Filed under: A TV show review (of sorts), I watch too much TV, Way too much thought went into this
From an early age, we are told by our mothers, grandmothers, teachers and countless others that “it’s what’s inside that counts” and “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, one new dating reality show on ABC is pushing those idealistic concepts one step further by proving that looks truly do matter regardless of what people may want to believe.
“Dating in the Dark” premiered two weeks ago on Monday nights and, if you’ve yet to see it, I suggest tuning in for at least one episode* if you have an hour of your life to spare for non-thought-provoking television.
So what’s the general gist** here? Three male and three female contestants move into opposite wings of a house for several days, never having a single opportunity to see each other until the very last moments of the dating scenario. Rather, they meet in “the dark room” on one group date then single dates to decide if chemistry exists sans appearance.
Through the use of infrared/night-vision cameras, viewers are able to watch each awkward moment the contestants experience in the darkness. Yep, we see everything from the sad attempts to eat food in the pitch black room to the ass grabbing and haphazard kissing they engage in. Personally, I find this both amusing and somewhat intrusive, all which keep my eyes glued to the television.
Outwardly, one might think the reality show proves that you can fall for someone without having a clue what he or she looks like. Whether the contestants discover that through fun activities – eating an assortment of fruits or dancing, for example – conversation or simply making out, they are able to judge each other based on personality alone.
… That is, until the big moment where each individual’s appearance is revealed to their “match” and both persons have to decide whether or not to continuing dating now that physical attraction is a factor.
The final ten minutes of each episode I’ve watched – three total, in case you were curious – have been more superficial than anything I’ve yet to see in my life***.
The majority of these men and women seriously grapple with the decision to “stay with the person they fell for in the dark, or leave them behind,” as the ABC Web site states. The viewer actually witnesses people experiencing a strange yet real struggle to decide how important the other individual’s appearance is. Some daters choose to depart while others stick around because the connection formed in the blackness prevailed. But did it?
I haven’t exactly watched enough episodes to completely judge, but, thus far, it seems as though the men and women who claim not to be entirely attracted to their date (yet choose to “meet them on the balcony” and continue dating) have this self-righteous attitude that they, unlike others, were able to put personality above appearance. As if they are doing their dates this huge favor by sticking around, and that part certainly disgusts me a bit****.
Either way, I find it all quite intriguing because the show, to some extent, does ask the “is love blind?” question, forcing us all to somewhat think about how important appearance is to a relationship. If in their shoes, would we be able to continue seeing someone we aren’t exactly lusting for just because of an emotional connection? Or would we, too, depart the house, never to see that person again? It’s something viewers likely cannot help but consider while watching.
If you’ve seen “Dating in the Dark,” I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, good or bad. And if you haven’t watched yet, do you think it’s something worth checking out? Lastly, what do you guys think about a reality show trying to answer relatively deep questions about the role of physical attraction?
* Unless you hate reality TV and/or dating shows. Then go watch CSI.
** Until this very moment, I thought “gist” was spelled with a J. Oops.
*** That’s likely a bit hyperbolic, but it fit well into my sentence.
**** Although, perhaps I’m simply reading into this television program a bit more than necessary, which is always a possibility.
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