Move over Love Is Blind, new Netflix series The Ultimatum has you beat in terms of absolutely chaotic reality shows.
Picture the scene: you’re in a relationship, you want to move to the next level, but your beloved is not so keen. What do you do? Well, in the case of The Ultimatum‘s six couples, you go on a reality show to put this to the test, obviously.
Hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, the couples agree to undergo a new experiment. They temporarily split, live life as a “married couple” with another one of the group for three weeks, before returning to their original partners for a further three weeks.
At the end, they have to decide: do they marry, or do they move on?
Related: The Ultimatum on Netflix: Which couples are still together?
How the team managed to convince couples to take part in this series we will never know. It sounds like a recipe for disaster straight out the gate – and we were not proven wrong in this assumption.
Long-held romances are set aside for new sparks with someone else’s person, regrettable decisions are quickly made, with the potential of being catastrophic for everyone involved.
It takes approximately one episode for the jealousy to start kicking in, hypocritical notions of “well he’s doing it, why not me?” taking over, and existing cracks in relationships to become chasms.
While The Ultimatum is undoubtedly good TV, it’s also lacking where Love Is Blind succeeds. It doesn’t have its heart for one, and even at times seems a little cruel in its decision to force these couples into increasingly awkward situations in order to get a result.
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Much like the first season of Love Is Blind, with Jessica and her wine-drinking dog, there are several moments where cast members should have maybe been cut off from the bar for their own good, with tequila goggles turning nights out into regrettable situations that verge on violence.
The Ultimatum is everything that’s good and bad in a reality show. On the one hand, you can’t deny it makes for good TV, but on the other having a guiding hand in antagonising relationships for the sake of drama is malicious.
There’s also so much that seemingly happens off-screen we’re forced to only hear about it later via conversations and arguments.
By the end of the first eight episodes, it’s clear that if a couple were meant to be together, they wouldn’t be on the show in the first place. It turns everything into a drawn-out and incredibly messy break-up that may or may not take another relationship down with it.
In the entire show, there is potentially one exception to this rule, but even then there’s a big old question mark over them seeing as one is given a ‘villain edit’ making them unlikable, rude and presumptive.
Let’s not even get us started on another couple who seem to be intent on making each other miserable rather than be alone.
The second batch of episodes drop a week later, where the couples decide to make up or break up for good, potentially even moving on with someone else in the group or shunning love completely for now to go it alone. Judging by the trajectory of all of these relationships, we think we know which ones we’d choose.
The Ultimatum may be a crash course in learning what’s missing from a relationship on the road to marriage, but its actual result proves to be somewhat a celebration of being single.
Because from the looks of these romances, surely being on your own is better than being around someone who makes you feel like you are.
The Ultimatum episodes one to eight are available now on Netflix, with new episodes dropping Wednesdays.
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