Cian O'Clery and Jennifer Cook From 'Love on the Spectrum' on Season 2 (EXCLUSIVE)

Shannon Raphael - Author
By

Jan. 15 2024, Updated 10:17 a.m. ET

David and Abbey from Love on the Spectrum
Source: Netflix

While flashy outings, helicopter rides, mock weddings, celebrity cameos, or early "I love yous" have dominated the top shows in the reality dating genre for years, in 2019, a new type of series launched: Love on the Spectrum.

The docuseries follows singletons who are all on the autism spectrum as they look to date and, hopefully, to fall in love.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Though the show premiered in Australia in 2019, Love on the Spectrum later won over a global audience when it debuted on Netflix in 2020. During the show's two-season run, two couples (out of 15 cast members) got married — which is a better success rate than any series in The Bachelor franchise.

Solomon and Dani
Source: Netflix

Solomon and Dani on 'Love on the Spectrum U.S.'

Article continues below advertisement

After the Australian edition's success, Netflix, unsurprisingly, greenlighted a U.S. version of the dating series. The first season launched on the streamer in 2022, and viewers got the chance to fall in love with six autistic Americans who were ready to connect with someone special. Season 2 promised some new and some returning cast members who are here to either continue their search for love, or share how their story with a partner has progressed.

Fans of the original will notice that Cian O'Clery is still behind the camera for the American series, and his voice can be heard as he guides the participants through the experience. He enlists the help of autism expert Jennifer Cook, who is on the spectrum herself, to meet with a few of the cast members to offer them some advice and tips before their dates.

Article continues below advertisement
David and Abbey on 'Love on the Spectrum U.S.'
Source: Netflix

David and Abbey on 'Love on the Spectrum U.S.'

Ahead of the series premiere back in 2022, both Cian and Jennifer spoke exclusively with Distractify about the show, why representing autism on an unscripted TV program is so crucial, and whether there were plans to continue the show for Season 2 — although now we know Netflix filmed a second season, slated for a Jan. 19 release.

Article continues below advertisement

Cian O'Clery and Jennifer Cook discussed the importance of representation on 'Love on the Spectrum U.S.'

Following the critical and fan acclaim from both seasons of Love on the Spectrum, Cian began having conversations with Netflix about bringing the concept to the United States. The longtime director was immediately excited at the prospect of working on an American version of Love on the Spectrum.

Article continues below advertisement

"The opportunity came up, and we were really happy to get involved," Cian said to Distractify about working on the U.S. show. "We're just really happy to hopefully reach even more people and to showcase the diversity of autism. It's so great to be able to tell real people's stories, to give people a voice themselves."

Jennifer was similarly thrilled to get involved with the show.

"Cian has created is this warm environment where everybody is genuinely cheering for each other, which is so atypical in the reality sphere," Jennifer added. "That was super special."

The autism advocate was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when she was 35. She appreciated that Cian decided to "walk the walk" and have an expert involved in the show who is on the spectrum herself.

Article continues below advertisement
James and his parents on 'Love on the Spectrum: U.S.'
Source: Netflix

James and his parents on 'Love on the Spectrum: U.S.'

"I thought was really brilliant and respectful of Cian to want to have somebody who's on the spectrum who could maybe do a little bit of translating between that neurodiverse and neurotypical intersection," she said.

While scripted shows like Atypical and The Good Doctor have been successful at starting conversations about autism representation, Cian was excited for viewers to see people on the spectrum as they go about their real, day-to-day lives.

Article continues below advertisement

"It's just introducing people to a really diverse group of people so that an audience understands that autism looks different in every single person. It's just great and lovely to be able to have a series about dating on TV that features real people as well, who aren't trying to get something out of being on the show," Cian said about what he wants people to take away from the show. "They're not trying to gain followers. They're just real people going through real life and a real-life dating experience."

Tanner on a date on Love on the Spectrum
Source: Netflix
Article continues below advertisement

Jennifer and Cian shared details about 'Love on the Spectrum' Season 2.

When it came to Jennifer and Cian's level of interest when the first season dropped, they were both excited about the prospect of continuing the show.

"I'd love to keep telling the stories of the people who are in the series, and maybe even a couple of new people if there was a second series," Cian shared with us at the time. "Sure, I'm in."

"I'm totally in," Jennifer continued. "Absolutely, this is fun."

While neither Jennifer nor Cian knows exactly what the future will hold for the stars' dating lives and for the show itself, there's no doubt that in either of their minds that viewers will connect with at least one of the castmates.

Article continues below advertisement

Season 2 of Love on the Spectrum features David and Abbey, a fan favorite couple from the first season who is still together. Fans continued to follow their story on social media and now, they're back for another season.

Dani, who had a few dates in Season 1, also returns for Love on the Spectrum to find the right guy for her. And James, who also became a favorite for fans, is also among the returning cast members.

"Before and after everything else, we are all on the human spectrum," Jennifer said. "There are these threads that sort of weave among all of us who are on the show, and who are on the spectrum. It gives the audience the chance to identify more or less with one participant or the other."

Love on the Spectrum is now streaming on Netflix.

Advertisement
More from Distractify

Latest Love on the Spectrum News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.