Dating Around spoilers follow.
Netflix’s biggest dating shows have been unashamed hot messes. The ridiculous Love Is Blind was essentially Married at First Sight on steroids, while Too Hot to Handle offered rules almost as confusing as a daily quarantine briefing.
But its best foray into the genre is the one that’s slipped entirely under the radar. Dating Around features contestants in more relatable settings, for one thing. And with its gorgeous cinematography, clever editing techniques and gauzy synth-pop soundtrack, the whole series feels more like an intimate indie rom-com than reality television.
Surprisingly, despite a complete lack of fanfare, a second series dropped on Netflix last week. And if you’ve already binged your way through its six New Orleans-based episodes, then you’re no doubt intrigued as to whether any of the couples took things to the next level.
Here’s a look at what happened when the cameras stopped rolling.
Justin and Ann
One of the best things about Dating Around is its element of surprise. First contestant Justin locked lips with Barbara and locked arms with Assata during their respective post-dinner hangouts. And yet he ended up choosing Ann, the woman who ordered a Lyft pretty much the minute they left the restaurant.
Unsurprisingly, this has left much of social media pretty baffled.
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So did Justin’s leftfield choice pay off? Well, it’s not quite clear.
They both follow each other on Instagram, which is something.
Ben and Alex
Perhaps this season’s most memorable dater, the puppyish computer science professor Ben is described by one friend as a prime example of how nice guys finish last.
You can almost see his heart shattering into a million pieces when Jaden turns his offer of a second date down. But thankfully his adorable nature did appeal to one of his other dates, fellow musical-theatre aficionado Alex.
Unfortunately, their charming picnic doesn’t appear to have led anywhere. Ben has only just set up his Instagram account but it appears Alex isn’t one of the 26 he’s chosen to follow.
Deva and Maria
You could practically see the sparks flying from the moment that indie R&B vocalist Deva first clapped eyes on Maria so it wasn’t exactly unexpected when she chose the artist for her second date.
Deva, the daughter of blues legend Taj Mahal, was already aware of Maria having previously bought one of her eye-mask creations. And the pair couldn’t stop kissing each other as their night drew to a close.
Once again, we have to look to Instagram for any signs that the pair are now an item. Maria has liked a teaser photo for the show that Deva uploaded with the caption, “So I did a thing…” which suggests they are still on good terms.
But there’s nothing else yet to suggest that they saw each other again after their romantic bike ride.
Heather and Ernesto
Professional make-up artist Heather appeared to connect with several suitors during her dating merry-go-round. But in the end it was airline sales executive and keen philanthropist Ernesto that floated her boat the most.
And those who are shipping the pair will be pleased to know that the signs are looking good. In fact, they haven’t stopped commenting on each other’s Instagram posts since.
For example, Heather responded to a post where Ernesto reflected on how much he’s missed travelling during lockdown with the words, “Winnebago Boiz a cutieeee.”
And after Heather uploaded a photo in which she sported some 1950s-inspired make-up, Ernesto replied, “Hot damn,” followed by three love hearts.
Heather will reveal some more information about her Dating Around experience this Friday (June 19) and pretty much everyone is hoping it’s an official announcement that she and Ernesto are now an item…
Brandon and Justin
Brandon surely broke a show record for the number of dates he kissed, with Ronald, Andrew and Justin all getting a smooch from the confident kindergarten teacher.
Although he seemed to share far more chemistry with Ronald, a man who he’d previously talked to on Tinder, it was creative director Justin that he decided to get to know more.
However, with Justin already throwing a spanner in the works with the news he was moving to Texas, their second date appeared to be more of a farewell than the start of something serious.
And so it’s not too surprising to see that Brandon already looks to have moved on.
Demi and Zach
Just like its opener, the final episode of Dating Around’s second season also threw in a bit of a curveball.
Digital marketer Demi looked smitten with aspiring music producer and self-confessed bad boy Allan. But instead she decided that the bachata dancing board games addict Zach was worthier of taking on a second date.
Sadly, Zach’s impressive Latin moves weren’t enough, as judging by this gushing Happy Birthday message on Instagram, Demi is now very much loved-up with another man.
Dating Around is available on Netflix.
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