Love on the Spectrum review: a dating show that celebrates autism – The Guardian

Ruth and Thomas enjoy an outdoor date in Love on the Spectrum. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s latest reality effort follows the lives of people on the autism spectrum in detail, with warmth, insight and joy

At first glance, Love on the Spectrum (Netflix) appears to be an Australian version of The Undateables, without the crude name, and specific to following the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum. But if the wealth of dating shows out there have taught us anything, it is that first impressions can be misleading, and often, you don’t see the twists coming. While I continue to love The Undateables, this five-part newcomer feels more of its moment, taking the time to explore the lives of its participants in greater depth, which results in a programme filled with joy, warmth and insight.

It is frequently very funny, but crucially, that is never at the expense of anyone on camera. Looking for love can be complicated and absurd for anyone, and the programme highlights some of the pitfalls. Michael, 25, who dresses smartly, is desperate to find love, and insists that “an A+ partner looks like me”. He frequently amuses his family because of his bluntness. Over a meal with his parents and siblings, he reveals that he believes some people are “only interested in intercourse”. His father drops his food as he eats. “I think every family needs a Michael,” says his mother, happily. “It just adds something different.”

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