Necessity is the mother of invention, and if there is anything we need in these trying times, it blinds a new season of love. The Netflix reality romance series dominated pop culture convos during all of February (aka “Simple Time”). Still, we have been left high and dry when it comes to new love material under extreme circumstances. Thankfully, two madmen with Instagram accounts have come to the rescue with an informal (but every bit as entertaining as the original) spinoff, Love is Quarantine.
And yes, this is very much how it really feels.
The project comes from roommates Thi Kyu Lam (@thiqlam) and Rance Nix (@rancenix) living in Brooklyn. Before the epidemic, Lam spent his days creating material for foodie startups, while Rance worked as an actor and in real estate. Love is quarantine, their new attempt to imitate the dating process, as closely as using Google Docs and phone calls can resist converting to a sound “dating pod.” It works like this: Whoever (18+ only, please) wants to go on some randomly assigned blind dates is hinting at a Google Doctor, giving them names and phone numbers. Then Lam and Nix “casting” tops the applicant’s screen before setting it up for people and on their dates.
The whole process is lightning fast, as they told the judge in a phone call. Lam said, “We’ll text random people in advance, asking if they’re available.” It’s too early, so if they don’t answer, they’re passing, and we go to someone else. Whoever answers, if they are bubbly and amusing and down to it, we put them in a pod. Daters are encouraged to video themselves before, during, and after the date of each phone call, setting their expectations and letting their potential soul mate take over.
Lam and Nix got the idea to launch this ragtag romance revolution after finishing up Love Is Blind. “Being two extroverts, we were going a little stir crazy around the apartment thinking what can we do,” explained Nix. “Then Thi said, how about we make our own version of the show because being quarantined in an apartment is like being in a pod.” Love is Quarantine, After making a Google Sheet for applicants, names, and numbers started rolling in from all over the country and across the globe.
It’s a genuinely wild way to pass the time, but—and I can’t stress this enough—we are all bored. That’s what one contestant, Lydia, said before her blind date: “Being in a house is boring, and this is different.” This is different, but it’s every bit as interesting as Love Is Blind! Connections appear to be forming, fan favorites are emerging (Val and Red are early favorites, I guess? Is that a thing? It’s a thing now!), and the pods are full.
For a taste of what life is like in these virtual pods, here, Hayley is talking about her date with Roman. “Helle” and “Roman”? Those love blind names, for sure!
And unlike real love is blind, we get an utterly unfiltered look behind the scenes of love is quarantine. The soul of Lam and Nix experience is in a way that Vanessa and Nick Lachey never were. You can follow their adventures, creating the project via insta-stories while popping the video Instagram feed from Hope Love Birds. It is half American barbaric, half love blind, all terrible.
They are easily blown into account more than anyone expected. In one day, the newly formed Instagram account has earned (and growing) 2,000+ followers. Things are blowing up so much that “Nick Lachey” wants to use the project, which will eventually include a website and merch to raise money to feed America.
The next round of blind dates takes place tonight, Wednesday, 18 March, starting at 8 pm ET. A whole new lineup of daters will be called, and all pairs will be revealed from last night’s round. There will also be some special appearances from mystery guests. Lam said, “We may have some special guests, some musical acts, a halftime show.” Not even a local singer / songwriter down the road. I’m talking about someone.
Sign up, and if you get a phone call from a mysterious number, it could be Lam and Nix looking to set you up with a blind date! The Knicks reported that they would start reaching season 2 contestants around 7 pm ET, and they would leave them in their pod around 7:30 pm ET before all the festivities pop off on Instagram at 8 pm.
Meanwhile, you can do all the bi tung of love on Netflix is blind. And remember, as Nix said, it’s for Mark. “#TeamMark. We’re doing all this for Mark.
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