I like my reality TV like I like my snacks – totally lacking in nutritional value but packing that sweet, sweet carb or sugar high. Which inevitably leads to a spiral of shame at the sheer gluttony but hey, #YOLO. Hence a reality show premise where hot single horny people are thrown together and then told there’s a sex ban is my particular brand of trash TV. If you haven’t heard of Too Hot To Handle (THTH) season 2, well, now you have. And this Netflix offering is a work of available-to-stream low-grade art.

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Here are 15 thoughts I had while watching Too Hot To Handle Season 2. Be warned: spoilers ahead!

  1. This season takes place in Turks & Caicos. I always thought that was the name of a fancy food place like Dean & Deluca rather than a real country. But I guess even in trash lies the odd nugget of gold.
  2. The participants have been duped to think they are on a show called Parties in Paradise. Upon the reveal of Lana, the all-seeing all-judging cone that serves as the show’s principle to the school of aiming-to-misbehave children, it’s the unlikeliest of persons who recognises the con first – Chase, the American professional football player. The love of trash TV knows no boundaries and genders!
  3. “Being a British guy living in America, you don’t really need to have any game. All you need to say is “good morning,” or “Harry Potter.” It’s done.” says Nathan, a stripper from England who lives in Texas. Maybe that one running gag in Love Actually is actually… based on real life?
  4. At the introduction of the fourth model and Peter who breaks the mold as a TikTok star, it’s evident that the casting team cast their net almost exclusively on social media to source contestants for Too Hot To Handle Season 2. It’s a common practice in reality TV, but given the low stakes of the show, this will come back to bite later on.
Image: gossipandgasms.com
  1. By the first episode, we’ve got our clear standouts. There’s:
    • Melinda, with the no-holds-barred attitude we all need to adopt in life
  • Marvin, a sauvignon black guy who believes his French accent is a total lady killer. Melinda would agree.
  • Cam, who has nerd roots but thanks to a glow-up is now a generically attractive model with blindingly white teeth
  • Emily, who is carved in  passion in life is boys, or a boy, as she and Cam strike up a romance
  1. Lana asks to round up the contestants for a meeting. Melinda goes “I just took my eyelashes off… imagine if your battery was low. Would you want me to rush you, girl?” I bow down, queen.
  2. Within 24 hours of the sex ban, there have been seven rule breaks resulting in a total loss of US$21,000. It’s chump change for these unrepentant horndogs until Lana shares a plot twist: the prize money will go to only one person. “That’s a Chanel handbag. It’s not worth it,” is the lament heard over the sounds of the world’s smallest violin.
  3. Flirting in 2021, as told by these hot-to-trot players, consists of lip licking for males and hair flipping for the ladies. Here’s your daily reminder that you can leave high school, but it never leaves you.
  4. Also, finger snaps ala open mic nights are now the new hand claps. No overwrought poetry necessary.

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  1. Get yourself friends like Nathan and Peter who will step up and lend a helping hand when you’re getting your hands dirty. They stand guard outside the toilet door while Cam alleviates his blue balls from the sexual tension with Emily. Blue balls bro code 4 lyfe!
  2. Speaking of the bro code, while the boys are mad at Peter for stealing kisses via daring the girls (what did I say about high school again?), they’re self aware enough to admit that the fact it was pint-sized Peter who became the most-kissed man by Day 2 is also what’s knocking their egos down.
  3. In fact, for all the pent-up lust and relationship trauma in the house, the inhabitants share a fairly healthy outlook when it comes to each other. The guys hype each other up for being hotties in their own right. With the girls, there’s no hair pulling or cattiness when they face romantic competition with new arrivals.
  4. Cam calls an eyelash curler a circumciser. And as someone who has pinched her lids a few times using one, I approve his message.
  5. Marvin and Melinda who have been clashing across Too Hot To Handle Season 2 episodes have sex under the covers to the chagrin of everyone and their US$20,000 lighter purse. It works out for them though as they grow from strength-to-strength and end the series officially coupled up. Maybe sex, like a picture, speaks louder than 1,000 words?

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  1. When you have a workshop to master immaturity, getting the male participants to speak to their dicks might be counter-intuitive. However, Nathan gets the task right by admitting the impact of his divorce, Cam confesses his loneliness and Marvin shares how his guard came up after his dad left the family at a young age. “I should have treated you the way I treated my mum,” Marvin apologised to a very pleased Melinda later.

So what did we learn from THTH Season 2? 

People carry their trauma into relationships. And maybe there’s hope yet to find true love via trashy reality TV. Emily and Cam are moving in together and another couple, Christina and Robert, who were kicked out for not taking Lana’s test of abstinence seriously are still together after the series.

But more importantly no one truly walks home without a prize. Because if you didn’t gain at least 200,000 new followers on Instagram by the end of the series, you did reality TV wrong.

Now let me make my way to Fboy Island.