Just a Bunch of Confusing Swimsuits From 'Too Hot to Handle'

Three weeks after the reality show premiered, I continue to be haunted and inspired by these choices.

(Image credit: Aline Arruda/Netflix)

Too Hot to Handle premiered 21 days ago, which in reality-show-time may as well be 18 months ago. And in Netflix-time that may as well be three years ago. Which means in quarantine-time it's been approximately four decades since we were introduced to the dozen or so horny individuals who went celibate in the hopes of winning some cash and entertaining the masses. So, yes, the majority of the world has moved on. But I continue to be haunted by something from the show. No, it's not that Harry and Francesca are still together and, in fact, so happy that they are wedding ring shopping. No, it's not that people are offering to drink Chloe's bathwater. It's not even that Matthew (a.k.a. Jesus) actually played The Man From Galilee in a film. It's the bathing suits.

Too Hot to Handle's cast LIVED in swimwear. (Fair, considering they literally lived on a gorgeous, beach-front resort in Mexico during filming.) But each female cast member seemed to have packed no less than 30 bikinis for their four-week reality television stint (was there no laundry available?). And they didn't bring a smattering of mix-and-match tops and bottoms and one whimsical suit in case things went "theme." No, they whipped out a multitude of head-scratching, gravity-defying suits. (Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of cute neon bandeaus and colorful string bikinis as well.) I'm talking about the ones that displayed more emotional depth than Haley. More self awareness than Harry. More sass than A.I. bot Lana. Since I have all but accepted the reality of a #canceledsummer2020 I decided to live vicariously through the Too Hot to Handle cast's unique warm-weather sartorial choices—the kinds we have all at one time purchased, in the same checkout cart as Prosecco Pong and a giant inflatable unicorn—by rounding them up here. Here's praying the girls divulge their Missguided discount codes during the virtual reunion that airs Friday.

Entertainment Director

Neha Prakash is Marie Claire's Entertainment Director, where she edits, writes, and ideates culture and current event features with a focus on elevating diverse voices and stories in film and television. She steers and books the brand's print and digital covers as well as oversees the talent and production on MC's video franchises like "How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?" and flagship events, including the Power Play summit. Since joining the team in early 2020, she's produced entertainment packages about buzzy television shows and films, helped oversee culture SEO content, commissioned op-eds from notable writers, and penned widely-shared celebrity profiles and interviews. She also assists with social coverage around major red carpet events, having conducted celebrity interviews at the Met Gala, Oscars, and Golden Globes. Prior to Marie Claire, she held editor roles at Brides, Glamour, Mashable, and Condé Nast, where she launched the Social News Desk. Her pop culture, breaking news, and fashion coverage has appeared on Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Teen Vogue, and Architectural Digest. She earned a masters degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2012 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 2010. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and dog, Ghost; she loves matcha lattes, Bollywood movies, and has many hot takes about TV reboots. Follow her on Instagram @nehapk.