Netflix’s ‘Perfect Match’ Season 2: All-Star Cast Faces Drama and Romance

Spoiler alert: This story includes details from the first six episodes of Netflix’s “Perfect Match,” now streaming.

LOS ANGELES − Netflix’s “Perfect Match” is back with a new season to stir up romance − but mostly drama − among “the Netflix ‘Avengers’ of reality TV.”

The all-star cast comprises alumni from across the Netflix reality universe, including “Love is Blind,” “Too Hot To Handle,” “Dated & Related” and “The Circle.”

The contestants, now pros from their time on other Netflix shows, compete in challenges that supposedly test their compatibility. As on Peacock’s “Love Island,” they must be coupled up by the end of each day (which means sharing a bed in a resort room) to stay on the show.

“We are a little more seasoned to it; we know what to do and how to handle ourselves as best as possible,” says Stevan Ditter (“Too Hot To Handle” Season 3). Looking askance at his friend Harry, he adds: “Some of us.”

Ahead of the season premiere, several cast members spoke with USA TODAY about their strategy (or lack thereof) and thoughts on their most notorious colleagues.

Harry, 27 − who broke out in the inaugural season of “Too Hot To Handle” and carved out a media career by competing on shows like ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and hosting a podcast − has also built a certain reputation. Since his “Too Hot” debut in 2020, the Australian star has made tabloid headlines with his dating life and a reportedly successful OnlyFans page.

On the show, Harry proudly acknowledges he and Stevan have slept with “pretty much everybody who’s been on a Netflix reality show.” In spite of this, he insists several times on “Perfect Match” that he’s dating to marry.

In “Perfect Match,” a recurring theme is Harry’s extensive dating history (several of his exes appeared on Season 1) and how he deals with women who are cautious of wading into a romance with him. After filming for several weeks at a resort in Tulum, Mexico, do his fellow castmates still stand by these reservations?

“I’d say so. I mean, people talk; the industry talks,” says Xanthi Perdikomatis (“The Circle” Season 5). “We’re a Netflix reality universe. So we all talk. I think it was pretty valid for people to have their qualms.”

Kaz Bishop (“Dated & Related” Season 1) agrees “100%” that women were right to be wary of getting involved with Harry.

Someone thinks they can change him every time.

Nonetheless, Harry has no problem finding romantic prospects thanks to his sense of humor and charm. He wins over fellow “Too Hot To Handle” alum Ꭼlys Hutchinson (Season 5), then loses some goodwill when, several episodes in, he redirects his efforts toward “Love is Blind” Season 6 breakout star Jess Vestal.

He struggles, however, when it seems the preconceived notions about him might get in the way of his pursuits. In Episode 5, an upset Harry goes off by himself to cry into a pillow. “I think Jessica is the perfect match for me,“ he says. “But for some reason, people want to talk poorly about me.”

The contestants engage in sexually suggestive challenges and get to know one another on a romantic level, but there’s no shortage of underhanded tactics and strategy involved on “Perfect Match.”

This is most apparent when the winners of a challenge head to the “boardroom” to send two of their fellow cast members on dates with other Netflix alumni who are waiting in the wings. If they find a better connection over the course of a day, the original cast member’s match has to scramble to reteam or risk going home.

“The two shows I came from,’ ‘Love Is Blind’ and then ‘Perfect Match,’ I feel like are two completely opposite shows,” Jess says. “Coming off ‘Love Is Blind’ a couple of months before, (I) was still in the love-and-marriage mindset. And I completely forgot that ‘Perfect Match’ had an element of strategy to it.”

Her match Harry (through Episode 6, at least) says, “Everyone’s been on a show before. Everyone knows how it works. Everyone knows how to get screen time and make drama and stuff like that. … I think this show, to some degree, everyone had a little bit of a strategy.”

Realizing too late that “Perfect Match” was not solely a dating show got Izzy Zapata (“Love is Blind” Season 5) sent home in Episode 2 after he unsuccessfully pursues Micah Lussier (“Love is Blind” Season 4).

“I definitely went in (with a) ‘Love is Blind’ mentality − real deep and kind of looking for marriage,” he says. “I should’ve went in a little bit more lighthearted, kind of more with a game plan.”

Episodes 7-9 of “Perfect Match” drop June 14; the finale streams June 21.