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Dating In The Dark Episode 1: Polishing a Turd

Dating in the Dark

Back in May when I posted my summer preview, I mentioned that ABC was going to give us some guilty pleasure material with Dating in the Dark. Tonight was the premiere episode, and while I enjoyed it very much, I don’t feel guilty at all.

As it turns out, this isn’t a clone of The Bachelor or other similar rubbish, but rather a revival in the spirit of Love Connection, minus Chuck Woolery. Just as they mention at the top of the show, there are no eliminations and no cash prizes here, just a chance to meet someone and go on a free date with them if you’re both interested.

Granted, there are some moments worthy of a crappy VH1 reality show, like when Stephen the SAT Tutor spent five minutes sniffing the ladies’ shirts and lecturing the other male contestants about pheromones. And unless I’m mistaken, I’m pretty sure he actually called ‘dibs’ on Leni.

It’s interesting to see how quickly people can open up when they aren’t focused primarily on looking good for their date. I’ve watched enough seasons of The Bachelor/Bachelorette to know what looks-first dating shows usually end up like. Speaking of, my favorite aspect of the show is the way these people aren’t super attractive. They aren’t ugly either, but let’s just say there’s probably a reason they didn’t shoot the show in HD.

On top of the average looking people, I’m happy to say I laughed out loud several times as the contestants discussed the absurdity of their situation, including one man’s analysis of his dressing up for the reveal as ‘polishing a turd’.

The structure of the show is interesting, with the meetings divided in six parts:

  1. Group date with all six contestants
  2. Individual dates based on results of an arbitrary activity (this episode featured a chance to look at the shirts off the backs of the opposite sex contestants)
  3. Individual dates based on compatibility tests done prior to the show
  4. More individual dates not based on compatibility
  5. Visual reveal, one at a time with no talking
  6. Final meeting, where both show up on the veranda if they want to go on a real date

The wow moment for me came when one of the male contestants was waiting on the veranda, only to see his would-be compatibility match walk out the front door of the house on the floor below. To rub salt in the wound, she didn’t even look in his direction as she walked off down the driveway, massive suitcase in tow. It’s one thing to get turned down when asking someone out, but it really hurts when someone turns down a free date (with chauffeured Maybach) and chooses to walk a couple blocks with their humongous luggage instead.

Dating in the Dark airs Mondays at 10/9c for the rest of the summer, and based on tonight, I’ll be keeping it on my DVR schedule.

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July 20, 2009 - Posted by | Comedy, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed this show too! I thought it would be lame, but actually it was a pretty fun show.

    Comment by totallytv | July 24, 2009


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