Issue #28: Diamantino and Love Is Blind

"So you just gon bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

My darlings,

If you will allow me a brief moment of sincerity, today marks one whole year that I’ve been writing this newsletter and I am shocked that I have managed to publish a thing (despite certain inconsistencies…) for a year straight. 

Even more unbelievable is that this went from a newsletter that I intended to write for like 30 of my friends to a thing that people who I don’t even know IRL are choosing to spend their time reading. I am not used to having an audience and it is both intoxicating and terrifying. But the hours of panic I experience as soon as I hit the publish button feel very worth it because I get to escape into my brain for a few hours a week, funnel that chaos into a slightly less chaotic form, and celebrate art that I love. And getting replies and tweets and texts from y’all on top of that??? Truly, what did I do to deserve you?

So I just want to say thank you to everyone who subscribes to HB/LB, who reads HB/LB, who shares HB/LB. Thank you for letting me tell you about what I like in between updates on my life/therapy/latest sexual targets (only ever in my head!) (FYI it’s Dev Patel right now!). 

Writing this newsletter is such a bright spot in my week and if I could make it my full-time job, I would. That being said, it is not my full-time job—my full-time job is my full-time job. Yes, the rumors are true! Your girl isn’t freelancing from her couch anymore! So for the sake of my sanity (I learned the hard way that writing the newsletter at 4am every week is not good for my long term health), the ever-changing schedule of this newsletter will have to change once more, from “sort of every other week” to “whenever Simone can find the time.” Think of it as a surprise Beyoncé drop. In this scenario, I am Beyoncé.

But truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I can’t wait to keep writing this dumbass newsletter.

And with that, let us return to our regularly “scheduled” programming.

HIGHBROW

Do you ever get to that place where you’ve watched one too many episodes 90 Day Fiancée and your brain feels like it will start to pour out of your ears? But on the other hand, the thought of watching anything of intellectual merit feels overwhelming? “Just turn off the TV and leave your apartment for once,” you say. “Shut up,” I respond, powerfully and with an authority that is both intimidating and somehow incredibly sensual.

As I was saying… in those moments when you want easy entertainment while still preserving your dignity, might I suggest a zany Portuguese film by the name of Diamanto.

Where to even begin? The film is about Diamantino, a star soccer player who looks suspiciously like Irina Shayk’s ex-boyfriend and who has little to no skills other than his sport. His career is managed by his kind-hearted father and his unhinged sisters, who so happen to be twins (I’m sorry to all my twin readers for the overrepresentation of evil twins in the media). While his family handles all his wealth, Diamantino has only one thing to focus on—his game. And when he plays, he enters a flow state in which all the chaos of the soccer stadium fades into the background and is replaced by pink clouds and giant fluffy puppies. That is a literal description.

What follows is a series of increasingly bizarre and disturbing situations that I will not ruin for you, BUT I can tell you it involves murder, spies, cloning, someone impersonating a refugee and many, many fluffy puppies. You will NOT see what’s coming

Despite all the kook, the camp, and the shenanigans, the film manages to sustain an emotional core because, despite Diamantino’s naivete and general lack of judgment, he is unrelentingly Good. In that hard body lives a soft heart that just wants the best for humanity. And giant fluffy puppies.

Diamantino is available to rent on Prime and Youtube, or if you’re a Criterion ho like I am, you can also watch it on Criterion Channel.

LOWBROW

“Perfect” is a big word. I don’t use it lightly. So when I tell you that Netflix’s Love Is Blind is a perfect show, I mean it.

I would say I’m a heavy dabbler in the Reality TV space. I’ve even recommended quite a few on this right here newsletter. But at some point or another, these shows reach a slump in their seasons where the producers realize that the network’s episode order far exceeds the amount of actually interesting content. As a result, we’re subjected to nothing conversations at trendy LA lunch spots or 21-year-olds in board shorts trying to guess whose “favorite position is doggy style because in my head it’s helping my butt get bigger.”

But what if every single episode was the RHOBH Amsterdam episode? Could you imagine? Well, you don’t have to, because that is exactly what watching Love Is Blind is like.

Here’s how it works. A group of women and a group of men, fed up with swiping and “how superficial dating is these days,” all move into a house where dating becomes their full-time job. Here’s the catch—they can’t see who they’re on a date with. These x-tremely hetero dates take place in “pods” bifurcated by a wall that kinda looks like that silver blob Alex Mack used to turn into. So people chat, not knowing what the person on the other side of the wall looks like, with the intention of finding their future spouse. This is where the stakes get upped—if in this process of voice-only dating you find someone who you think could be your life partner, you must first propose to them before seeing them. 

I don’t know what it is about these pods, but I’ll say this—at least one couple will utter “I love you” before the end of the first episode. That’s after less than ONE WEEK OF DATING. And did I mention they have not seen each other this whole time???? The pods are bae. The pods are life.

Once these couples get engaged, they have a month to spend together before getting married. The couples go on vacation together, live together, meet each other’s families, and get as hammered as I used to in college (near- to full-blackout) but on television and at their grown age. J’adore. 

And if all this hasn’t been enough to sell you on the show, I hope this seals the deal: it’s hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, of 98 Degrees and Lindsay Lohan knife play fame, respectively.

“Show” feels like too crude a word to describe what Love Is Blind contains. It is a text rich with self-sabotaging characters with a kind of saccharine optimism you’d expect to find in a Care Bear. It’s psychology, sociology, anthropology, and Anthropologie. It’s race, it’s gender, it’s sexuality. It’s White guys named Barnett. It’s Nick and Vanessa Lachey saying “fiancé” 500 times. 

It. Is. Perfect.

And, as luck would have it, all episodes are officially available as of yesterday! Netflix just published the 84-minute finale and I have already cleared my weekend to watch it.

Love Is Blind hive—I see you, I love you, I am you!

***

As always, thanks for reading! 

And something cute and fun and new: Substack—this very newsletter platform made by some very cool people—has just opened up a comments section! So if you want to tell me which Love Is Blind character is your sun sign (sadly, mine is Damian), slide into the comments at the bottom of each newsletter.

That’s all she (me) wrote. See you when I see you, luvs.

xoxo,

Simone