Dre Woodard's strategy in 'Too Hot To Handle' Season 5 exposes the show's main issue.

Too Hot To Handle Pretends To Punish Horniness, But Actually Rewards It

It's become impossible to ignore the show's hypocritical flaw.


It’s about time that the issue with Too Hot To Handle is finally addressed. For five seasons now, Netflix shipped groups of sexy horndogs off to a romantic island villa and told them not to have sex. Why should they listen? Because apparently, the people who can keep their hands to themselves will get rewarded with upwards of $200,000. Except... that’s now how the game actually works. It’s never been more clear than in watching Dre Woodard’s strategy on Too Hot To Handle Season 5 that the show has a glaringly obvious flaw burning a hole at its center.

When Dre first arrived, he was pumped about all the hot women he’d be spending the summer with, but he was forced to change his tune pretty quickly. Isaac and Courtney hit it off right away, Elys was already juggling both Hunter and Alex, all of the rest of the women were gunning for Louis. Without any immediate match, Dre was forced into the role that so many doomed Too Hot To Handle players had taken on before him: the rule enforcer. On paper, this sounds like it should be the ideal position to win the whole show — shouldn’t Lana reward the player who was constantly stopping others from sexual activity and taking the rules more seriously than anyone else? If the show was doing what it claims to do, then yes. But even Dre himself knows that’s not how you win.

At the very first chance Dre got to break a rule with new girl Linzy, he pounced on it. After spending the bulk of the season pretending to be “Detective Dre,” overly concerned guardian of the pot money, he all but begged to go on a date with an unseen new contestant, and although the date didn’t go well, he still provoked her into a kiss. Because he knows the real strategy to win Too Hot To Handle: hook up as much as possible.


It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s been proven time and time again. The Too Hot To Handle winners are the contestants who screw around the most, and the losers are the ones who actually follow the rules. In Season 1, Lana gave the prize to basically everyone, including Francesca and Harry, who had consistently ignored her rules. In Season 2, Marvin took home the win despite having full-on sex with another contestant. His runner up was Cam, the only other guy to cost the group massive fines. Season 4 was the same, with Jawahir and Nick winning after constantly hooking up, and their runners up being the only other couple to frequently ignore Lana’s rules.

The only real exception to this trend was Beaux and Harry winning Season 3 by actually refraining from hooking up. But the true strategy is still too obvious to ignore — and it actually does make sense why the show embraces this hypocritical bent. It’s not like people want to just watch hot people sit around doing nothing. Of course Too Hot To Handle wants to show steamy hookups as much as possible. Let’s just stop pretending that Lana’s rules actually matter, OK?