The intrigue behind Netflix's newest reality show, Dating Around, is kind of like John Green's depiction of falling in love — slowly, and then all at once. The show, which premiered on Feb. 14, may need some getting used to from fans of reality dating shows like The Bachelor or 90 Day Fiancé. There are no elimination ceremonies, no sound bites edited in by the producers for added drama, and no big engagements at the end. Regardless, fans were hooked by the end of episode 6 and are left wondering if there will be a Season 2 of Dating Around.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the premise of Dating Around, every episode follows a New York City single who goes on five first dates and viewers get to see every moment of it — from every fun flirtation to every awkward exchange, untainted by a backstory that producers want to sell.
“We didn’t want (daters) to sit down and say something outrageous, like in a 2005 reality show,” Co-creator Chris Culvenor told USA Today. “This is a real first date: Think about who you are, the stories you tell, what you want to want to get across.”
In fact, there is no added pressure to get married at the end of the show. Dating Around is simply a round of first dates — nothing more, nothing less.
“It’s not ‘someone finding the love of their life and and proposing at the end,” Culvenor added. Rather, the show is “a kaleidoscope about what it’s like to be single in the modern world.”
As of this write-up, it's unconfirmed if the dating reality series will ever receive a second season release date. There is no official word from Netflix in regards to Dating Around Season 2. So, unfortunately, fans will just have to hold on and wait. However, critics are feeling the same way as the fans. The Netflix original has been receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews for its refreshing and authentic take on the dating scene in New York City. So there's a good chance that a Dating Around renewal could still be on the table.
In a review for Vulture, Kathryn VanArendonk applauded the reality series for its ability to make real singles feel seen, identifying what popular romance reality often leaves out and promptly putting them up front and center. "It is a little window into many people’s lives, of many different backgrounds and orientations, as they go on many first dates," VanArendonk wrote. "I suspect its six short episodes will go down very quickly and very smoothly this Valentine’s Day weekend."
You might not have gotten the answer you were expecting for details on Season 2 of Dating Around, but for now, the romance reality series seems to be getting plenty of attention and praise from fans and critics alike.
And while viewers don't get the really bananas moments that most dating shows are known for, Dating Around challenges the Bachelor narrative, while giving reality television obsessives something that they didn't even realize they wanted — or needed — in their lives: A show filled with a diverse cast of genuine people making honest connections, both good and bad. And not one of the contestants is a petite blonde named Lauren.
Dating Around is now streaming on Netflix.