The Spanish-language Netflix Original series Deep Fake Love is a reality competition show where five couples are split up, put into separate fancy villas with each other and a host of hot singles, and made to party for days on end. Every now and then, the contestants are brought into the White Room to review footage of their partners and made to answer whether what they are watching is real or the product of hyper-realistic deep fake technology as they’re forced to watch them supposedly confide in, get close to, and have sex with other people in their villa across the way.
But before any of that, the couples don’t actually know what they’re there for initially. They think they’re on a show where their relationships of various lengths and security will be put to the test, but they don’t know about the other singles and they certainly don’t know about the deep fakes until after every one of them is forced through tears to watch what they think is their partners canoodling with strangers. It feels cruel, frankly, far more than it feels entertaining. These contestants are screaming, crying, and threatening all kinds of actions as they watch these videos, before and after the truth is revealed to them.
And more aggravatingly, not all of the footage you watch was shown during the episodes before they’re shown in the White Room, so half the time you’re left guessing whether things are real or fake too, right along with the contestants. They can only win €100,000 if they guess whether the videos are real or fake correctly more times than everyone else. But they’re not told if they guess correctly or not between rounds. Frankly, I can’t even tell the difference between the real and fake videos half the time. I had to Google whether there was an editing error or something, because the side-by-sides look exactly the same.
And to make it all worse, I simply couldn’t care less about any of these people. First of all, they’re all cut from the same kind of seemingly privileged, almost all-white, very conventionally attractive cloth that does absolutely nothing for me as a viewer. Not a single one of them has an ounce of personality and their love stories bare virtually no stakes. When you hear them talk about their lives and their relationships, they all just talk about how they don’t know if they can trust their partners, or themselves. They go on about feeling unsatisfied or unhappy despite half of them literally being engaged to one another. There’s simply no way to feel like the choices they make have any gravity to them when all they do is mope around and complain to their new “friends.”
Speaking of whom, there’s no way the singles weren’t clued in and prompted to egg all of the contestants on. They are even more lacking in personality than the contestants and every one of them is filled with line after line about attraction and love and physique and evidently want nothing more than to seduce their housemates. It makes me question the entire premise. Are the contestants in on it too? Are the deep fakes really just alternate shots? I don’t care enough to know though, because again, I don’t like any of these people.
The worst part of Deep Fake Love is that for all of the crying and accusing the contestants do about how unfaithful their partners are, they’re all doing the exact same things back to them. It’s a show riddled with hypocrites for whom I hold zero sympathy. It’s true, of course, that I couldn’t possibly relate to the idea of distrusting my partner so much that I would subject myself to a test of our commitment to each other through a television show.
But nonetheless, the concept is just built on such tenuous circumstances in the first place. Having genuinely interesting contestants is a must for such an unholy concept to be successful. Or at the very least make the action interesting. But the groups basically just party and lounge in pools on a set that isn’t even all that interesting to look at.
Deep Fake Love is just very bad. It’s almost interesting as a concept — whether we can trust what we see and hear for ourselves. But the contestants are so bland, the action so dull, and the actual mechanics of the show so inviting of hypocrisy that it becomes virtually unwatchable. The only thing close to a redeeming quality is that at least not all of the couples are straight couples. But it’s still a nearly all-white cast with the same indiscernible physical qualities as one another.
Deep Fake Love is streaming now on Netflix.
Deep Fake Love
Deep Fake Love is just very bad. It’s almost interesting as a concept — whether we can trust what we see and hear for ourselves. But the contestants are so bland, the action so dull, and the actual mechanics of the show so inviting of hypocrisy that it becomes virtually unwatchable.