First Dates

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
First Dates TV Poster Image
Entertaining dating reality series has mature content.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Dating isn’t easy. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

People are polite and mostly respectful to one another.


Occasionally illness, death discussed. 


Strong sexual references; virginity mentioned; kissing visible. 


Words like "hell," "ass"; bleeped curses with mouths blurred. 


Tinder discussed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, champagne, cocktails consumed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that First Dates is a reality dating show that contains lots of sexual innuendo (no big surprise!), including brief discussions about virginity and having sex. There's some strong language (curses bleeped, mouths blurred) and lots of drinking. Conversations often feature mature themes like bad relationships, illness, and death. Like most dating and romance reality series, it's not intended for kids. 

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What's the story?

Produced by Ellen DeGeneres and narrated by Drew Barrymore, FIRST DATES is an unscripted series featuring people going on first dates. After being matched by producers based on their interests and characteristics, single individuals meet their dates for the first time at the restaurant MK in Chicago. After spending time getting to know each other over drinks and dinner, they must decide if they are going to see each other again. Throughout it all, one-on-one interviews reveal what they're looking for in people, details about previous relationships, and thoughts about their blind date experience.  

Is it any good?

This series, based on a British reality show, reveals how singles from all walks of life navigate their way through the nervous, fun, and awkward moments of blind dates. Despite the cameras, most of the exchanges between the daters feel genuine. Some clumsily make their way through the experience, while others are comfortable with the process. All go into the experience with the hope that there's a spark between them.  

There are some entertainingly uncomfortable moments thanks to individuals who are extremely ill at ease or so overly confident that they become a dating nightmare. However, these are offset by those who make a connection with each other, sometimes unexpectedly. Throughout it all, First Dates reminds us that looking for someone to connect with isn't always easy, but if you're willing to put yourself out there, it may lead to something positive. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dating shows such as First Dates. Why are people willing to go on first or blind dates in front of an audience? Would they act differently if the cameras weren't there? 

  • Is it really possible for people to make real connections with each other on a reality show? Does First Dates offer something that makes it more possible to do so?

  • Parents: What was your first date like? Was it awkward? Fun? Did you think you would see each other again afterward? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 7, 2017
  • Cast: Drew Barrymore
  • Network: NBC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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