Category Opinions

Dating Shows


Valentine’s Day has now been and gone but this hasn’t put off many of us wanting to date.

Whether you’re single or not, everyone has been in the dating game. We all have cringe stories of when a date went wrong or when you’ve been set up by your friends and you’ve turned up and it was all a complete disaster. Now imagine going through all that ….on TV!

Here at Chalk & Ward we love a bit of romance. There is nothing better than a Saturday night in watching the sparks fly and the love blossom on our favourite shows so we thought it would be fun to look at these shows over the years.

The list of reality dating shows is a long one but we have picked out some of our favourites that we think you’ll like too:

Blind Date

'Blind Date' TV - 1996 - