Save the date ... then watch something else
Forget love and marriage – now it’s all about pash and dash. Wife swapping. Husband swapping. Saliva swapping. Let your mum choose. Let his mum chose. Choose his mum.
Dating naked. Dating without genitalia after dating naked goes wrong. Dating in the Dark. Blind Date- ing. Bachelor in Paradise. Polyamory in Paradise. Pregnant in Paradise. You get the picture.
This year is all about people who can’t get a date eating takeaway in their underwear while watching losers on TV get rejected under the glare of studio lights. With hope in their hearts and microphones strapped to their backs, these poor souls will do anything they can to snare love, or at the very least a radio gig with Rove McManus.
Once upon a time, there was no internet and women wore blue eye shadow and cinch belts and lined up to be matched by a robot called Dexter overseen by a guy in a peach taffeta cummerbund called Greg Evans.
They were asked questions such as “What piece of fruit are you most like and why?” and television switchboards lit up with complaints.
But now we live in a world where reality TV is getting more unreal all the time. Producers greenlight shows such as Are You Hot? The Search for America’s Sexiest People and Who’s Your Daddy? where adopted children win $100,000 if they figure out who their biological father is. Yes, really. And so we find ourselves with a flotilla of poorly conceived, badly made dating shows to make us feel better about the fact that we haven’t been laid since last June.
So in honour of Valentine’s Day, here’s a rundown of the reality dating shows the networks have in store for us this year.
First up, there’s First Dates, the show where complete strangers are thrown together and forced to endure each other’s company for a three-course meal in a Sydney restaurant. I can just imagine it.
He’ll try to impress her with his knife-and-fork balancing act, spill water down the front of his trousers and then forget his wallet.
She’ll spend the whole night trying to get up the courage to tell him he’s got spinach in his teeth then will leave half way after an emergency pre-arranged rescue call from a friend. Oh, good times. A Channel Seven spokeswoman says the series is “Warm, kind and generous, and served with a good dollop of humour”.
What I think she means to say is that anyone who is genuinely warm, kind and generous got picked for Farmer Wants a Wife, and these are the rejects served up to the masses with a good dollop of humiliation.
Channel Seven will also bring us Kiss Bang Love . Better this than the way it usually happened to me, which was Kiss, Bang, Bang, Bang, Goodbye. Or as one wit on Twitter suggested, Kiss, Bang, Herpes.
In each episode, someone enters the studio blindfolded and kisses 15 single guys or girls. They then choose the five best kissers to meet again for a second kiss without the blindfold.
Producers obviously had their best dating years at blue light discos when they were 15 and are now trying to recreate this feeling with a full studio audience and canned laughter. Should be a huge hit.
There’s also Seven Year Switch, which involves struggling couples swapping partners. Who comes up with this stuff? Ask yourself: are you likely to end up with a stud or a dud when all you’ve got as your talent pool is other people’s castoffs?
Nine will also run a new series of Married at First Sigh, above, pairing people that psychologists say are perfectly matched, which means they’re guaranteed to hate each other. In any case, it should be called Not Married at All, Just Pretending for the Cameras.
Over on SBS there is going to be local talent on the Chinese dating show If You Are the One. The real title should be: If My Parents Like You, You Could Be The One, Please Make Sure You Give Me a Son
The show’s intro says: “Are you terrified you’re going to die alone? Do you worry that no one will love you – ever?” What they should say: Are you so desperate to find love that you’re willing to end up a freak show on national TV?
So there you have it, folks. Get set for heaps of voyeuristic trash involving the ritual sacrifice of poor souls who just want to meet someone nice. Should rate its butt off. Twitter @susieob, Facebook.com/ newswithsuse and blog susieobrien.com.au