HBO’s Full Bloom is a reality competition so filled with personal growth and uplifting spirits and a very ever-present essence of queerness. It’s entirely vibrant in the sense of motivation, community, encouragement and perseverance that we see between these people.
There is, of course, magical floristry and masterful craftsmanship, boundless imagination and a serious passion for flowers that runs deep in each contestant and judge. The set design for each challenge, the locations for each team challenge; the production team went all-out in terms of creativity and conveying the scale and potential that floristry really can create a vibe. The competitors are a diverse collection of people who work with flowers; some are new to the game, some are veterans who paved their way in this industry for decades.
I don’t watch many reality shows, but none that I’ve seen recently has given us a Survivor-esque combination of individual challenges followed by team collaborative projects that, when combined, determine the result of elimination. It’s a really fun and interesting aspect, and adds to the already imaginative themes for each episode.
The heart of the show, and the feeling I come away with in each episode, is the way there has been personal growth and immense self-assurance for each Full Bloom contestant. They’ve gained confidence in who they are, and in the talent, skill and hard work held within themselves. This knowledge, and sense of watching them bloom, is on display for us to see alongside their magnificent imaginative creations.
Overall, it’s not (Netflix glassblowing reality competition) Blown Away level ‘cancel all your plans, move your couch close to the screen to catch every moment of it’ captivating, but it is sweet and the heart that people put behind their ideas is lovely, and the people are wonderful.
Netflix’s Big Flower Fight was lovely, too, but I was only emotionally invested in one of the participants, and so I didn’t go back to watch after the first few episodes. The queer energy and fun, creative challenge concepts in Full Bloom makes it something you look forward to going back to watch, even just out of interest to see where it goes.