Love is Blind creator on whether Zack and Bliss broke the rules

The fourth season of Love is Blind was really messy. All the seasons since the first have gotten progressively messier, but this one took the golden goblet, if you will. Between Micah and Irina’s mean-girling, Jackie’s f-girl shenanigans, and Zack getting a whole second chance with a new person in the same season, things were weird and I had questions. And I guess I wasn’t the only one because Variety interviewed the series creator, Chris Coelen, ahead of the live reunion and got a couple of the big ones addressed.

How did you decide to follow Zack and Bliss? They got to date and get engaged after meeting each other, which kind of goes against the premise of the show. Did they break the rules?

Well, we film a lot of people outside of the pod experience that we don’t show, with people that we met during the pod portion. We have to make decisions about what stories to follow. Zack obviously had a genuine, emotional connection with Bliss. When people have no remaining option in the pods, we ask them to leave. So, I remember when that breakup happened. I always go back and speak to people who are leaving. I could feel the emotion in Bliss’ body, like it was so palpable. It was so real and she genuinely thought that this was her person that she was going to spend her life. It was devastating. Zack obviously felt, very soon after meeting Irina, that he had made the wrong choice. Eventually he said he really wanted to get in touch with Bliss. They don’t have each other’s contact information. So he asked the producing team in Mexico if he could get in touch with her.

You can see on the show, that’s their first meeting and they have a real connection that carried over from the pods. We had no idea where it was gonna go, but they had such a strong feeling between them. Zack told us, “I think I should have asked her to marry me. I want to do that.”

She is one of the most grounded, real, genuine smart people that I’ve met. So when he says he screwed up and wants to marry her, that’s an incredible love story.

What about geography? It seemed like the cast didn’t actually have to live in Seattle, but then that became an issue later on.

We always try to make the pool of potential participants as broad as we possibly can make it. So you’re in a specific region like Seattle and we felt, in casting, Portland is only around a two-hour drive. We felt that it was helpful to open up that aperture of casting to be able to include people from as far away as Portland. It felt reasonable to us that if you fell in love and you were within a two-hour radius driving, you can make that work if you want it to. Brett’s in Portland. It was an issue that he talks about with Tiffany, but it’s much less of an issue for them. I think the reason to do that was just to open up the pool of potential participants as wide as we possibly could.

I saw that Kwame was on a matchmaking special from “Married at First Sight” Season 10, which Kinetic also produces. Is that how he landed at “Love Is Blind?”

No, I had zero idea! I saw that online too and I was like, “What? That’s bizarre!” I texted our team about it. It made zero sense to me. After his soccer career ended, I guess he was living in D.C. for a while and he had gone in. He was never featured on the show, of course, but he was one of the people in there.

[From Variety]

I do think Zack and Bliss broke the rules and I think Chris knows it too because he doesn’t directly answer the question! Zack and Bliss got engaged after physically meeting each other. They may have felt the connection in the pods, but technically love wasn’t blind here. And the creator dodges that by pointing to the other couples that they didn’t follow — but ostensibly those followed the true premise of the show in which they got engaged before seeing each other. Zach didn’t marry the person he proposed to in the pods, so that Bliss relationship should have happened off-screen, but they went for drama, I get it. Also, I did wonder a lot about the geography compared to previous seasons and I thought it was a lot better when the participants lived the same city and it took logistics out of the equation. People don’t usually start relationships knowing that they’ll be long distance. And I don’t really buy that he didn’t know about Kwame either, given that it’s the same production company. Even if Chris didn’t realize, surely one of the producers did and alerted him. I doubt he found out with the rest of us. Anyway, messy season and I’m sure it will get even messier as time goes on.

Photos credit Netflix

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14 Responses to “Love is Blind creator on whether Zack and Bliss broke the rules”

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  1. Neners says:

    Technically they broke the rules but I also understand showing their story. At the time they met, the producers probably thought it was going to be a one off meeting — but then it wasn’t and the story was too entertaining to pass up. I do think it was obvious in the pods that Zack kind of knew he was making a mistake even as he was breaking up with her.

  2. Noo says:

    I know that Nick and Vanessa go on and on about “but is love reeeeeallly blind?” and participants talk about “the experiment”. But personally I don’t watch to have that question answered. The success rate of romance on tv is not good, I think all the shows have proven that over time.

    It’s exciting for me to see a couple with a special connection and a shot at shared happiness and partnership. Zach screwed up, he got fleeced by Irina’s act in the pods and chose poorly. Bliss is amazing and Zach seems like he could do better from there. Excited to see what happens!

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Are you gonna recap the fiasco that was the failed live stream of the reunion? Because I have THOUGHTS.

    Anyway, I hate Bliss’s wedding gown, though I ❤️ her.

  4. Paige Liberato says:

    I haven’t watched the reunion yet, but Bliss seems like such a lovely person that I hope it all works out for her.

  5. vanessa says:

    wait, how is it breaking the rules when he didn’t know what she looked like and still wanted to go after her? i guess the proposal part was after meeting her…but this show is ridiculous anyways. Zach and Irina literally proved love is NOT blind. and it’s been proved every season. so what does it matter if he reached out and wanted to date her without meeting her but didn’t propose until after he saw her.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      Agreed. Even when they first met in the cafe, it was clear that was the first time they saw each other because because she was asking “(are you) Zach?” when she walked up.

  6. KS says:

    Recently started getting into this show and 2 things:

    1) Nick and Vanessa Lachey are *terrible* hosts and need to be replaced ASAP.

    2) They need to stop casting people in their 20s and then being shocked they don’t want to get married. I think that would weed out a lot of the people who are clearly just there to get on tv.

    • SussexWatcher says:

      Yeah I don’t even see the need for hosts except maybe on the reunion portions.

      I totally agree that they should focus on casting people in their 30s or older. But then that might lessen the drama, which is probably what they want.

  7. Sean says:

    I just love Netflix completely botched the live stream of the reunion.

    With their price hikes, crack down on sharing accounts between devices Netflix can’t afford to make mistakes like this.

    I actually just read they’ve fallen behind in profits compared to their competitors.

  8. BeanieBean says:

    Just thought I’d step in to say a Portland-Seattle relationship isn’t really a long-distance one. Westerners think nothing of a two-hour drive.

  9. Elsa says:

    The distance wasn’t an issue for me. When I met my now husband, he lived several states away. I don’t think love is blind though. Chemistry is huge and I don’t know how that happens. Eyes? Nose? Ha!!

  10. dido says:

    what I really want to know about Chris Coelen is whether he’s an anti-choice conservative or something. Between Vanessa Lachey’s *aggressive* baby-pushing at the live reunion last night the jump scare to forced birther Bartise (ughhh) it was SO uncomfortable. How is Vanessa Lachey pushing essential strangers to have babies like it’s the easiest thing a normal conversation? Especially in this economy??? It was so gross.

  11. RoyalBlue says:

    Oh wow, I might be the only one who loved this season. I thought it was the best of the 4 seasons and hated the one with Shake the most, My order of which seasons I loved… Season4, Season 1, Season 3 and Season 2. This season had genuine matches, breakups, makeups, Jacquelina drama, parent drama, mean girls, unexpected dumping. The works.

    Loved Bliss’ gown and how it fit her. I would not choose it as my own gown, but she looked lovely in it. Something changed Paul’s mind, and I am not sure he is being fully honest about it. That to me, was the most unresolved issue. I wonder if he heard about Michah meangirling with Irina.

    • DogMom says:

      You’re not the only one, RoyalBlue! I loved this season and have been so invested. This show just scratches an itch in my brain; I can’t explain it.