Dating & TV: how things change

Remember Blind Date? Good old Blind Date, hosted by the skilled, flame-haired Liverpudlian charmer who is Cilla Black. What a television gem!

I’d watch it even as a very young viewer and enjoy the look on the variety of people’s faces as they were shown a date that was either exactly what they’d imagined or the complete opposite!

Now we have shows like Take Me Out and The Love Machine.

Man and woman in blindfolds having a blind date

A near miss

I can safely say I didn’t watch either until one day during summer I was approached by someone. I was walking along London’s Carnaby Street, minding my own business, when a young man and a woman with a clipboard came running over.

Now in the capital it’s really not strange for production companies, casting agencies and modelling agencies to go out scouting for talent of some sort, and I’m never fazed by it. In fact, I had a meeting with Channel 4 that day about a project!

So when these two regular looking civilians explained they were looking for dating show contestants,  despite having actually already decided I wanted nothing to do with a show that brought my love life into the public domain*, I popped an email address down and asked exactly what the project was.

“The second series of a show called The Love Machine,” the man told me.

I arrived home to find the full application form hidden in my junk mail folder and decided I’d whack the show’s name into Google to see what it was, juuuuust in case I was missing out on something.

Definitely wasn’t.

I feel like it’s a show for the kind of people who just want their five minutes of fame, and couldn’t care less about finding love.

However, I don’t think we’d put such shows in the same category as Channel 4’s once immensely popular Big Brother, which began as a VERY interesting social experiment inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, and then changed to refer to a house for the fame-hungry.

Put through the spinner

As a woman, I don’t think I’d like to be spun round in any sort of machine, and harshly judged by a guy, who looks like he cares more about how perfect his fake tan is and how much Ed Hardy clothing he can pack into one outfit than anything else , on primetime TV.

No way!

My point is Blind Date was cool. Yes, it had its corny one-liners, but the fact of the matter is that it focused on personality and took away our shallow, appearance-based judgement.

Bring back the old days, I say…

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