If Dated & Related taught us anything, it’s that Netflix needs to take things slow in the search for its next great dating show.
The 10-episode reality series, which dropped in full on September 2, throws sibling pairs (and one set of cousins) into a villa in the South of France to see if they can find love with help from their ultimate wingperson.
While family members have their share of heartfelt moments throughout the series, the sibling love isn’t strong enough to offset the show’s cringeworthy, confusing setup.
Since Netflix released Dating Around in 2019, the platform has consistently churned out follow-ups, including Love on the Spectrum, The Circle, Love Is Blind, Indian Matchmaking, and most recently, the overly messy disaster that is The Ultimatum.
It’s clear Netflix is on the hunt for the world’s next dating show obsession, but let me assure you: Dated & Related isn’t it.
On paper, a dating show with a familial twist has serious potential, but this series gives the impression that someone at Netflix realized the words “dated” and “related” rhymed and figured if they threw a bunch of siblings together with little structure the concept would carry itself.
In reality, the series required much more planning to be a success, and a lazy premise, poor execution, lackluster host, and borderline gross shock factor ultimately set Dated & Related up for failure.
First things first: The cringe. In case family members on a dating show together wasn’t weird enough, the show features a number of other inappropriate twists. We see relatives tag along on double dates, sibling pairs date other sibling pairs, and even two sets of twins date each other.
In Episode 1, we also learn that not only will everyone be sharing a room at night, but siblings will sleep in the same bed as each other. And at one point a brother and sister pair are even tasked with convincing another duo in the house to guard the bathroom for them while they share a bath together. Why?? Because host Melinda Berry told them to.
From the start of the series, as related pairs file into the villa without any direction or structure, you’ll question Berry’s purpose. It seems she got this gig because she was on Too Hot to Handle and has 14 brothers and sisters, but she spends the majority of the series out of frame, occasionally calling into the villa’s hotline (a lip-shaped phone that desperately want to be the next Jersey Shore duck phone) from the beach, a bubble bath, or any other scene far more exciting than the set.
She delivers instructions via phone, voices irritating filler countdowns to let us know how many hours remain until she’ll “shake things up”, and only appears in person to host events or eliminations in a robotic fashion. Bachelor-style date cards or The Circle’s AI assistant could easily replace her role on the series, which is more distracting than enjoyable.
Berry’s glorified hosting gig and the looming cringe-factor aren’t the only things Dated & Related has working against it. For a series that houses contestants in a large French villa stocked with expensive blowdryers and promises a $100,000 prize at the end, Dated & Related feels oddly low-budget.
Unlike Berry, the siblings never get to leave the grounds, which means all of their dates, bonding, downtime, and activities take place in the same location. And the big activities are all painfully bland. The pairs engage in events like trivia, speed dating, pass the parcel, and a poolside prom — all of which reek DIY, not Netflix funding. Because the contestants have so much downtime at the villa, the show’s pacing is painfully slow.
We get our fair share of ping pong games, poolside chats, and makeup and teeth brushing montages, but the show lacks the sort of organized entertainment and structure that help make long-running dating shows like The Bachelor successful.
In that sense, there’s one thing Dated & Related gets right: it’s like the not particularly interesting cousin you only see at family gatherings. Sure they might be related to your far more interesting relatives; but that doesn’t mean you want to spend time with them, just because they share some of the same DNA.
Get To Know All of Meredith Hagner’s Hallmark Movies
Meredith Hagner has starred in two Hallmark movies.
Meredith Hagner is a well-known actress who has acted in almost 50 movies and TV shows to date. She is currently in the news after the release of her new movie Vacation Friends 2, which was released on August 25, 2023.
She got her big break on her debut TV show, As the World Turns, in 2008, where she played the character of Liberty Ciccone. She played the character until 2010, and at the time, she was already recognized as a promising actress.
She has often appeared in several movies and TV shows with different characters, roles, and genres and has even appeared in Christmas movies by Hallmark. So let’s delve into it.
Meredith Hagner All Hallmark Movies
Hagner has appeared in two Hallmark movies, and both of them are based on Christmas themes.
‘A Gift Wrapped Christmas’
Hagner acted in the famous Hallmark movie A Gift Wrapped Christmas, which was released in 2015. She plays the role of Gwen, who is a personal shopper. She recently met with her new client, Charlie, played by Travis Milne.
Meredith Hagner in The Gift Wrapped Christmas movie. (Credit: Verymerrymovies)
Charlie is a single father who is very workaholic, serious, and doesn’t care much about the holidays. He has a young son named Owen, played by Anthony Bolognese, whom he loves very much but doesn’t have much time for.
