A couple of years ago a producer went to Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s head of unscripted non-fiction, with a pitch. The idea was to take 50 single strangers, strip them of access to the outside world and place them in “pods”, separated by partitions, through which they could share their hopes and dreams, dating in rotation for ten days. After which they’d choose whether or not to get engaged — only then would they meet in the flesh. Four weeks later they would get married.
“The pitch was so loud,” Riegg says over the phone from California. Initially he hesitated. “I said, ‘Look, I get that people will be willing to sign up for that kind of experiment, but how many would get engaged without seeing