Last month, we were all blessed with what has become one of the biggest distractions in quarantine thus far: Too Hot to Handle. Following its success with The Circle and Love Is Blind, Netflix gave us a show about 14 sexy people who can’t have sex. They are literally forbidden from kissing or engaging in any kind of serious hanky panky (including “heavy petting”). Every time they break the rules, they get docked money from the collective $100,000 prize pot.
Anyone who watched the series knew a reunion was in order ASAP, and just like the cast of Tiger King, another Netflix quarantine vice, the Too Hot to Handle cast hopped on a Zoom call to catch up with host, comedian Desiree Burch, for Extra Hot: The Reunion.
“Welcome to the show that does for Too Hot to Handle what Harry and Francesca do for a prize fund: Shamelessly suck it dry with no concern for anybody else’s feelings,” Burch starts off, reminding us that she may be hiding away from crowds while in quarantine, but her cheeky humor is not.
First off, it’s important to note that no one in this crew is spending quarantine together. If you’ve done all your post-watch Googling following the season finale, you know that Harry Jowsey and Francesca Farago are still together, though they took a little bit of a break before hitting the green light on their relationship again. But they’re not spending this pandemic huddled up at home together, so watching this reunion was basically just a game of keeping track of all the hot people bouncing around in their respective Zoom boxes.
This episode was, in short, truly aesthetically overwhelming. But it was also refreshing to get an update from someone other than the CDC right now. Here were the best parts of the reunion.
Desiree Burch needs to host every show ever.
If you watched even 30 seconds of this show, you know: The host is a riot. Yeah, I know that sounded like something your mom might say about The Carol Burnett Show, but it’s true. The woman has zingers to hurl at every one of these hot little dumb-dumbs. For example, here’s one she said when everyone waved at her on Zoom at the start of the reunion episode: “I’ll be honest; I just did that to check where all your hands were.”
Harry still hasn’t stopped saying completely bonkers things.
Remember how Harry liked to say things like, “Naughty little possum” and “boyfriend dick” on the show? Yeah. Dude is still just saying whatever pops into his brain as soon as it does, apparently. When Desiree was running through all of Francesca’s old romances on the show, Harry wanted to get across the point that he won out in the end, so he said, “Big papi chulo just came in and stole the queen.” Just gonna let that one sit for a while.
Harry and Francesca might actually last.
So! We saw an engagement (?) on this reunion. Harry pulled out a blue Ring Pop, got down on one knee, and asked his beloved to marry. And she said yes! The two also mentioned that Francesca was looking to move to L.A. post-pandemic, and that they were looking at engagement rings. Something says that even if this engagement counts, the ring will not stand.
Sharron and Rhonda seem to have consciously uncoupled.
Sharron and Rhonda had the strongest relationship on the show. Early on, their wrist bands lit up green, which was a sign that they had earned affection without having any prize money deducted. They had a romantic date on a boat, and Sharron even met Rhonda’s son, who was a bit of a hard sell. But it turns out these two are no longer together. They didn’t go into details on the reunion, but they did mention that they still have a lot of love for each other.
Rhonda choked through a few tears as she spoke to Desiree, but she said, “Me and Sharron are amazing, ya know. We’re friends.” Sharron said he “still [holds] her close to [his] heart.” It seems like he still wants this to be a thing in the future, but Rhonda was tight-lipped on that. “The experience me and Sharron is amazing, like, an amazing one, and no will ever take that away from us, whether we’re together or not.”
Kelz hasn’t lost any of his accountant skills.
On the show, Kelz was known for being the stickler about PDA and the prize money, so Desiree played a little game with him: “Infraction Math.” She threw various rule-breaks at him, and he had to determine how much money a combination of those acts might cost. This man has a good mind for math, at least when it has something to do with sex.
Francesca’s grandma should co-host season 2.
During the reunion, learn that Francesca introduced Harry to her grandmother when he visited Vancouver. We also learned that Francesca’s grandma is harsher with the disses than Desiree. In a video taken by Francesca, we see Harry telling Francesca’s grandma about his hometown in Australia. He tells her it’s a small town with lots of farm animals around, and she responds, “Ah! So that’s why you don’t know the world.” Damn, Grandma.
Haley is still not down with the show.
Besides having an obvious crush on Francesca, Haley didn’t seem that excited about anyone else on Too Hot to Handle, or about the show itself. In this catch-up episode, Desiree gave Haley a chance to clear the air, and she’s she’s sticking to her guns when it comes to her sour attitude. She told Desiree that she’s “not that serious of a person; life’s not that serious. The whole, like, growing and learning about yourself, that’s just not me.” But it’s clear she’s still totally into Francesca. “She’s just a really good friend of mine, and I have her back no matter what,” she said. “Is there more to it? I don’t know. We were only together for so long, but I do love her, and I have her back.”
Chloe learned a new word!
Chloe defines herself on the show as “not the brightest spark, um, in the book,” and the show definitely seems to like to play that up. But she also seems to know herself and doesn’t pretend to know things she doesn’t, which, I would argue, is refreshing! Anyway, Desiree says the word “emulate” and Chloe admits she didn’t previously know that word. Well done!
We didn’t need that penis-drawing contest.
On the show, the women do a yoni-drawing exercise, where they draw their vaginas and talk about whey thy respect themselves. But as John Mulaney points out in his stand-up, talking about penises doesn’t have the same respectful, formal tone that vagina-talk can have.
Desiree has the men draw their penises, and let’s just say that Harry finds a way to get “boyfriend dick” into the conversation.
Desiree seems to have a thing for Bryce.
Desiree has a special conversation with Bryce, the man who lives on a boat and boasts about having sex with a different woman every night. Through Desiree’s eyes, he actually looks kind of sweet? She clearly thinks he’s a cutie, and after he sings the song he wrote about the casts’ experience on the show, it’s kind of hard not to agree? I don’t know; maybe it’s just the quarantine, but this reunion made me soft.
Lana would be a great social-distancing buddy.
Anyone else want to scream, “SIX FEET APART” any time you see people hugging, touching hands, or being affectionate on TV right now? Too Hot to Handle is actually all about staying away from other people, and Lana, the omnipresent A.I. cone, has the 24/7 job of watching to be sure the cast doesn’t break their no-touching rules.
Now, the people on this show are allowed to touch each other (there’s a lot of hugging), but wouldn’t Lana be great to have around right now as states reopen and everyone’s getting a little loose with the face mask and social distancing rules? “You two have broken the rules more than anyone in the house,” is one infamous Lana line we’re reminded of in this reunion. Where was Lana when Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic, sans face mask? Break the rules, and this robot will make you pay.