Reality shows are trashy but Netflix found a way to make them even trashier, thanks to the power of AI and deepfake technology. What could be called the worst ever show on Netflix, Deep Fake Love is a series that blurs the lines between real and fake. Yes, there is a show worse than Love is Blind and it’s all thanks to AI.
“Five couples put their trust to the test in this steamy reality series, where deepfake technology blurs the line of truth and lies in a cash prize game.”
According to the trailer, Deep Fake Love on Netflix is a Spanish reality TV series where contestants in serious relationships have the faith in their partners tested using deepfake technology. Did they cheat or was it manipulated footage with AI and technology for face-swapping?
“In this innovative reality show, the couples will be split up into Venus and Mars, two separate villas, and they’ll be staying with a group of singletons. The series will then make use of deepfake technology to modify footage and images of their partners interacting with the single people they’re sharing their new homes with.
Their other halves will be watching on from the White Room, where they’re shown clips of their partners, and the contestants are tasked with trying to work out whether they’re being shown real or faked footage whilst sitting in the Chair of Truth.
They’ll have to trust both their partners and their own eyes, as they’re all in with a chance of walking away with a huge cash prize. The couple who are able to correctly identify the most scenes as being either real or faked will pocket a grand prize worth €100,000,” explains WhatToWatch.
The contestants of Deep Fake Love were filmed over the course of three days.
Deep Fake Love: Reality TV or scripted drama with deepfakes and other CGI tricks?
However, the big question is “Is Deep Fake Love a reality TV series or an entirely scripted show?”. Around the web, opinions are very divided but they do have one thing in common – they all say this is a seriously toxic TV show and an example of the worst things AI has been used for.
This person put it best:
“Ok I was desperately trying to find a thread on this. WOW WOW WOW. This is truly a deeply sad look on our reality. If you’re anywhere in a fragile place in your life, not just with relationships, I do not recommend this show. As a mental health provider I think I’m glued to this show for purposes other than reality TV, simply for the functioning of the human brain.
This entire show is unhealthy for the human brain. I’m sort of disgusted but also can’t look away. I feel kind of gross watching this. It’s so upsetting to watch people hurt so deeply. Why do humans get pleasure out of making these shows?! Wow.”
In another Reddit thread, one user asked “Are the singles paid to try and seduce the people in relationships? It seems a bit like prostitution”.
Deep Fake Love reactions
Another chimed to reply in the thread that there is proof Deep Fake Love is entirely scripted:
“The singles are clearly paid actors/models and probably get bonuses based on how much screen time they get (ie how much they corrupt their targets).
In episode 4, halfway through there’s a scene they claim is fake, when it’s not. The scene where the guy shares a noodle with a girl and they end up briefly kissing. The “deep fake” is bullshit and clearly doesn’t match, and that’s where the show jumps the shark for me. Don’t insult our intelligence. The show is about deception but you have to display it with some integrity or it’s pointless. After that scene every other “deep fake” is called into question, and you start to suspect that every element is choreographed,” wrote this user.
To make things more confusing, the producers of Deep Fake Love also used lookalike actors for the main cast, which moves the needle even further into the “scripted show” territory.
Deep Fake Love cast
This Spanish-produced show is presented by Raquel Sánchez Silva, known for multiple reality TV series like the Spanish Celebrity Big Brother and The Cube.
She has also received criticism for her appearance in this show, with one Redditor highlighting the ick factor:
“Seriously the host – how do you act so cold when people are entirely falling apart in front of you mentally, she looks like she’s smirking too. It’s like some hunger games shit right there. The whole show is very F-ed up. But I can’t stop watching.”
The first season of Deep Fake Love (because they’ll probably make more, unfortunately) has a cast of five couples:
- Javi and Paula, together for 9 years
- Gabriela and Angel, together for five years
- Alejandro and Ramon, also together for five years
- Manuel and Aida, together for a year and a half
- Isa and Ruben, a new couple
According to Cinemaholic who did a series on which Deep Fake Love couples are still together. Most couples have unknown relationship status, which could probably be thanks to Netflix non-disclosure agreements. Javi and Paula might still be together though their social media does raise some questions, as Javi follows Paula on Instagram but she does not follow back.
In the case of Deep Fake Love, it will probably be months, if not years, until the main cast breaks the silence and explains what happened during filming and what was real or not. Hopefully they were treated a bit better than the cast of the Squid Game reality show, another disturbing Netflix idea.
On IMDB, user PalmBeachG explained exactly what’s wrong with the premise of Deep Fake Love – assuming it’s an actual reality show with some actual real couples, and not just a totally scripted show.
“I knew what I was getting into when I watched this show, however the theme was a little different with the deep fake technology so I watched it out of curiosity to see/learn more on deep fakes – really! Well of course I was appalled as everyone else that the technology would be used for such a bottom feeder reason. It gives me chills to think what else people may use it for. Also, why would anyone sign up for this with someone they love? Hand over your love to give them temptation to a group of professional tempters? They were obviously trained to set up scenes that would be beneficial to making deep fake videos later (such as the nose to nose close staring or the holding hands leading to a bed to just play a joke). Can’t the contestant’s realize it? Feel sorry for the pros too that get hurt that didn’t think they were going to actually fall for anyone. The technology is so real I started to wonder if the viewers weren’t being punked and the whole show was a deep fake, as some portions of the show were slow/pixalized a little,” they wrote in the review.
And lastly, since no one would, in good conscience, recommend streaming Deep Fake Love on Netflix, we’ll leave you with this scene from the show. It will leave you dreaming of the days when Black Mirror was still fiction.