Down for Love Season 1 Review – A wonderful, feel-good series

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5


Netflix have a lot of dating shows on their platform. There’s the typical “trash TV” Too Hot To Handle, the culturally inclusive Indian Matchmaking, bizarre mash-ups like Sexy Beasts and, more recently, Love on the Spectrum.

Down for Love is essentially the New Zealand version of Love on the Spectrum, with an array of colourful personalities with Down Syndrome looking for love. There’s no gimmicks, no big reveals or anything particularly fancy; men and women go on dates with each other and see how it goes. There’s the usual butterflies during the first meeting, a lot of sweet swoon-worthy moments and a couple of awkward encounters too. But what’s here is delightfully quaint and incredibly moreish.

Disappointingly, there’s only 5 episodes, but in that time Down for Love squeezes an awful lot into its run-time. There’s a whole host of men and women with Down Syndrome we meet, along with some intriguing pair-ups too.

Accompanying the fly-on-the-wall feel for these dates, there’s also a number of talking head interviews with family members and friends, along with the daters themselves speaking up about their experiences.

These wonderful souls that we’re introduced to have great personalities and you genuinely want these guys to find love. Among the ensemble is actress Libby, who’s harrowing backstory will see a lump form in the back of your throat as you hear her trials and tribulations. By comparison, there’s talented Bolivian photographer Carlos. Bubbly Josh is hard to dislike with his quirky humour while Brooke and Jesse are a great couple with obvious chemistry.

There are others introduced across the season, but the show has a lovely ebb and flow to it that everything feels natural and well intentioned – and never messy either. There’s a danger with so many individuals introduced that things could have spiralled out of control but thankfully that’s not the case here.

It’s so refreshing to watch a series like this that just lets the dates play out and shine without gimmicks or elaborate twists thrown in for the sake of it. The cameras never feel too intrusive, although there are obvious edits here that cut out big parts of the dating experience like ordering food and drinks.

The dates themselves are varied and do a good job of bringing out the best from the cast, with everything from bowling and visits to theme parks, all the way over to wine-tasting and walks on the beach. And when those sparks do fly on these dates, you can’t help but smile.

Down for Love is a wonderful, feel-good series and a heart-warming quest for love that you’ll feel every step along the way. This is a must-watch.

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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