Netflix’s hit new show Too Hot to Handle couldn’t have been better timed. The reality series takes ten hot young singles to a luxury retreat where they compete for $100,000. The twist is that they’re penalized for doing anything sexual. To the legions of viewers shut up in their homes without human contact of any kind (save for that which they can rhythmically apply themselves), watching these frustrated contestants grow ever thirstier is very easy to identify with.
Now, the show’s creator, Laura Gibson has revealed that Too Hot to Handle was actually influenced by an iconic episode of 90s sitcom Seinfeld, explaining to Entertainment Weekly that:
“They all had to not masturbate for money, and they all cave. I said, there’s gotta be a show in there.”
In “The Contest,” Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer host a contest in which the winner will be the last one to masturbate (or, as the show refers to it, remain the ‘master of their domain’). Kramer fails almost immediately and the others are beset by temptation, suffering insomnia and frustration from the situation.
Aside from being really funny, the episode pushed the boundaries of what a primetime sitcom could get away with, with creator Larry David believing the concept was impossible to pitch to the network. It ultimately became one of the most famous episodes of the show and a stone-cold classic.
But while Too Hot to Handle quickly became the #1 TV show on Netflix, critics have been brutal with it. John Serba of Decider said “to call it tawdry is to engage in nuclear understatement” and that it was “some of the dreckiest dreck ever drecked.”
Hey man, we can’t spend all day sitting around quietly watching The Crown and reflecting on its sober analysis of British class structure. Sometimes you just want to watch some hotties with a bad case of blue balls making kissy faces at one another and running around what looks like paradise.