Run out of dating shows in your queue? No worries: “Love on the Spectrum'' is back. The Australian-based docu-series follows people on the autism spectrum as they “look for love and navigate the changing world of dating and relationships.” But this time, the show is headed to the US — starting May 18.
Since its Netflix premiere in 2020, the series has had audiences worldwide swooning. And has even scored a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. But “Love on the Spectrum” is a big departure from stereotypical dating shows like “Love is Blind” or “The Ultimatum.” In honor of the US debut, here’s your Skimm on how the show works. And why people can’t get enough.
Finding love across the spectrum
On the show, viewers follow people with autism on their journey to find love. Starting with a dating coach — who helps each person become more comfortable with romantic social interactions. Autism is a developmental disorder that typically impacts social skills, which can make interpersonal relationships feel less cohesive. So the dating coach comes in to help provide tools and exercises to make participants feel more comfortable.
The cast then goes on dates with each other. Which can be anything from dinner and drinks to kite flying and renaissance festivals. Through each date, we see who develops connections, wants to explore other relationships, or takes a step back.
What’s different about the show is there is no pressure to end up with anybody — it’s up to the person. This means some people may end up alone, in relationships, or even engaged. Along the way, we get to know each person — learning about their living situations, family dynamics, and dating history.
In the “Love on the Spectrum US” trailer, one woman said, “I have to kiss many frogs to find the right guy.” While one man admits he hadn’t dated in 33 years. But across the board, the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes are looking for what anyone wants in a relationship: “Respect, understanding, and a whole lot of love."
Standing out from the rest
Over the years, dating shows have gone above and beyond with their plotlines. Going so far as serious couples issuing marriage ultimatums…while dating around. But “Love on the Spectrum'' goes in another direction, pulling the curtain back on the experience for the autistic community. It’s the first of its kind to showcase that dating is an awkward and vulnerable experience — no matter who you are.
“People on the spectrum want love just like everybody else does,” director and executive producer Cian O’Clery told TheWrap when discussing the Australian series in 2020. “It’s really refreshing and nice to be able to show people on an authentic dating journey who aren’t picture-perfect, good-looking people looking for Instagram followers.”
Netflix has put a premium on dating shows over the past couple years. But “Love on the Spectrum” provides a refreshing, necessary departure enjoyable for all viewers. Showing that no matter your differences, everyone wants to feel loved.
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