What Did We Do to Deserve “Sexy Beasts,” Netflix’s New Fever Dream of a Reality Dating Show?

No one asked for this

A woman wearing a dolphin head and a man wearing a bug head sit at a bar in the trailer for Netflix's "Sexy Beasts."
What the hell, Netflix?

Spend 79 seconds of your life watching the fresh hell Netflix hath unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses in the form of a trailer for Sexy Beasts, a forthcoming reality dating show in which contests are disguised in grotesque costumes, and it’s clear the streaming giant is trying to punish us for something.What, exactly, we’ve done to offend the powers that be at Netflix remains unclear, but cold, calculated retribution is the only logical explanation for the waking nightmare that is Sexy Beasts.

The series, according to Netflix, “is a new dating show where real-life singles sport elaborate makeup and prosthetics to put true blind-date chemistry to the test,” which turns out to be much more disturbing than that tame description lets on. The trailer reveals contestants are disguised as various anthropomorphic creatures that appear designed to trigger disgust. Presumably, they could’ve made these costumes easier on the eyes, but they chose not to — because, again, Netflix is clearly trying to punish us.

The result is nothing short of a fever dream. In the trailer, a woman dressed as a panda gushes about her aspirations for marriage and parenthood before age 26, asking the Minotaur she’s on a date with if he has health insurance all in one breath. An alien-like creature goes bowling with a dolphin. A lone beaver delivers the line, “Ass first, personality second,” and a fish and a rhinoceros joke about interspecies relationships while riding through town in a horse-drawn carriage. Really chilling stuff.

The point of all this, aside from traumatizing viewers, is apparently to test whether people can “fall in love with someone based on personality alone.” Essentially, it’s the same concept as Netflix’s earlier reality dating show, Love Is Blind, in which prospective matches agree to marry each other sight unseen after presumably falling in love by simply talking through a wall for a few days, but way more disturbing.

As it happens, however, this nightmare of a show is actually not a hell of Netflix’s own making. According to CNET, Sexy Beasts was originally a 2014 BBC Three series, which was rebooted on A&E in 2015 and subsequently canceled after one season, which was probably a good call. The ill-advised Netflix reboot premieres in July, but until then, please join me in begging Netflix to forgive us for whatever we did to deserve this.

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