Dating in the Dark

Common Sense Media says

Dating experiment sheds light on personality vs. looks.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Couples must choose whether personality is more important than looks -- and those who choose looks over personality aren't celebrated here. Still, physical attributes are frequently discussed as both a good and bad thing.

Positive role models

While all of the participants place some importance on outer beauty, most of them try to look beyond the superficial and get the know the person inside.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

A fair bit of kissing/making out (often during the dark-encounter scenes that are viewed via infrared camera) and sexual innuendo. Some conversations deal with levels of sexual experience. Words like “boobs” are audible.

Language

Words like “hell” and "damn" are occasionally audible. Occasional profanity (like “s--t”) is bleeped, with mouths blurred.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol consumption (beer, mixed drinks) is frequently visible during one-on-one dates.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dating series -- in which men and women choose prospective partners without actually seeing what they look like -- has a fair bit of kissing/makingo ut and sexual innuendo (including discussions about looking “sexy” and some brief conversations about prior sexual experience). The language is generally mild ("hell," "damn"), with occasional stronger profanity (like “s--t”) fully bleeped/blurred. Participants drink on one-on-one dates. Overall, it’s not the best fit for tweens and younger teens, but older teens should be able to handle it.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

DATING IN THE DARK explores whether or not love is really blind. Three men and three women move into a house, but they can only meet their housemates of the opposite sex in a dark room. Unable to actually see each other, they must get to know their potential partners through talking, listening, touching, and smelling. After a series of challenges and one-on-one dates, each must choose whom they think they're most compatible with based on their blind exchanges. And then, once they finally see what the person they've chosen looks like, each must decide whether they want to keep seeing each other.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This series creates a unique -- and, frankly, voyeuristic -- social experiment that allows viewers to experience the awkwardness and vulnerability of dating accompanied by the excitement of watching people (thanks to infrared cameras) interact in a very intimate setting. While there are no grand prizes or eliminations here, it definitely feels like someone has "won" when couples choose to see each other in broad daylight. That said, watching people getting rejected is also a little painful.

There's plenty of discussion about physical looks throughout the show, especially as each person builds up their potential partner in their head to match what they want them to look like vs. how they really look.  And, like most dating shows, there's some kissing/making out and sexual innuendo, including references to people looking (or not looking) sexy. But overall, this series is an interesting way of encouraging people to reexamine the criteria they use when choosing romantic interests.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why people agree to be on dating reality shows. Do you think the people on these shows actually find compatible partners? Why else might they choose to participate?

  • Should looks matter when you're choosing someone to date? Is wanting to date someone good looking a bad thing? Overall, what message does this show send about relationships?

TV details

Cast:Rossi Morreale
Network:ABC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Dating in the Dark was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bytexangirl97 August 2, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Ok show...very entertaining

I've only seen this show once, but I like it. I think CSM's age rating was not as I see it. There's really not much bad stuff in it. I think it's perfectly fine for tweens. It is a very entertaining show that I would reccomend.
Kid, 12 years old July 25, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great Message!

I Love This Show! I think it gives a good, positive message to how dating should be (based on personality, not on looks)
What other families should know
Great messages

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