How a classic Seinfeld episode inspired Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle

Credit- Too Hot to Handle - Netflix
Credit- Too Hot to Handle - Netflix /

“The Contest” is a classic Seinfeld episode about being the master of your domain and is the inspiration behind the Netflix reality show Too Hot to Handle.

Laura Gibson was watching a classic episode of Seinfeld when inspiration struck for what would develop into the latest must-watch Netflix reality series, Too Hot to Handle.

Gibson was watching “The Contest” from season 4, which if you haven’t’ seen, is about the four main characters – Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer all make a bet to see who can be the “master of their domain” the longest for a cash prize.

The concept of abstaining from self-gratification for a cash prize helped serve as the launching point for Too Hot to Handle, which pits 10 hot singles in a competition for a $100,000 cash prize. The catch is they can’t hook up unless they want to see the purse reduced.

“They all had to not masturbate for money, and they all cave. I said, there’s gotta be a show in there,” Gibson told Entertainment Weekly about the show she pitched in 2017.

The show began filming last year but for it to come out during the coronavirus pandemic when social distancing is the norm and casual sexual encounters are not, so there are a lot of viewers who can sympathize with wanting to act on your biological urges and not being allowed to.

“We could have never predicted this would go out when most 20 to 25-year-olds in the world are going to be suffering from terrible blue balls, Gibson jokes with EW.”

After the first week since it’s release, Too Hot to Handle was the No. 2 most-watched title on Netflix, and should remain a fixture in the Netflix Top 10 and among the trending titles. Just like Love is Blind before it which became a huge pop culture phenomenon and The Bachelor franchise on ABC, there is a big appetite for this type of salacious, often scandalous guilty pleasure type dating shows.

If you haven’t watched yet but want to see 10 hot singles struggle to keep their pants on and those who would sacrifice a little bit of cash for an erotic rendezvous, then you’re going to get a kick out of this show.

And the next time you watch “The Contest” you can thank Seinfeld and Larry David for coming up with this hilarious premise for an episode that would spawn an entire reality series all these years later.

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