Have we reached the peak dating show? Whether it's Too Hot To Handle, in which participants are banned from any hanky panky at the cost of their cash prize, Ex on the Beach, wherein contestant's real-life exes show up ready to fight or reconcile, or Are You The One? which uses some mysterious scientific algorithm to find each player's "perfect match," it truly seems there's something for everyone in the world best worst TV genre.
But the latest dating show to hit headlines might just be the most controversial yet. Netflix's newest launch, Sexy Beasts, is a truly bizarre creation. In the new show, contestants are dressed up in prosthetics to resemble giant cartoon animals. The premise? Seeing if potential love matches can see beyond their looks and fall in love with the person behind the bizarre appearance. The trailer truly needs to be seen to be believed.
But outside of its outlandish concept, Sexy Beasts has also hit headlines for another reason with a niche online community. Ever heard of Furries? If not, we'll quickly catch you up.
The Furry community defines itself as a group of people who are fans or who identify with anthropomorphic animals. Though there can be some sort of sexual element to Furry costumes, it's not necessarily a fetish community - just a group of people with a rather unusual hobby.
But it seems the Furry community has a big problem with Sexy Beasts. Why? Well, it's all to do with the show's use of masks. Furry spokesperson Joe Strike has said "the reaction has been pretty negative already to tell you the truth," as per Metro.
"The masks we wear are like expressions of our personality or an alternate personality that we like to adopt from time to time. Unless there's something in the show, I think those masks are totally chosen at random," he said. "I'd be surprised if there's any effort to correlate what head they put on them to the person's personality. I think [the makers of the show] are not coming out explicitly and saying furry, but I think they know there's an awareness. I think they're trying to piggyback on that without coming out at themselves and saying the 'F word.'"
However, some others on the internet think the Furry community is being a little over-sensitive. "Anyone identifying as an animal should be put in the zoo! And free the actual animals as they wouldn't be safe in there with the loons thinking they've got four legs and a tail! I'm open-minded about how people chose to be but not when they get offended over something like this when they are not actually an animal! Absolute prats! We won't be able to speak soon without it offending a snowflake! Mad, mad world," reads one rather polemical Facebook post.
What do you think of the controversy? Was Netflix wrong to appropriate this subculture? Or are people being a little bit too quick to criticize?