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Dating Around

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Dating Around TV Poster Image
Refreshingly genuine dating series has some drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

You can find commonalities among different people. Themes range from love and marriage to divorce, infidelity, parenthood, etc. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The people are from all walks of life, and are dating for different reasons. Some are more open-minded than others. 

Violence

Occasional arguments break out during a date. 

Sex

Contains some strong sexual innuendo, including one situation where a single person was subjected to some disturbing (and unwanted) lewd remarks. 

Language

Some date exchanges are full of bad language and vulgar references including "s--t" and "f--k," while others feature nothing but polite conversations. 

Consumerism

The New York City restaurant Samui is featured. Naragansett beer is shown in one episode. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of wine and cocktails consumed during dates; a few people drink beer. Drug use is discussed on more than one date. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dating Around is a dating reality show geared towards older viewers. The people featured are from all walks of life, have different reasons for dating, and talk about mature topics ranging from marriage and having kids to divorce and becoming widowed. It contains lots of strong sexual innuendo (including references to masturbation and lewd remarks), occasional arguments, and lots of wine and cocktail drinking. There's lots of cursing in some installments. 

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What's the story?

DATING AROUND is an unscripted series that follows six singles as they go on a series of blind dates to see if they are able to make a connection. Each episode features a person who has been set up with five different people. The two meet at a nice, trendy restaurant, have drinks, and then move on to dinner. They also have the option of having a few after dinner libations and continue their conversations. After the five dates are over, the single person chooses which of the five people they will invite on another date. 

Is it any good?

This surprisingly genuine series offers an entertaining look at a diverse group of people’s first date experiences. However, unlike The Bachelor-type dating competitions and matchmaker-driven shows, in which people are pressured to look or behave a certain way in order to find true love, the singles featured here have different reasons for dating, and different approaches to doing so. They aren’t under pressure to continue a date if they're uncomfortable, or to even choose someone to meet a second time. As a result, what you get is a sense that what you're watching is a real dating experience. 

Also unique to Dating Around is the way each of the five dates are interspersed with each other, allowing viewers to watch and easily compare the dynamics between the single and each of their dates. There are no pre or post-date interviews, either. But like any dating show, there are a few uncomfortable moments, including judgmental arguments and some unwanted lewd advances. Nonetheless, the folks here aren’t forced to put up with these types of things for the audience’s sake, and most of them don’t, which makes the overall show feel refreshingly authentic. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dating shows. What’s the appeal? Are shows like Dating Around  really designed to help people find love, or are they produced to entertain audiences? 

  • Do you think people can really be themselves when they are going on a blind date on television? Do you think everyone featured on Dating Around was acting the way they normally would on a date?  

TV details

  • Premiere date: February 14, 2019
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love reality TV

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