When Gwen sees Owen, she becomes friends with him but also finds out he is really sad because his father doesn’t like holidays and doesn’t spend more time with him.
She makes it her mission to get Charlie into a festive spirit and also make him spend more time with his son. Soon she becomes very close to Charlie and Owen and also finds out what she exactly wants for herself as a Christmas gift.
The other cast members of the movie are Beverly Mitchell as Stephanie, Dolores Drake as Pat, and Anna Van Hooft as Victoria. The film became quite popular among fans who are fond of love stories and got universal praise for being a clean family film.
However, it was not nominated or won any awards in any category. Despite that, audiences and critics praised the acting of lead actors Hagner and Bolognese.
‘My Christmas Love’
My Christmas Love is another Hallmark movie in which Hagner appeared as the lead actress. In the film, she plays the role of Cynthia, who has recently gone through a breakup after her boyfriend dumped her just before the holidays.
She is sad and depressed but has to go to her home for her sister’s wedding, and since she doesn’t have a boyfriend, she asks her friend Liam, played by Bobby Campo, to go with her.
However, when she arrives home, she starts receiving gifts each day for the rest of the twelve days, just like in her favorite movie, The 12 Days of Christmas. At first, she brushes aside the gifts, thinking they are from one of her exes.
However, as the day goes on, she becomes more intrigued and happy, and she becomes determined to find out who is making this amazing gesture. She even thinks someone who is going to such great lengths might truly love her.
Nevertheless, her search for the mystery lover turns out to be more hard work than she realized before, but she finds out that the person she was looking for was always right beside her.
Although My Christmas Love only received an average review, many fans and audiences loved her performance, and the movie was also praised as being a trademark Hallmark romantic comedy.
Other actors in the movie are Aaron O’Connell as Scott, Megan Park as Janet, and Gregory Harrison as Tom.
Hence, these are two Hallmark movies that Hagner has appeared in. Although both movies did average business at the box office, her reputation as an actress rose decently.
Meredith Hagner’s career: Movies and TV shows
Hagner started acting immediately after moving to New York, where she appeared in several commercials for Levi’s, Radio Shack, 3M, Acuvue, Truth, and Subway. She got in contact with an agent who offered her the role in the TV show.
At first, she hesitated to act in the TV show and waited for the movies, but ultimately decided to act in As the World Turns, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Due to her performance, she was even nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series, which immediately made her one of the promising actresses to look forward to.
She never thought her debut project would turn out to be her immediate big break, after which she started receiving lots of movies and TV shows.
Immediately after leaving the TV show in 2010, she appeared in lots of movies like Going the Distance, Art Machine, Damsels in Distress, etc. Her big break-in movie only arrived in 2014 with the superhit movie Hits, where she played the role of Katelyn Stuben.
She appeared in a few more popular movies and TV shows like Set It Up, The Oath, Brightburn, Vacation Friends, Men at Work, Search Party, and Strangers. In 2023, fans got to see her reprise the role of Kyla in Vacation Friends 2.
She currently has two upcoming projects: one movie titled You’re Cordially Invited and one TV show titled Bad Monkey. In the TV series, she plays the lead role of Eve. The show is currently in production and is set to be released in late 2023 or early 2024.
Meredith Hagner’s early life, parents, and education
Meredith was born in New York City, but when she was young, her parents moved her to Houston, Texas. Her mother’s name is Karen Hagner, and her father’s name is Ronald Hagner.
Regarding her siblings, she has one sister, whose name is Kerry Hagner. She has not revealed any personal information or the profession of her mother, father, or sister.
She went to Chapel Hill High School for her higher studies, and during her time in high school, she developed an interest in acting. After that, she decided to attend the Boston Conservatory, where she learned acting for a brief period of time.
However, she was not able to complete her education as she started getting offers for acting and commercials, for which she had to move to New York.
Freddie Dennis’ Gay Rumors — Exploring His Sexuality, Partner, and Dating History
Freddie Dennis plays a gay character in ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.’
Freddie Dennis is a talented actor who has recently been the talk of the town in the popular Netflix show Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. In the show, he plays the role of Reynolds, who is in love with another character, Young Brimsley.
Since Dennis played the role of the gay lover in the show, many fans were wondering if he was gay in real life, too. Furthermore, he has not revealed his sexuality to date, which has made his fans even more curious.
So, is he also gay in real life, and who is his partner? Let’s delve into the matter.
Freddie Dennis plays a young gay boy in ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’
In Queen Charlotte‘s TV show, Dennis plays the role of King George’s secretary, Reynolds, who falls in love with Queen Charlotte’s footman, Young Brimsley, played by actor Sam Clemmett.
The chemistry between the two actors is really amazing, so much so that fans actually believe they are gay and were even dating each other in real life.
