What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this long-running dating show offers exaggerated and dangerous ideas of what adult relationships are like. Participants frequently display childish attitudes and ugly behavior. They also flirt and swap innuendos like mad, frequently engage in passionate make-out sessions (often fueled by alcohol), and generally act in ways that no parent would want their teens imitating.
What's the story?
Each segment of BLIND DATE (there are usually two or three per episode) introduces viewers to a pair of strangers with little to nothing in common who are then sent on a contrived and extremely active date. Voyeuristic viewers watch the whole thing, from awkward first meeting to uncomfortable denouement, waiting (hopefully) for sparks to fly. Sarcastic comments and thought bubbles flash across the screen during the silent, self-conscious moments that inevitably occur as the hapless subjects try to get to know each other in the car as they drive to prearranged date locations.
Is it any good?
The producers of Blind Date are well aware of the fact that they're giving us junk television. It's obvious in the attitude of host Roger Lodge, whose habitually raised eyebrows and snarky introductions set the tone for a show that unabashedly celebrates media obsessed culture -- the contestants are often aspiring actors or musicians and are almost invariably surgically enhanced for maximum sexual attraction. The couples visit tanning salons, beaches, water slide parks, strip clubs: pretty much anywhere that allows one or both of them to remove some or all of their clothes (the better to display tanned/muscular/pneumatic bodies for home viewers to gawk at).
It's pathetically palpable that these people are simply aching to be on television, regardless of how humiliating the experience might be. Accordingly, they act in utterly narcissistic ways, ignoring each other to focus on their own needs and desires -- unless paying attention to the other will help them, you know, get some. For adults, Blind Date can be guilty-pleasure fun; we roll our eyes at the inanities we see on screen and know that that's not how things work in reality. But it's definitely not for impressionable kids.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what it means to go on dates in the real world. How do grown ups communicate with each other, and how is that different than the ways that kids (including teens) talk to one another? What are the similarities? Why is it important to have respect for yourself and others? Families can also discuss why they think people choose to go on this show. Do you think they're really hoping to find true love, or do they just want to be on TV?