Disaster Date TV Poster Image

Disaster Date

Lame dating show isn't a total disaster ... but it's close.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the mood/tone is pretty light, the show reinforces the idea of revenge and promotes pranking as a problem-solving method, which could give kids the wrong idea.

Positive role models

Nobody here has truly terrible intensions, but the actors, producers, and participants, in general, engage in deceitful (and otherwise iffy) behavior to score laughs at victims' expense.


In some cases, actors get into shouting matches with their dates or other actors who are in on the joke.


Actors occasionally bring up sexually charged topics to get a rise out of their victims. In one episode, for example, a date asks the victim whether she has any STDs and uses the word "vagina."


Some bleeped language ("f--k" and "s--t"), plus audible terms like "bitch," "ass," and "balls," but it isn't constant.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Most dates involve dinner and/or drinks, but the outings aren't long enough for anyone to get tipsy.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:September 28, 2009
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Disaster Date was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

  • True Life TV Poster Image
    Gritty -- but provoking -- reality show.
  • MADE TV Poster Image
    Goal-oriented reality TV with a happy ending.
  • 30 Days TV Poster Image
    Opening minds, one month at a time. Teens and up.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written by42inchesTVCruz November 27, 2010

Stupid and funny...

Nobody hates it, but nobody likes it.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMillyMolly January 21, 2011


Good laughs!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old August 14, 2012

Great Show Not for Little Kids

This show is funny and awesome! Its not 4 little kids but great show!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking