The Brief: During the Coronavirus pandemic, two friends have an organized a social media-based, social isolation-friendly dating show: "Love Is Quarantine."

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DEEP DIVE

Based on Netflix’s Love Is Blind, Love Is Quarantine takes the premise of “blind dating” to the social media stage. As millions around the world are under quarantines and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dating IRL is not an option and people are looking for sources of entertainment. Love Is Quarantine meets both these demands, providing a crowd-sourced form of entertainment and a chance for some single people to publicly search for love from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Love Is Blind: Quarantine Edition functions through a massive shared Google Sheet and the Instagram account @loveisquarantine. Potential participants can submit their information and audition videos to the account’s creators. If selected, they have the opportunity to have audio conversations with other contestants, in remote “pods,” much like the side-by-side ones of Netflix’s original Love Is Blind. If two people get along, they have the opportunity to continue their virtual relationship, sharing their reactions, thoughts, and feelings to the show’s creators, who post snippets on Instagram. So far, each “season” of Love Is Quarantine lasts one night, featuring mostly heterosexual pairings and a few contestants who identify as LGBTQ+.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B95l9IRnpHT/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B95lq7rH700/

This project was created by Thi Q. Lam and Rance Nix, who go by the stage names Nick Leshay and Vanessa Leshay for the purposes of the show. According to an interview with the New York Times, these two Brooklyn roommates who were inspired by Love Is Blindย to create this upbeat series during the Coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B97h6OVHPz1/

In its third day of existence, @loveisquarantine has already gained over 10,000 followers on its Instagram account. In addition to the hundreds of applicants on their Google Doc, there are subsets of devoted fans who share on social media their fan theories and favorite couple ships.

Love Is Quarantine is one of may new forms of content and engagement arising as people fun creative ways to engage and communicate while physically isolated from one another.