Written In The Stars (Match Nas Estrelas) Review – Another gimmicky dating show

Season 1

 

 

Episode Guide

Virgo Spreadsheet Partyer
Leo: Sparkle, spotlight and stubbornness
Scorpio: Relationships that start in a Japanese restaurant always work out
Cancer: I’ll keep you close to my heart
Aquarius: Wild roller coaster
Capricorn: Stone Cold seduction
Pisces: Are you stringing me along or are we going to be together?
Taurus: We want to eat and make love
Aries: There is no smoke without fire
Libra: A crush in the hand is worth two in the bush
Gemini: Today, yes. Tomorrow, maybe.
Sagittarius: Do you wanna hold my hand and go out into the world

 

Another week rolls round, and another gimmicky dating show has popped up on our streaming services. This time, it’s Amazon Prime’s turn with Written in the Stars. We’ve got 12 episodes, each representing the 12 zodiac signs, with a premise that’s simple but unfortunately flawed, making for a rather frustrating watch.

The show itself lives and breathes through its astrological signs. The idea that some signs are more compatible than others has been a subject of debate for many years, and now this dating show intends to put this to the test. In fact, this series is basically a slightly reworked Brazilian version of Zodiac Island, a UK production that used the same sort of gimmick.

Instead of these guys living on an island though, the idea here is that each of the 12 episodes sees a single person, who represents one of the zodiac signs, introduced to four bachelors or bachelorettes with different astral compatibilities.

They then go on these four dates, with editing that chops and changes between them all, before that singleton has to make some big choices back in the studio toward the end of the episode. They need to get rid of the least compatible date, then the “stars” get rid of the least compatible astrologically, and leave it up to our contestant to choose from the remaining two. Will they listen to the stars? Or ignore them and choose their own happiness?

While the premise is intriguing, the execution is anything but. Despite being told they’re only allowed to “speak about their sun sign”, the idea of going on these dates and even mentioning their star sign – especially to these singletons that are huge on astrological readings – feels like a missed opportunity. They’re already going to have preconceptions with these guys and gals that aren’t a good zodiac match, and that, in turn, could modify the entire experience.

If that wasn’t enough, host Ingrid and astrologist Papisa don’t even pick the best compatible matches for each sign! Generally we get three random signs and then one that’s fully compatible. One can’t help but feel that this show could have been so much more intriguing had they chosen the two most compatible signs, the least compatible, and then a random sign that isn’t better or worse than the others. Then you could make it a rule where you can’t mention your zodiac sign or birthdays at all. This way you get to see whether the astrological signs are in their favour or not.

Aries is most compatible with Gemini, Leo and Sagittarius, but in that episode only Leo is actually chosen. And to make matters worse, there are feelings that this is slightly manufactured to get the right result too. I mean, the Aries episode sees a girl chosen who looks identical to the poor bloke’s ex! Of course he’s not going to choose her!

Each of the episodes do have a unique hook though to be fair and the LGBTQ+ inclusion is an excellent touch and certainly welcome. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to paper over the fundamental problems this show has.

If you’re after another gimmicky dating show and want something to chuck on in the background while you’re scrolling your phone or eating dinner, Written In The Stars isn’t an outright bad series. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly good one either. It’s another show that uses a half-baked gimmick without actually adding a compelling hook beyond that to keep you watching every episode. Unfortunately, the stars haven’t quite aligned with this one.


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  • Verdict - 5.5/10
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5.5/10

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