Netflix is facing backlash from viewers for the title of its new reality TV show Down for Love — a dating series that stars individuals living with Down syndrome. 

“BRUH they got a dating show for ppl with Down syndrome called Down for Love, Netflix going to HELL [sic],” one person wrote via X — previously known as Twitter — shortly after the show started streaming on August 11. Another chimed in by writing, “Whoever came up with the name for Down for Love on Netflix, you going ta hellllllll [sic].” 

Other social media users also believe the show’s title is distasteful, with another viewer tweeting, “If I said there’s a Down syndrome dating show on Netflix called Down for Love, you’d assume I was joking, right?” A separate person echoed the same thought and added, “Idk man that title is just not it [sic].” 

The synopsis of the series is described as a “heartwarming quest for love,” and a “feel-good reality show,” per Netflix’s official description, which added that the show “follows several people with Down syndrome as they navigate the trials and triumphs of dating.” Season 1 features five episodes in total. 

Despite the negative reception, the series became one of the top 10 most-watched shows on the streaming platform during the first week of its release. Not only that, but loyal fans have expressed their appreciation for the show online. 

Down for Love Leisel Shepherd and Brayden Pettigrew
Courtesy of YouTube/Netflix

Down for Love on Netflix is exactly the wholesome happy my heart needed right now [sic],” one person tweeted following the show’s air date. “Down for Love on Netflix is so sweet OMG I’ve been cheesing this whole time,” another added. 

The first season of the series was filmed in 2021 in conjunction with the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association. It originally premiered in May 2022 in New Zealand. Nearly one year before it premiered in the U.S., the show confirmed that season 2 was in production after releasing a casting call in October 2022. 

One of the most famous couples from the show are Leisel Shepherd and Brayden Pettigrew, who are still together today. Leisel, 23, shares relationship updates with fans by posting sweet pictures of them to her unverified Instagram account. The most recent image was posted on June 4, featuring the skincare entrepreneur and her boyfriend smiling lovingly at each other. Several of her followers reacted to Leisel’s post by gushing over the duo in the comments section.  

“So happy to see you two together!” one fan wrote, adding, “[Netflix] should consider a show featuring the two of you and your journey. Everyone is rooting for you!”

In response to the fan, Leisel wrote, “That would be cool!” 

Fans were introduced to Leisel during episode 5 of season 1 of Down for Love as she prepared to go on her first blind date with Brayden. The lovebirds immediately hit it off while playing mini golf together. Several dates into their relationship, Brayden officially asked Leisel to be his girlfriend and she accepted. 

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