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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this hidden-camera show sends a subtle message that lying is OK when it's funny, which could be easily misinterpreted by younger children. There's also some bleeped language (including "s--t" and "f--k") and iffy audibles like "balls" and "vagina," in addition to characters who drink alcohol to break the ice in awkward social situations. The phrase "payback's a bitch!" is a common refrain.
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What's the story?
In DISASTER DATE, unsuspecting singles get set up on blind dates from hell with people they've never met before. The catch is that they're having dinner with actors who've been instructed to personify their worst dating nightmares. As hidden cameras capture the proceedings, a friend or family member who was burned by the "victim" before is working behind the scenes with producers to make sure that the date goes as badly as possible. But for every minute the victim sticks it out, he or she is unknowingly winning a dollar -- up to $60 for surviving a one-hour date.
Is it any good?
Most things that happen on Disaster Date aren't really all that shocking -- so, by extension, it's really not all that funny. In fact, the only people who seem genuinely entertained by the hoopla are the people who are making the victims' experiences increasingly uncomfortable. Some actors are better than others, but in most cases, it seems obvious (to viewers, at least) that the victim is on a blind date with a paid performer.
Still, the victims seem genuinely blinded by their dating disasters: In one episode, all three managed to hang in there for the required 60 minutes and probably would have stuck around longer had the actors not broken the news that it was all one, big (lame) joke. But the lamest part of all has to be the $60 "prize" ... which, even in tough times, sounds like a pittance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about honesty and when it's OK to lie. Are there any negative consequences to lying on this show? Is the victim negatively affected by others' actions?
How is alcohol used to break the ice on these dates? Can too much alcohol take a date in the wrong direction?
Do you think people are really signing up for the show to get revenge on someone who set them up on a bad date? Or do they just want to be on television?