Netflix’s The Ultimatum Review – The New Reality Series Falls Flat

The Ultimatum completely missed the mark with its uncomfortable experiment.
Netflix The Ultimatum

The Ultimatum completely missed the mark with its uncomfortable experiment.

There is a reason why reality dating shows are so popular. And as a fan of Love is Blind, it was a no-brainer to check out Netflix’s new show, The Ultimatum. But while Love is Blind thrives as a real experiment, The Ultimatum left a bland taste.

What is The Ultimatum?

Netflix The Ultimatum

The premise of the show is simple. One person in the relationship is ready to marry, while the other one is not. Once the ultimatums are given, the couples break up for three weeks. During those three weeks, the broken-up couples will partner off with someone else in the experiment to see if the grass is greener on the other side. After those three weeks, the couples will get back together for another three weeks until they reach decision day.

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Most people have probably heard that ultimatums are never good in a relationship. Which is interesting that this was also what Vanessa Lachey stated in the first episode. With anything, there is an exception to the rule. And through sharing their situation, it’s clear that the ultimatum worked for the married hosts. But personally, the concept just feels off.

As the couples sat down to explain their situations one thing was clear, many of them just weren’t ready for marriage. Communication is important in relationships, but so is understanding and being flexible with one’s partner. Therefore the whole concept just feels like it’s starting off on the wrong foot.

While some of the issues were small hurdles the couples needed to work through, others were much bigger. Including a difference in having children. And personally, it just doesn’t make sense how giving an ultimatum or dating someone different for three weeks will solve this issue. It felt more like most of them were settling due to the fact they feared being alone or that they would come to realize they wasted a few years of their lives with the wrong partner.

Nothing made that more clear than the first three weeks of the experiment. Of course, there is an understanding this is a reality tv show and everyone has a time limit. It just felt like three weeks was not enough time. Not when it comes to seeing if you want to date other people. Not when trying to take a break from a partner of multiple years. Not to work through personal issues. As one contestant stated, “people are treating it like an open pass to cheat.”

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Now while there wasn’t really any hanky panky going on to the viewers’ knowledge, the three weeks with someone else just felt like a mini-vacation. And I think this is very clear in how the show wrapped up. For the most part, there weren’t really a lot of changes. Even couples who broke up eventually tried to work out their issues. Personally, the testament of this experiment will be in 5-10 years when we can see if their marriages last.

The plot can be rather interesting to the viewers with a lot of built-in drama. However, the episodes seemed to drag on. Towards the middle of the season, the only thing that kept me watching was the need to know who ends up with who. But one of the things about reality tv, is viewers like to be able to connect with the people. Even in Love is Blind, most fans will walk away from a season with a few favorite couples or contestants.

It isn’t clear exactly why that didn’t happen here, but a good theory is maybe the lack of connection between contestants in the first three weeks. Or perhaps that there is so much trying to be shoved in an hour time frame, memorable moments get overshadowed.

Now while some didn’t like The Ultimatum, it has been renewed for a second season. And it seems there are a lot of people who did enjoy it, making it the top watched show the last few weeks. But when you compare The Ultimatum to any other reality show, it just falls flat. There doesn’t seem to be any real substance to keep viewers entertained, and it’s just hard to root for couples that don’t have any room to shine.

You can check out the full season on Netflix now.

The Ultimatum

What did you think about The Ultimatum? Is that really a way to start a marriage? Is three weeks really enough time to decide on a lifetime with another person? Let us know what you think in the comments below and share your reactions with us on Twitter.

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