Fred Dennis and Sam Clemmett play gay lovers in the Queen Charlotte show. (Credit: Instagram)
Other than his romantic story, he is also equally loved for his loyalty to his king, and it takes a huge amount of pride to take care of his responsibilities. Still, it becomes more challenging when the episodes move forward, and even his loyalty comes under scrutiny.
Although he plays the role of supporting actor on the show, many fans and even the main character believe he is the heartbeat of the show.
There is no doubt that in the later seasons of the series, his character will undergo colossal development, and he will have an even more essential role in the series.
Freddie Dennis’ gay rumors and dating Corey Mylchreest
Dennis made history in the Bridgerton universe when he and actor Clemmett became the focus of queer love for the first time, as his characters Reynolds and Young Brimsley were revealed to be in a relationship.
According to the actors, their relationship was not included in the first script but was disclosed separately. Despite the challenge of the role, they were still confident and relished the honor of their characters.
Their on-screen chemistry was portrayed so well that fans were mesmerized by the acting. And as mentioned earlier, fans also believed that both Dennis and Clemmett were gay and were dating in real life.
Fred Dennis with lead actor Corey Mylchreest. (Credit: Instagram)
Moreover, after the show’s lead actor, Corey Mylchreest, revealed that he and Dennis even lived together for a brief period, it further fueled the gay rumors.
However, the fact is that they were not dating and instead became very good friends during the filming of the show. They shared such a close bond that they decided to move in together, as it was easier for them to prepare for their roles as well.
Till now, there has been no concrete evidence of him being gay, as he has not revealed anything specific about his sexuality. Nonetheless, he has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, and fans will still talk about and investigate the speculations.
But it has to be taken into consideration that unless he feels comfortable revealing his sexuality, everything else is just heresy and must not be taken as fact.
Does Freddie Dennis have a girlfriend/partner?
The fan’s rumors and interest in Dennis’s love life, sexuality, and girlfriend are at an all-time high, even though he likes to remain secretive on such personal matters. Some are convinced that he is gay and is dating one of the show’s co-stars, whereas others are not so sure.
Freddie Dennis with his girlfriend Laura. (Credit: Instagram)
Well, the fact is that he is in a relationship with a woman named Laura, who is a photographer. Almost a few months ago, she marked their second anniversary with the caption, “Happy 2nd,” to which he replied with a heart emoji.
He has shared a few photos with her during his early career days, but after becoming famous, he has started to be more careful about sharing his personal life on social media.
Although there is not much information on Laura, she has an Instagram account named green_popsi with 1217 followers and also runs a YouTube channel. Apart from their brief interaction on Instagram, there is not much recent news on the couple.
It is unclear whether they are still together, have married, or have been separated. To conclude, they have maintained privacy over their togetherness. As for Dennis’ dating history, there are little to no details about it.
Freddie Dennis’ meteoric rise to stardom
Dennis has been getting well-deserved recognition for his fine performance on the new Netflix show Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Given his impressive acting skills, many fans might find it surprising that this was the first major TV show or movie project he has ever acted in.
He was initially interested in acting but was too shy, so he thought he would never succeed. He also loved traveling, so he thought it would make sense to study geography, which he took as a major subject at the University of London.
However, he finally decided to try acting by enrolling himself in the Oxford University of Drama, from which he recently graduated. He found out the audition for the new Bridgerton show was going on, and at first, he auditioned for King George.
He is grateful that he didn’t get the role of King George, but while auditioning for the character of Reynolds, he had to prepare only one sentence: “What have you done now, Brimsley?”
At the time of selection, he was suffering from COVID, and he has revealed that he felt good for five minutes before going back to bed again.
Many fans and critics praise him for being a natural character, so it is no surprise that he acts like a veteran actor despite being a newcomer to the entertainment scene.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix
After the massive hit of the Netflix show Bridgerton, the new show, which is a spin-off or prequel to the original, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, was created by producer and writer Shonda Rhimes.
The story mainly revolves around Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz’s rise and explains how she gained control of power in the late 18th century.
The series only has one season to date, which premiered on May 4, 2023. The show has only six episodes, but each of them is almost an hour long.
Some of the show’s main cast members are India Amarteifio, who plays young Queen Charlotte, and Corey Mylchreest, who plays young King George III. Freddie Dennis as Raynolds, Sam Clemmett as young Brimsley, and Adjoa Andoh as Agatha are recurring characters.
‘Stranger Things’ Star Cara Buono’s Famous Movies and TV Shows
Cara Buono plays the role of Karen Wheeler in ‘Stranger Things.’
Cara Buono is an American actress who has appeared in several popular movies and TV shows, including Stranger Things, The Hulk, Mad Men, and The Sopranos.
