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.

Bikini
(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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and, in fact, so happy that they are wedding ring shopping. No, it's not that people are offering to drink Chloe's bathwater (opens in new tab). It's not even that Matthew (a.k.a. Jesus) actually played The Man From Galilee in a film (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab).) 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.

Neha Prakash
Neha Prakash

As Marie Claire’s Entertainment Director, Neha oversees and executes strategy for all editorial talent bookings and culture coverage across the brand's print and digital entities, including covers, celebrity profiles and features, social takeovers, and video franchises as well as handles talent relations for our flagship summit, Power Trip. She's passionate about elevating diverse voices and stories, loves a hot-take, and hates TV reboots. Her bylines have appeared on Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ, Allure, Teen Vogue, Brides, and Architectural Digest, and she is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.