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The Ultimatum: Queer Love is the chaos we need

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Photo courtesy of Netflix
Photo courtesy of Netflix

If you're anything like me, you love reality television but think it's seriously lacking in Queer representation. This is especially true for my go-to reality streaming service, Netflix. That's why I was thrilled when The Ultimatum: Queer Love appeared in my "recommended" section.

Don't get me wrong, Netflix has featured Queer people in its reality dating shows, but only to add drama. For example, on Perfect Match, when Francesca and Abbey were put together, everyone made a big deal about it because they are both women.

The Ultimatum: Queer Love, however, solely focuses on Queer people, and it's exactly what I've been wanting from Netflix for years.

Before I get into the juicy details, I'd like to acknowledge that I am a month late to this. When Netflix changed its policy to one household per account, I was locked out of the app, but thankfully I finally have access again.

The set-up
The show follows five couples (women and nonbinary people) who have reached a crossroads in their relationships. Each has a partner who wants to get married and a one who is unsure about marriage.

Upon arrival, each participant chooses someone to have a "trial marriage" with, whom they will live with for three weeks. After that, the participants return to their original partner and live a three-week trial marriage with them.

Then the participants choose to either get engaged to the partner they came in with or the partner they from the first trial marriage, or leave single.

Pretty interesting, right? Well, if you have not watched the show but are interested, I suggest you stop reading here and come back when you're done, because there will be spoilers ahead, as well as a lot of names that will seem confusing.

Photo courtesy of Netflix  

Why it's great
Before this season of the series came out, I would get excited about the smallest Queer reference in a Netflix reality program, because it was the closest I was going to get to seeing my identity represented. Shows like The Ultimatum: Queer Love are paving the way for a new form of representation, and knowing it will only get better from here makes me feel ecstatic.

Like any other reality dating series, The Ultimatum: Queer Love doesn't stray from showing all the worst fights and dramatic moments. As someone who tries to avoid this kind of conflict in my personal life, this gives me the perfect dose of drama from afar to watch.

The editing of the episodes made it easy for me to decipher who I should and shouldn't root for. There was something freeing about screaming at the TV when Vanessa and Mildred were saying shady things. I was also fully rooting for Xander and Yoly before it came out in the reunion that Yoly was being deceptive toward Mal. I know I'm not a perfect person, but seeing these people fight like high schoolers made me feel a lot more intelligent and understanding than I actually am.

Issues with the series
The biggest I had with the show was the fact that Mildred was allowed to be a part of the reunion after she had been charged with domestic violence after throwing things at her then-partner, Tiff. Mildred then went on to gaslight Tiff during the reunion, and Netflix did nothing to stop any of it. It made me feel uncomfortable to know that Netflix is okay with allowing any of it to take place on its platform.

Another issue is the fact that gender is never fully acknowledged. What I mean by that is there are a few people on the cast that use they/them pronouns, but it's never talked about. While the description on Netflix doesn't explicitly state that everyone identifies as a woman, there are still people on the show who refer to all the participants as women. It seemed to me that some participants were unaware that it wasn't technically a Lesbian season.

Final thoughts
I'm not a psychology expert nor have I seen the full extent of the relationships in the show, but based on what I've seen, it seems like everyone needs therapy or some help with their mental wellness. I also don't think any of the relationships, at least from my perspective, seemed healthy. I hope all these people get the help they need.

All in all, The Ultimatum: Queer Love quenched my need for drama, which is all I really wanted, so to thank you, Netflix, but also please try to be a bit less toxic.