NBC’s Love in the Wild, in a nutshell, is a mix of The Bachelor, Bachelor Pad, Survivor and The Amazing Race with a vague relation to Temptation Island and the various Challenge incarnations on MTV (with less raunch).
In other words, it isn’t groundbreaking television, but it doesn’t need to be. And it is actually better that it doesn’t try to.
ABC may have tried too hard (or maybe not hard enough?) to tap into a successful format with Expedition Impossible, but NBC’s Love in the Wild is nothing more than a more picturesque and slightly more adventurous take on the reality dating show subgenre.
There’ve been plenty of dating shows that have come and gone, all with varying degrees of cheese and/or sleaze. But Love in the Wild is perfectly simple in its attempt to mix the competition and adventure of Survivor and The Amazing Race with the love searching of The Bachelor and any other dating show.
It doesn’t try to reinvent a darned thing, yet it works a helluva lot better in its attempt to be fresh than Expedition Impossible has in its first two outings so far.
Love in the Wild sees ten single men and ten single women getting teamed up for treks through the Costa Rican jungle designed basically as adventurous first dates. The pairs race to avoid being last because at the end of each episode, the contestants get to decide, in the order at which they finished each week’s challenge, if they want to stick with their partner or feel they want to try a love connection with someone else.
The last pair, or the last singles who don’t get picked are then eliminated.
With weekly prizes of a private night in luxury and the grand prize of a detail-less trip to the most romantic cities in the world, the premise couldn’t be any more simple.
And it is surprising how the hour flies by with what should be its regular weekly format of challenge–mingling–elimination. Again so simple, yet far more enjoyable and easier to watch than the snail’s pace of Expedition Impossible.
Love in the Wild is a mindless, though not necessarily mind-numbing, and perfect summer series that knows what it is and is perfectly fine with it.