Hosted by Rannvijay Singh, famous for shows like “Roadies” and “Splitsvilla” and Gauahar Khan, known for her role in “Bigg Boss 7,” Netflix’s new dating reality show “IRL: In Real Love” Season 1 is one that revolves around a new kind of dating idea, combining the online and offline modes together. The four main contestants featured in the show are Rohan, Chiragg, Sakshi, and Ananya, who would have to go through different stages of dating, both online and offline, to choose their most real connections and the most compatible partners. An online dating app called ‘Meet Cute’ provides all the amenities required for the participants to meet and chat with new people online, apart from their real-life connections. Initially, the participants are made to go on ‘speed dates,’ a kind of dating process where one person goes on several quick dates with a number of people at random to narrow down the list of probable candidates to date, and then goes out on actual dinner dates with two connections individually that they have selected from their speed dates. Although it is a dating show, which has become somewhat of a cliché in this decade, it promises to entertain in a totally unscripted and spontaneous manner. With the participants all being Indian and from totally different spheres of life, further adding to the intrigue, the show is definitely worth a watch.
‘IRL: In Real Love’ Season 1: Recap: The Dates And The Connections
Dating, relationships, awkward conversations, heartbreak, and misunderstandings are all integral parts of the show, with the participants being put into unpredictable situations to encourage spontaneous reactions from them, which is all part of a social experiment that the hosts Rannvijay and Gauahar explain is the true objective of the show. As observed in the beginning, each of the four main participants chose two suitable connections from their speed dates to go out on actual dinner dates. Apart from these connections, each of them would also try and build online connections via ‘Meet Cute.’ One thing that they weren’t informed about was that these online connections would also have the chance to become offline connections and be included in the show. Therefore, Chiragg, Ananya, Rohan, and Sakshi embark on an unpredictable journey filled with uncertainties to find their one true partner in their own unique way.
Chiragg chooses Vidushi and Ashita as his offline connections; Sakshi chooses Sahib and Virender; Ananya chooses Dhruv and Yatin; and Rohan follows his heart in choosing Jagriti and Sakshi (not to be confused with one of the four main contestants, whose name is also Sakshi). Later, after completing the initial stage of online dating, one of each of their online connections is chosen to be introduced into the show after the elimination of one of their offline dates to take their place. Thus, Ashita is replaced by Sifat, Pratham substitutes for Virender, Yatin’s place is taken by Shivam, and Shimona comes in to replace Sakshi. This is where things start to get complicated, and we slowly see the contestants gravitating toward the person that they really hit it off with. There are some really fun games and parties arranged for the participants to better understand and explore their relationships, which sometimes do take a turn for the worse, as we see a bitter misunderstanding stemming between Sakshi and Virender after the first pool party, where Sakshi denied having any kind of memory of an intimate moment shared between them, which was a huge deal for Virender, and he is subsequently eliminated from the show. At another party, the contestants and their connections are all brought together to play charades and “kill, marry, hookup” and connect with their dates; where Shivam, who was Ananya’s initial online connection, feeling left out of the loop, decides to jokingly choose to ‘kill’ Dhruv, ‘marry’ Sakshi, and ‘hookup’ with Ananya, which pissed her off as she expected more from him. She explains that she was hurt as he had made fun of Dhruv, making him out to be the villain in his ‘ghost story.’ As the dates go on, one thing becomes clear: the boys’ online connections were somehow stronger, as both Rohan and Chiragg had really hit it off with Shimona and Sifat, respectively, and were genuinely exploring their options as to whom they would have to choose in the days to come. In contrast, the online connections of both Sakshi and Ananya seemed to be lacking in depth, as both of them seemed to get annoyed by them at some point while dating them in person and seemed more likely to stick with their initial offline connections in the future. But, in a strange turn of events, Dhruv drops a bomb when Ananya offers him the ‘connection ring,’ and he refuses it, saying he hasn’t yet explored all his options, which breaks her heart.
‘IRL: In Real Love’ Season 1: Ending Explained
In another shocking turn of events, Shivam suddenly leaves the ‘Connection House,’ leaving a note behind stating his admiration for all the other guys in the show and also for Ananya, whom he felt didn’t really have any feelings for him. And on that same night, Faisal Khan, a previous online connection of Ananya with the Meet Cute profile name “Junglee Gentleman,” who also has an awkward history with Sakshi, enters the show, leaving everyone dumbfounded. Sakshi secretly fancies Faisal now that he is on the show but feels awkward and insecure to say it because she once blocked him on Meet Cute because she thought he was rude to her while chatting. Individual weekend trips are arranged for each of the contestants to share with both of their existing connections, and complications begin to arise as some of the relations begin to take a wrong turn, with Pratham and Sakshi having a quarrel, Vidushi feeling insecure with Chiragg and Sifat’s growing intimacy, and Ananya not being able to decide between Dhruv and Faisal. Unexpected sparks fly between Sahib and Vidushi, which angers Sakshi, and she vents it out on Chiragg. In a casual game of ‘truth, dare, or situation’ at the Connection House, Sahib admits that he would ‘save’ Vidushi over Sakshi if both of them were on boats that were sinking. Chiragg and Vidushi slowly drift apart, as Vidushi starts growing confused about her place with him and her feelings for Sahib, but Chiragg gives her a letter confessing his feelings for her.
On the final day of decisions, all the contestants and their respective connections are invited to join in to celebrate the exchange of connection rings between potential couples. And to start things off, Rohan and Shimona exchange rings, with both of them accepting each other as true romantic connections but eliminating a heartbroken Jagriti. Dhruv and Ananya also exchange rings and seal the deal with a romantic kiss, picking up where they left off after Dhruv had previously refused to accept Ananya’s ring, building the perfect romance story. A whirlwind of emotions begins to take shape as Vidushi and Sahib’s unexpected romance comes out into the open, leaving Sakshi heartbroken; she refrains from giving her ring to anyone, and Sahib is left to feel the pain of rejection. But, as the storm slowly passes, Chiragg offers a touching poem revealing his true feelings for Vidushi, and Vidushi finally decides to accept him wholly, and they exchange rings, completing their journey on the show. An unexpected couple is formed as Pratham offers a connection ring to Sifat, which she accepts, closing the season on a note of success and proving relations could stem through either online or offline mediums if they are true.