×

FBoy Island” is back for a second season on HBO Max, and host Nikki Glaser couldn’t be more ready: “These people are ridiculous. These boys are so funny, and we enjoy bringing out the funny.”

In conversation with Variety ahead of the Season 2 premiere on July 14, Glaser opens up about what fans can expect from the new season, led by single ladies Mia Emani Jones, Louise Barnard and Tamaris Sepulveda.

The gameplay — in which the ladies must choose between self-proclaimed “Nice Guys” and “FBoys,” with $100,000 on the line — is “very much the same,” Glaser teases. “There’s also going to be people from the first season that you definitely will remember.”

Glaser says contestants in the sophomore season jumped into the experience more readily, having the first season as a guide. “The first season, it was kind of a vague description of the show…I think people were a little bit more trepidatious to really lean into the game of it, and to actually be vulnerable in that way. But this time, everyone that was on the show had seen it, so they knew what they were getting into.”

Season 2 also aims to rectify one of the most controversial aspects of the first season: When FBoy contestant Garrett Morosky opted to take the $100,000 prize money for himself instead of sharing with Sarah Emig, Glaser announced that the cash would actually go to a charity of Emig’s choice.

“Not only did people not like that twist — Garrett especially didn’t like that twist, even though he was a good sport in the moment. I didn’t even like the twist, to be honest with you, because I’m like, ‘What are we doing?’ I love giving to charity, but it was a twist that was very polarizing,” Glaser says.

This time around, FBoy winners really can keep the promised prize money. “We can’t do a twist twice,” Glaser says. “We could just make it a little bit more ruthless, because everyone knew what they had signed up for.”

Glaser says the change will also “challenge the girls to like make a hard decision” in their choices of who to pick: “You’ve got to risk a whole lot more than just your heart to actually commit to this guy who could actually be lying to you.”

Hosting the show for two seasons has also altered Glaser’s perspective on men in general. “I didn’t know that guys were such good liars,” she says with a laugh. “It definitely changed the way that I look at not only reality shows and what people say and do, but men in my own life: ‘Wow, they can really, really convince you that they care.’”

Glaser doesn’t give the show’s self-proclaimed Nice Guys a pass, though. “A nice guy is really only a nice guy because he tells us he is one — which is almost more of a risk of someone lying to you than a guy admitting he’s an FBoy — there’s something more honest about the FBoys to me sometimes than the nice guys.”

She adds, “We don’t call their exes to make sure they’ve never hurt a girl before. We’re just taking them at their word.”

While Glaser doesn’t place her trust in the contestants, she does empathize with them — even the FBoys. “I truly think that reality show contestants are more vulnerable and brave than any other kind of person you see on TV,” she says. “You see a side of yourself both physically and figuratively, that you would not have anticipated other people seeing. With that in mind, I really give them so much credit for, either stupidly or bravely, opening themselves up in that way.”

Glaser spends time getting to know eliminated FBoys in “Limbro,” comedy sketches which playfully tackle their oft-unsavory behavior. While the segments are intended to get a laugh, sometimes Glaser feels she really does get through to the men.

“I would really start to delve into some stuff,” she says. “Why do they work out so much? Why do they care about their appearance so much? What does it all mean? These guys really do trust me, and they should, because I really care about them and was almost trying to give them a little bit of an intro to what it would be like to talk to someone about their exercise addiction.”

Glaser sees past the hardened FBoy exterior: “None of these people want money over love. FBoys are scared that they are not lovable…So they put on this facade of, ‘I don’t want love,’ because ultimately, they feel uncomfortable. I always say, ‘Fboy: the F stands for Fragile more than anything.’ You can try to define an FBoy as just as heartless monster who’s just has a huge ego and doesn’t care anyone but himself, but it really is just a Fearful Boy. He’s just scared. And I love seeing that vulnerability in these guys.”

Glaser credits her experience on the recent reality docuseries “Welcome Home Nikki Glaser?,” which follows her life, with giving her an understanding of the contestants. “As the subject of my own reality show on E!, I got to see how difficult it was to know that you truly don’t have any control over what’s going to come out in the edit. There’s something very freeing being like, ‘OK, I like myself enough that, no matter what comes out, I’ll be okay.’ And so, I think that more than anything, that’s what makes me different than maybe other hosts. I don’t think I’m better than these people because I’m the host and they’re the cast members. I almost have more reverence for what they’re doing than what I’m doing.”

Something else that sets Glaser apart: whip-smart humor, which “FBoy Island” places front and center. “We realize how dumb all of this is and that we were making a show called ‘FBoy Island,’” Glaser says. “We need to call out that this is just a television show.”

Glaser affirms that the show’s creatives do take the process seriously, despite its comedic tone: “We get invested in the storylines and relationships. No matter if we try to or not, you can’t help it. The stuff that you’re witnessing is real. These emotions are real.”

The host isn’t the only one bringing the jokes, though. “We really enlist the help of and empower these boys, especially when they get kicked off and they have nothing to lose anymore. That’s when they are able to really lean into the comedic side of things.”

As for the future of “FBoy Island,” Glaser says there have been some internal discussions about the prospect of an “FGirl Island” spinoff.

“I would love to see the script flipped…just like they did with ‘The Bachelorette.’ Eventually, I think we need the other side of this thing. I don’t think we will be wanting for girls. I think that most people think, ‘Oh, it’d be it’d be pretty hard to find girls and all they care about is having sex and getting clout and getting money.’ Have you been on Instagram?”

The first three episodes of “FBoy Island” Season 2 premiere July 14 on HBO Max, with new episodes added weekly.