Sexy Beasts (now streaming) is Netflix’s latest dating show asking if personality beats looks, especially when those looks are hidden behind animal prosthetics. It’s a less heartfelt, more comical version of Love Is Blind—one where contestants proclaim they’re “ass men” with no pretense. Lucky for me, the show comes equipped with a sassy narrator who’s just as exasperated as I was watching.
In each of the show’s six episodes, we meet three bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love while in costume. They each have three potential suitors in heterosexual pairings, and after intros to the audience, meet one-on-one for drinks. One suitor is then eliminated in a dramatic ditching ceremony, hosted in the Sexy Beasts Manor (think a Bridgerton drawing room). Afterwards, the remaining two each try to woo their blind date with a second rendezvous. Following activities ranging from ice sculpting to gin brewing, the contestant selects their final match. They then reveal themselves to each other in a garden straight out of a Taylor Swift music video.
The gimmick that makes Sexy Beasts fun is the prosthetics. The show’s appeal would’ve been upped to an 11 if we knew anything about why certain costumes were picked. I was dying to see the makeup artists, the behind-the-scenes of applying prosthetics—hell, even just an explanation. Why be a stone statue? Because you’re stoic? Why be a mouse? Because you’re shy and reserved? Give me the backstories, people!
The costumes are definitely a conversation-starter. It’s easy to compliment the dolphin’s fin or wiggle the wattles on a rooster to start a connection. Much respect to the makeup team on their facial prosthetic skills, of course, but I couldn’t help but wonder why they stopped at the neck. One of the suitors, for example, had beaver tusks but was still in a biceps-friendly sweater.
I devoured Love Is Blind when it first came out—in a way I hadn’t with previous reality TV. Something about the premise of falling in love sight unseen was incredibly appealing to me. But here’s the thing: Every cast member hit some level of conventional attractiveness. Nice hair, nice body, great skin, thin or muscular. So what was the point, really?
It was with this level of wariness that I started Sexy Beasts. So when Contestant #1 was a model tired of being too hot for people, and Contestant #2 complained about his muscles being too big for him to find love, I groaned and gave up hope on a deeper meaning. Six episodes of reveals left me in a loop of saying “Surprise! She’s hot, and so is he.” The pacing was really fast, and you don’t spend longer than 10 minutes with any of the pairings, which makes it an enjoyable show to play in the background.
My mistake going into Sexy Beasts was expecting anything serious out of it. The trailer was bizarre enough that I should’ve known this was meant to be just lighthearted fun. Love Is Blind was all tears and relationship drama; Sexy Beasts, meanwhile, is watching a dolphin and a rhino nose kiss. Don’t watch it looking for deep takeaways on the nature of love and attraction. Watch it to see a rooster and a reindeer go on a wine tasting.
Janae McKenzie is Glamour’s editorial intern