She was born and raised in New York City, and she started her acting career at the age of 12 in a play. She honed her acting skills at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and later graduated with a double major in political science and English from Columbia University.
Her TV debut began in 1989, indicating she has been a professional actress for 34 years, during which she has showcased her versatile acting abilities in over 50 movies and TV shows.
Today, we will explore her seven best movies and TV shows, which have solidified her status as one of the best actresses in the world.
7 Most Famous Cara Buono’s Movies and TV Shows
Buono is one of the lead actresses on the TV show Stranger Things, where she plays the role of Karen Wheeler. She has joined the show ever since its premiere on July 15, 2016.
On the show, she plays the role of the clueless but loving mother of Mike, Nancy, and Holly and is the wife of Ted. She enforces a rule against her children going out at night after her son’s friends go missing, which creates conflicts with her children, especially her daughter Nancy.
Cara Buono in Stranger Things. (Credit: Instagram)
At first, she plays the role of a loving mother, but when she finds out her children are hiding the experiment, her character undergoes a remarkable transformation. This showcases her ability to play positive and negative roles within the same character.
Despite not appearing in every episode, she has appeared in all four seasons of the series, which shows her importance and the director’s consistent reliance on her.
Dr. Faye Miller in the TV show Mad Men stands out as one of the best roles Buono has ever played in her acting career. She portrays the role of a strategist working for a consumer research company.
Her character is an independent, intelligent, and confident woman who is determined to make a name for herself in the male-dominated company. She plays a very significant role in Don Draper’s professional and personal life and is the protagonist of the show.
For this amazing performance, she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Awards and the SAG Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
Buono’s other prominent role came in the form of Edith Banner in the 2003 movie Hulk. In the film, she portrays the role of the mother of Bruce Banner/Hulk and plays a significant role in raising him and making him the person he becomes.
She had a dysfunctional relationship with her husband, David Banner, who was a brilliant but mad scientist who loved her son very much.
Throughout the film, she doesn’t have a major role and occasionally appears in flashbacks. Nevertheless, her presence is very significant in explaining the story of Bruce and his transformation.
Paper Towns is another successful movie and one of the best. In the movie, she potrays the role of Connie Jacobsen, who is the mother of lead actor Quentin Jacobsen, played by talented actor Nat Wolff.
Despite being a minor character in the movie, she impressed the audience and critics with her very important role. In the movie, her profession is that of a therapist who takes care of troubled children.
She is a highly intelligent and caring woman, but she is also somewhat oblivious. She is very concerned about her son and the direction he is taking in life.
‘Let Me In’
Let Me In is a thriller-horror movie where Buono plays another minor but important role. She is the mother of the lead protagonist, Owen, who is a very caring and lovable mother. She gets concerned with the strange and dark things happening in their lives.
She adds vulnerability and thrills to the movie, which is unlike other characters. Her unawareness of the nature of the girl with whom her son is actually in love creates suspense, keeping the audience glued to their seats in anticipation of the next scene.
Although she is not listed as an actor in the movie, the project is a gem for those who want to witness her acting skills, which have garnered praise and complimented both her and her co-star’s characters.
‘Person of Interest’
Buono joined the TV show Person of Interest in the fourth season and immediately became one of the most significant characters for the show’s future seasons.
Initially, she is introduced as a highly-skilled mercenary who takes and completes orders from a secretive organization named ‘The Samaritan’.
Unlike most of her other characters, in the show, she has played the cold, calculated, highly skilled killing machine, a character that has certainly surprised her loyal fans, who have been following her career.
But during the future seasons of the shows, she showcases the moral dilemma, connects with the show’s protagonist, and even helps him defeat ‘The Samaritan’.
Buono arrives as Grace Foster, beginning in the fifth season of Third Watch and continuing to appear until the finale episode of the last season. She joins the show as a young paramedic for the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY).
She has a very tragic background, being responsible for the care of her mother, Annie, who is battling heroin addiction.
Her character shows an amazing sense of composure and kindness, and as the season progresses, she shows substantial development both professionally and personally.
Cara Buono’s net worth and earnings
As of 2023, Buono’s net worth is approximately $10 million, with her main source of income originating from her acting career, which dates back to 1989.
She has appeared in various movies and TV shows over the years, some of which have been huge blockbusters, contributing significantly to her rising fame, fortune, and net worth.
She is a part of the popular TV show Stranger Things, from which she has made around $5 million in the latest season. Previously, she used to earn approximately $25,000 to $30,000 per episode.
There is not much information about her assets and properties, and she also has not revealed her other ventures beyond acting that can significantly contribute to her income. This implies she is only interested in her acting career.
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