This review of the Amazon reality series The One That Got Away (2022) season 1 does not contain any spoilers.
If you’re looking for a fun new reality dating show to watch, this is the one. The One That Got Away offers a fresh new premise for a dating show in which contestants are reunited with people from their past with whom they have a missed connection. It offers something a little closer to dating that occurs in the real world than in other shows, simply reuniting people and letting them go on dates.
Six main contestants are hoping to find true love. The diversity in these six – and the people who come to date them – is impressive compared to other dating shows. Notably, one of the candidates is a gay man, and one of the best things about the premise is that it allows people of different sexualities to be on the show together. I would love to see more diversity represented if further seasons are made, but this is undoubtedly a great starting point.
There’s also a lot of variety in the contestants’ backstories. Alyssa is a model who struggles with dating. Vince is a lawyer who was in a long-term relationship and feels he might have missed “the one” because of it. Jeff is a travel blogger who didn’t come out until he was twenty-one and knows his sexual repression kept him from pursuing relationships.
At first, the show has less drama than others of its kind; there’s less competition because the main contestants aren’t pitted against each other. But things heat up as more and more dates are brought through “the portal” and have to deal with the idea that the person they’ve come for is dating multiple people. Sometimes, it can be awkward when there is no spark, or the main contestant isn’t thrilled to see someone who shows up for them.
One of the best things about the show is the camaraderie formed amongst the contestants living in a house together, waiting to be called for a date. Seeing how they genuinely care about each other and their sadness when someone is sent home makes them more endearing.
But that’s not to say that there isn’t juicy drama – because there most certainly is. While the dates, from rowboat rides to grape stomping, are idyllic, there’s also plenty of tension between the main contestants and those who are there to date them as each set struggles to see from the other’s point of view. A pool party bringing the whole group together proves explosive, as does one of the main contestant’s wandering eyes.
If you like watching reality dating and are fascinated by non-conventional ways to find your soulmate, but are bored of classics like The Bachelor, then you’ll love The One That Got Away. Its creative premise and its commitment to casting people who don’t all look alike set it apart and make it palatable even for those who might not enjoy typical reality dating.
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