Beasts, on which people go on dates while in prosthetic makeup that disguises their actual appearance. It seems very similar to NBC’s charming First Dates, just with furries and some competition.
In each episode, one person goes on three dates, during which both people are in prosthetics that would be right at home on Syfy’s Face Off. The dater eventually chooses one of the three, and then they all get to meet without their makeup. Netflix describes this as “real-life singles” (as opposed to dead singles? fake singles?) who are “hoping to say goodbye to superficial dating” and thus “sport elaborate makeup and prosthetics to put true blind-date chemistry to the test.”
This made me think immediately of Fox’s 2003 Monica Lewinsky-hosted reality competition Mr. Personality, which was basically The Bachelorette except the men wore masks, and it was produced by Fox in the era when the network tried to produce more shocking and trashier versions of other reality TV shows.
Sexy Beasts was actually a one-season 2014 BBC reality TV show whose format Netflix is dusting off, perhaps because of the success its other secret dating show, Love is Blind. The original production company, Lion TV, is producing two seasons, each of which has six episodes. That sounds like the thing Netflix does where it films one actual season, splits it in half, and then refers to it as two seasons.
The show was filmed in the UK, and season one premieres July 21—watch its trailer here—and comedian and Catstrophe star Rob Delaney will narrate.
Netflix gave Variety the press release first, and that story quotes creator and producer Simon Welton who said his show will have “an international cast featuring some truly brilliant characters, a host of prosthetics which look extraordinary in 4K,” and added, “I hope the show puts a smile on peoples’ faces as they play along to discover who’ll fall in love with who, and what our cast all really look like.”
So if the whole point is to find out what people really look like, does that mean Sexy Beasts is ultimately just another superficial dating show?