Cast your mind back, if you can, to the pre-pandemic days of 2020. A fleeting month or so in time when the new decade was full of hope and opportunities to go out and mingle with friends in crowded places. And, yet, many of us chose to sit on our couches and watch people on Netflix fall in "love" through walls instead. What fools we were!
Well, let's not dwell on regrets. Or maybe let's? Because, not content with one reunion special, Netflix has put out yet another catchup with the cast of its dating series Love Is Blind, this time titled Love Is Blind: After the Altar. Hey, we only have ourselves to blame for tuning into the last installment.
Anyway, LIB: ATA, reconnects us with the pod squad, a group of singles who spent days talking through literal walls as part of an experiment to test whether people could actually form sustainable connections without ever seeing one another. Unsurprisingly, many failed in this quest for blind love, but a staggering two (!!) couples actually went through with their vows and have been (happily?) married ever since. Congrats, Cameron and Lauren and Barnett and Amber. We truly do not know how you pulled it off.
Netflix Lauren and Cameron on 'Love Is Blind: After the Altar'
During After the Altar, as everyone gears up to reunite under the guise of a two-year anniversary party for the successful duos, we get a glimpse of Cameron and Lauren loved-up at home, dining with their families and planning their future together, and Barnett and Amber on a date discussing how people typically think they met at a glory hole when they say there was a wall between them. Did you miss Matt Barnett? Did you?
Netflix Amber and Barnett on 'Love Is Blind: After the Altar'
But it's not all babies and bathroom stalls, some of the contestants are still single and eager to change that. Some are dating or engaged to someone completely new. Some are still dating the person they met in the pods but have the same toxic relationship as always (cough, Giannina and Damian, cough). And some are Mark. We'll get to that a little later.
The reunion special consists of three episodes averaging 45 minutes apiece, so, to save you time and involuntary, full-body shuddering, we watched them all and took note of everything interesting we learned about our favorite partitioned participants. Here are 16 things we gleaned from After the Altar:
1. Damian has really gotten into self-love since spending time staring at a wall. He recently splurged on some under-eye filler and botox in his armpits. He also drives a Porsche Panamera, but the less attention paid to that the better.
2. Ever a gentleman and fully grown adult, Barnett has spent two years of matrimony reflecting on its best attributes and come to the conclusion that it's not wearing condoms. Yup, he and Cameron even fist bump about it, so you know he means it.
3. Jessica, who moved away from Atlanta (Can you blame her? Imagine bumping into Mark and/or Amber in the street?) and has been living in Los Angeles, has a new boyfriend. They met when he slid into her DMs and have been dating for seven months. They're taking it slow. The unnamed man has the good sense not to attend the anniversary party, though for poor Jessica's sake we kinda wish he had accompanied her.
4. Carlton is still angry. He found himself in a dark space after the show and his blowout argument with Diamond when he came out as bi after she'd committed to marrying him. He feels misunderstood and abandoned by the pod squad and he's still emotional about it. He and Lauren meet for a cocktail to discuss. Things get heated and he walks out. Carlton does not attend the anniversary party/reunion with the rest of the cast.
5. Diamond has taken to picking up men at the carwash. Hey, if it's good enough for Rose Royce!
6. Another no-show at the anniversary party? Mark. Before the big night, some of the girls meet to catch up. It's here that Jessica shares that she found out that Mark cheated on her during their engagement. And not just once. Apparently, there were up to eight girls at one time. (Are we all talking about the same Mark, here?!) Jessica's upset that while she became, in her own words, "one of the most hated people ever to be on a reality TV show," he never come forward and told the truth about his side of the relationship.
7. We also learned that L.C. (Remember her? One of the three girls Barnett got to reject.) and Mark hooked up. He also cheated on her while they were dating with his current baby mamma. Later, at the party, Amber weirdly gets very defensive of Mark, but it really just seems like an excuse to make L.C., a kinda-sorta maybe ex of her husband's, feel bad.
8. Amber wants a baby and she wants a baby soon. Barnett is hesitant due to the fact that they still live with a roommate after he sold his house to pay off Amber's student loans and it seems unfair to introduce a crying baby into the mix. Gotta say, impressed at this glimpse of maturity on Barnett's part.
9. After having a seizure one night, Amber has been diagnosed with epilepsy.
10. Barnett is whipped. There's a very uncomfortable moment where Jessica (bless her) approaches Barnett to hand over an anniversary gift of Tiffany's champagne glasses and her one-time-would-be-fiancé has to walk away because Amber has told him he's not allowed to talk to Jess.
11. Damian does not seem like a very good guy. Giannina's ex-fiancé/current boyfriend arrives at the party without Gigi and also invites another woman — another woman (Francesca from Netflix's Too Hot to Handle) who has previously caused problems in his relationship when they were photographed holding hands. The standup dude that he is, Damian refuses to take any responsibility for his actions or see why G might be upset. He tries to gaslight Giannina into thinking her reaction is the only thing that's problematic about the situation. (He also seems to have conveniently blanked on the fact that this anniversary party also marks the occasion he said no to Giannina at the altar.) Gigi, you look great. Leave this man to his early midlife crisis and find someone who doesn't equate owning a sports car with having a personality.
12. We'll take this one with a grain of salt considering Carlton's salty feelings towards his fellow cast members, but apparently L.C. dated "everybody except for the cameraman." We'd applaud her open attitude, but dating more than one of these pod inhabitants just seems plain masochistic.
13. Kenny is engaged — and not to anyone in any way related to the show. She seems nice.
14. Asked what he hopes the coming years of marriage will bring, Barnett give this romantic answer: "I just hope our future involves anal."
15. Cameron wants to be married for 200 years to Lauren. He plans to keep her in a preservation chamber or create a cyborg of her. We knew our fear of creepy Cameron wasn't unwarranted.
16. Lauren also leaves us with this unsettling declaration: "Cam likes to get it in."
Love Is Blind: After the Altar is available to stream on Netflix now.