Today, NBC announced a June 1 premiere date for its new “adventure-dating series” Love in the Wild. The show sends 10 single men and 10 single women deep into the jungle of Costa Rica. In each episode, the couples will pair up and go on quests such as paddling down crocodile-ridden waters, navigating through bat-infested caves, and hanging 200 feet above the rain forest floor as they descend down a waterfall. The couple that wins the quest shares at the Oasis, a five-star bungalow. The rest stay in the less luxurious Cabins. “During an elimination unlike anything seen before, all of the couples will come together to reveal whether a connection has been formed with their current partner — or if they would like to switch and get to know someone else. At the end of every episode, two heartbroken singles will be sent home,” says NBC.
Now, when this press release hit EW staffers’ inbox, I was forwarded it on two separate email chains: Those of us known to still enjoy The Bachelor, and those of us known to have once enjoyed Paradise Hotel. I wanted to start a third chain for those of us who knew that one of our former colleagues had once applied to be on The Amazing Race as “Blind Date Couple” with a man producers could choose for her. (I have to think the casting folks never saw her application, because that is a brilliant idea. She’s married now, so steal it.) The show’s Aussie host Darren McMullen, pictured, has said, “Life in a relationship isn’t all limos and champagne dinners. [Our show] is putting people in stressful situations and seeing if they can work together as a team. We were surprised how many genuine couples we ended up having.” I’m not totally surprised. We know from the end of Speed and all the Bachelor couples that seem to form while zip-lining, that fear brings people together
and that relationships that start under intense circumstances never last. But it will be fun to watch strangers navigate each other’s weaknesses and strengths, to see how quickly they stop trying to put their best foot forward because it takes too much energy when there’s something to do other than go on the dress-her-up Cinderella date, and, of course, to find out how many hearts get broken when there’s a built-in “Next!” option. The release doesn’t mention anything about a cash prize, so there should be no reason for platonic couples to stick together to stay in the game. As long as the quests are more Survivor and The Amazing Race than I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, I think it sounds promising. You?