Dating should be about more than rose ceremonies or swiping right — at least, that's the idea behind Coupled, which premiered on Tuesday, May 17. The new Fox unscripted series hopes to improve upon the current dating landscape, both on TV and in real life. Here's how it works.
First, a guy arrives (via helicopter, of course) and meets all of the women one by one on the tropical paradise of Anguilla, where all of this is going down. If a lady feels an initial spark and wants to get to know him further, she walks right; if she doesn't, she walks left. The suitor then takes some time to chat with the women who walked right and ultimately picks two of them (assuming there are at least two to begin with) to get to know better. Those two then join him at the villa on an inevitably awkward date, and at the end, he picks one.
Less time was spent on video packages introducing each woman, but some broad brushstrokes were made. Some of the girls in the mix included Talyah, a substance abuse coach; Alicia, a quirky executive assistant; Dominique, a no-nonsense attorney; Alex, a radio personality who hopes to live in the South and have lots of guns in her house; Kristin, a photographer; Brittany, a beauty company CEO from New York; and Lindsay, a sales rep. It was also revealed that one of the women was a virgin, but which one remained a mystery … for now.
The First Man Arrives
The first guy arrived. He was a 26-year-old musician named Alex looking for someone "not just who you get along with," but for "something even more." It wasn't exactly the most romantic aspiration you'd ever heard, but it was enough for now. The host, E! News anchor Terrence J. Jenkins, explained the rules and left him to meet the 12 women individually. Just like in real life, the initial face-to-face encounters ranged from amazing to awkward, but ultimately seven of the 12 walked right. After spending an afternoon with them, Alex chose to bring Brittany, the 24-year-old beauty company CEO, and Lindsay, the 30-year-old sales rep, back to the villa.
After some more cocktails, the trio headed down to the beach for an impromptu nighttime photo shoot — and by impromptu photo shoot, we mean that Alex and Brittany posed together like the perfect couple, while Lindsay snapped photos of them. She didn't like that so much, confessing to the camera that she "felt like a third wheel."
The Next Morning
Alex looked like a kid in a candy store as he recounted his evening before. (Though based on the fact that both women were in their pajamas brushing their teeth together upon awaking, it seemed pretty clear neither of them had joined Alex for the night.) He was beaming as he explained that it was going to be "a difficult decision to have to choose one."
Alex then headed down to the beach with Brittany, leaving Lindsay to wonder if he was still interested in her at all. Meanwhile, Alex was making sure Brittany knew exactly how he felt, telling her what a knockout impression she made right from the start. It seemed that feeling was mutual. "He's so genuine, and it's really hard to come across someone like that," Brittany gushed to the cameras. Then she and Alex got busy posting cutesy photos on social media for Lindsay to see as she hung by the pool solo (just like in real life!).
Later, however, Alex did make a point to spend some time with Lindsay as they threw a football around on a beach and then enjoyed some more drinking. Lindsay then opened up to Alex about how all of her friends give her hard time that she's not engaged yet. Common wisdom might advise to avoid that topic on a first date, but Alex seemed to appreciate Lindsay's honesty.
As the sun dipped in the sky, Terrence arrived to debrief with Alex, who — in a surprise move — chose Lindsay to stay with him at the couple's villa. (According to the show rules, these two were now official "coupled.") They celebrated by making out, and Terrence promised there were more guys coming for Brittany.
Man No. 2 Arrives
Terrence wasn't lying, as the next man was there pretty much the moment Brittany turned around. His name was Imari, and he was a 29-year-old digital ad executive. Brittany seemed more determined than ever to make sure she ended up with someone and showed up with a plate of freshly baked cookies for Imari at their initial meeting. (She baked cookies that morning? Really?)
Dominique and Talyah both fell hard, right away — but it won't be revealed until next week whether Imari felt the same.
Tell Us: What did you think of the premiere episode of Coupled? And will Alex and Lindsay last?
Coupled airs on Fox Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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