Season two of Single’s Inferno is now streaming on Netflix, and there are some key facts fans need to know before diving into the reality show. The show mixes elements from some of the most popular reality dating shows like Bachelor In Paradise and survival shows like Survivor to create a unique setting for potential love matches. The cast starts with 12 single women and men who call South Korea home and are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Despite the show being similar to other reality dating shows, Single’s Inferno has its own quirks that set it apart from other reality shows.
For many audiences, Single’s Inferno is a window into non-English speaking international dating shows and how dating varies between cultures. Season 1’s cast of Single’s Inferno made the show a massive success for the platform, and many new fans are coming to the series, knowing nothing about the high stakes of the challenges and the drama surrounding each couple. However, with only a handful of episodes per season, fans aren’t able to learn everything about Netflix’s new phenomenon by simply watching the show. While some contestants have spilled secrets on social media, most have remained quiet about their time on the show, leaving viewers to discover some things for themselves.
Netflix describes the structure of Single’s Inferno as a reality dating show mixed with a human survival experiment. While shows like Love Island has some of the worst tropes, Single’s Inferno subverts many of them by mixing genres.
The survival element of Single’s Inferno makes it more exciting, as contestants literally fight for one another’s time. This adds a heightened level of drama that other shows don’t have since dates are given, not fought for. The show also emphasizes getting off the island as the ideal goal, rather than it being a lovers’ paradise, contrasting with Love Island and Bachelor In Paradise.
Single’s Inferno takes a different approach to the hosting role, with four judges that watch along and react to the show the way audiences do. Bustle reported all four hosts are well-known South Korean celebrities and influencers, like guest judges on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
All the hosts function as commentators and add comedy to awkward moments and emotion to the more romantic ones. While watching dating shows can sometimes feel lonely, the judges’ input makes it feel like viewers are watching with friends. This gives the show a sense of comfort that other shows don’t have, as the host only appears for a few minutes in each episode.
Even though the island the cast lives on appears to be a long way from civilization, Yahoo! reports that both prominent locations on the show, the island and Paradise Resort, are only an hour away from Seoul, South Korea.
Despite being close to the rest of South Korea, the show’s filming and editing make it seem like the contestants are thousands of miles away from home, as many of the best tropical dating show locations do, adding drama and making the island seem hellish to be stranded on. This also explains how contestants can easily be transported from the island to the lush resort overnight.
Casting for reality shows usually relies on hopeful participants reaching out to the show, but Single’s Inferno doesn’t follow this pattern. NME reported that the producers of Single’s Inferno had no restrictions when casting.
By not looking for people who want to be famous or on television, the contestants are more relatable to viewers and seem more authentic in their search for love. This was discussed at length on Bachelorette contestant Nick Viall’s podcast and it leads to less space for unnatural storylines, like having a villain. Single’s Inferno doesn’t recast contestants like The Bachelor, so no contestant has to be packaged as likable because they won’t be back next season.
Varying Season Length
Most dating shows have a set number of episodes to get the couple together, but Single’s Inferno varies the season’s length depending on the content, making each season unique. This keeps the show feeling fresh and not repetitive. Season 1 was only eight episodes, which didn’t give fans much time to get to know every couple, but season 2 remedies this by providing fans with 10 episodes, per Netflix’s description.
This helps keep fans engaged with the contestants and allows them to see more connections and theorize who will end up leaving the island together, but it also makes room for more romance and drama to be shown between challenges.
Duration Of Filming
Netflix’s The Ultimatum takes weeks to film, but Single’s Inferno takes eight days, as Netflix notes. With limited time to couple, making day-one connections is one of the most important elements of the show.
Other shows that expect contestants to be engaged after a few weeks of knowing one another, Single’s Inferno focuses on the contestants finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, a less intense consequence of going to the island. With lower stakes, the romances seem less rushed and like the natural flow of dating in the real world. This short time also leaves less room for making and breaking up, further setting it apart from other dating shows.
While other dating shows rely on someone inviting someone else to spend time with them, Single’s Inferno has Survivor-style physical challenges that can’t be hacked but earn the couples an escape from the island.
This allows the contestants to split into groups and size up their potential love interests. Challenges become emotionally charged and high stakes for those who haven’t gotten alone time with their top choice. With much to lose, these intense challenges lead to drama that can carry over to other episodes and divide friendships. The results of each task can change the course of who pairs up, as many dates result in unexplored connections and new love.
Rules Of The Island
One of the paramount restrictions the cast has to follow is they are not allowed to ask questions while on the island about the essential elements of the others’ lives.
This requires connections to be made through the survival aspects of the show and spending time together, which contrasts with the rules 90-Day Fiance‘s cast has to follow. Without knowing socioeconomic status and location, couples must decide what affects their attraction at the finale. With this restriction, the show exposes what changes human attraction and how outside factors can affect a relationship. Other shows do not explore this idea leaving many to deal with these elements after they are already together.
Public Displays Of Affection
Single’s Inferno shows very little physical interaction between contestants on the show other than a few kisses on the cheek or sitting near one another during dates.
Some of this is due to cultural differences between South Korea and other places like the UK and Love Island, where nothing is off-limits. The Korea Times reported that PDAs are becoming more acceptable in South Korea, but are still seen as inappropriate, making even the most romantic K-dramas more conservative when showing intimacy. This also makes Single’s Inferno more appealing to those who are not interested in seeing the contestants engage in PDAs, but rather want to just see them fall in love.
On other shows, couples may not have a mutual connection to obtain a date, but Single’s Inferno requires both people to match with one another.
Because of this, day-one connections get a lot of attention, as fans root for the couple to make it to the end. This heightens the stakes of challenges and dates since the first connection may not be love, and contestants want to move on. As a result, there are greater chances of love triangles, becoming the best reality TV couple of the season with fans, and becoming OTPs for many.
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