The Best Part of Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle Is the Narrator
Sorry, but Francesca has *nothing* on Desiree
By now we’ve probably all streamed the hottest show in quarantine, Too Hot to Handle, on Netflix. The reality series follows 10 thirsty singles on a resort in Mexico for what they think is going to be a month of partying and hooking up (we know this because the series frequently flashes words like “ORGY” and “SEX” across the screen during scene transitions), only to find out that they have to stay hella celibate in order to win the $100,000 prize money. The show is straight off the rails and is *seriously* the juicy binge-watch we all need right now for several reasons, but one in particular stands out—the narrator. Because folks, the narrator is the *best* part of that whole damn show!
Here’s why the best character on Too Hot to Handle is the sassy narrator.
First of all, the Too Hot to Handle narrator is SO cool IRL
While she never physically makes an appearance on the eight-episode-series, the narrator is arguably the most present—and best—character. She’s in every episode, always has some hilarious quip to share, and doesn’t have beef with anyone. And it turns out that she’s equally cool IRL, too. The lady behind the voice is Desiree Burch (no, not Tyra Banks like my roommates were convinced), a comedian who often jokes about her own love and sex life.
And not only is Burch a funny lady, but she’s led a super interesting life, too. While in her 20s and living in New York City, Burch worked as a dominatrix. Appearing on a March 30, 2019 episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, Burch talked about her motivation for taking the gig, joking: ”It’s one of those things I wanted to say that I had done. I got paid to beat guys up, which is what every woman wants.” In actuality, she said she initially took the job in order to tap into her own sexuality after growing up in an Evangelical family. ”I was trying to figure out how I could become more sexualized,” she told The Metro. “I found men frightening. I thought if I could do this, I could figure out more about men and their desires.” (TBH, it’s pretty easy to figure out the gentlemen’s desires on THTH. It’s sex, FYI).
The Too Hot to Handle narrator knows how to deliver a *sizzling* burn
Given Burch’s brief career as a dominatrix, it’s no surprise that she gives us a play-by-play of the contestants’ antics in a voice that literally sounds like how Sex and the City‘s Samantha *wished* she sounded. Burch’s voice is fun, cheeky and…also kind of sexy. Like, if she had a side gig as a phone sex operator I would 100% dial in. Her voice is *a lot* sexier sounding then much of what actually goes down on the beach, TBH (especially when Bryce pulls out his keyboard and sailor hat).
And it comes in handy, because one of the best parts of Burch’s presence on the show are her zingers. Because the comedian straight up drags the contestants. It’s honestly amazing.
Within the first three minutes of the first episode, Burch refers to Chloe “oblivious single number one” before calling all the contestants “beautifully naïve, wannabe reality stars.” We stan.
Not only is she literally putting a voice to what *many* at home are feeling, but Burch’s cheeky comments draw viewers even deeper into this hot flaming pile of garbage, making us feel like we’re actually a part of the (non-existent) action in a way similar to the breaking of the fourth wall in shows like The Office. She knows these contestants are a bunch of horny bozos; and she knows we know they are too. Which is kind of the point. “The voice of the narrator really is the person on the sofa,” producer Louise Peet told OprahMag.com. “It’s the kind of thing that you’d be screaming at the TV.”
And yet, we’re all watching it—so we’re probably just as bad. So maybe the joke’s on us, too.
Not to mention how she calls out reality TV as a whole
The joke might be on reality TV as a genre, TBH. Because having a voiceover narrator is pretty unique to this type of trash TV—but having one highlights and calls out just how chaotic this genre even is by calling attention to its most ridiculous moments. Throughout the episodes, Burch’s narration identifies several of the most prevalent tropes found in reality shows like The Bachelor. In the premiere episode of Too Hot to Handle, the women at the retreat dip to the dressing room midday to fix their hair and makeup—something we see often on other reality TV dating competitions—and Burch comments: “All the women are being really good reality TV show contestants and changing for the 17th time.”
And later, she snarkily touches on the fact that most shows pigeonhole contestants into typical reality television roles (that in many cases, contestants also lean in to—for example, “the villain”). We know Canadian contestant Francesca (a.k.a. Frankie) is one villain within five minutes, but Desiree also labels contestants like Matthew (a.k.a. Jesus) as the #SexCop and Kelz as #TheAccountant, referring to their roles in trying to keep the no-sex prize fund intact.
And Burch even calls out the use of music to heighten tension on seriously un-tense situations or to set a mood. When Matthew walks in during the intros–to music typically associated with Hawaii and hula dancing—Burch says: “Just in case the music isn’t hammering it home, this guy’s like ‘totally chill.'”
Consider this our *official* petition to have Burch narrate the next season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette.