You know the old joke, “I must be a mushroom because people keep me in the dark and feed me BS,” right? So when I heard about ABC’s Dating In The Dark, I was suspicious. My verdict? The bad news is that the new reality dating show is unremarkable. But then again, the good news is also that it’s unremarkable.
As far as dating reality shows go — or any reality TV shows, actually — it’s rather refreshing to not watch a show and find yourself becoming pissed off at the exploitation of flesh (Dating In The Dark had the option to take peeps and bare or topless bods, and it didn’t take the usual sleazy route), irate at the mythinformation presented by “experts,” or screaming in anguish at the cruelty of manipulating people’s feelings.
OK, so some of the latter occurs, but that’s just part of dating; people put themselves out there and get rejected.
I don’t want to pick on people (even if those people have put themselves out there for such attention), but I have to say that Christina had attention-seeking bitch written all over her from the get go & so her decision not to continue to see Seth (who is a charming & attractive guy) because he wasn’t GQ cover material wasn’t at all surprising. In fact, by the time we got to her moaning in pain & hurt at the self-discovery that she was the kind or person who would dismiss a caring man who would be there for her — one she had a connection with — just because he wasn’t what the Greeks chiseled in stone, I was peeved. “Why,” I wondered, “would a person put herself on a show about proving appearances don’t matter when she so obviously (and callously) did?” Then the answer came to me: Because she’s not just a conceited bitch who thinks she’s prettier than she is — she’s an attention-seeking bitch who wants to pretend she’s nice and so puts herself on a reality television show.
But honestly, that’s about as typical (and icky) as the show gets for the genre.
There are no freaky-mean twists (like after telling the 6 participants that how they’d paired them off based on pre-show screening compatibility was a joke & tricking them into making then breaking the bonds they were making), no overly suggestive hype — in fact, most of this just proves what most confident & sane people will tell you about dating:
* Chemistry is important; but that’s not all about looks
* People have weird ways (both the down-right odd and the charming versions) of evaluating people, some of which are not suitable for happiness
* “Good looks” are in the eye of the beholder — and while we all see the same thing/people, we sure don’t “behold” the same way.
* Most people need to be directed towards potential mates because they would otherwise continue to make the same dating mistakes, write-off potential relationships for silly reasons (armpit sweat on a shirt, think a guy is too handsome (intimidating), etc.) — so trust your family & friends to set you up!
* Some people are self-centered & mean; but if you close yourself off to protect yourself from the jerks, you’ll also prevent yourself from learning more about yourself and from discovering other nice people.
All basic stuff, yes; but not unhealthy. And lately, I feel like the world, especially reality TV shows and stupid dating experts, spends too much time ignoring the basic good stuff. But still, it was confusing.
And at the rate the hour long show clipped along, I became even more confused…
With 6 contestants/participants (3 female, 3 male) and ready to see each other about 1/2 way through, I wondered how this could be a series. Were we going to keep them in this living arrangement, force them to continue dating, mate & raise children, get divorces, find new loves, all via furtive visits to the dark room?
But no, Dating In The Dark offers 6 new participants each week.
I’m not sure if I will watch more shows or not; but I won’t suggest a boycott, nor will I make faces at people who say they do watch the show.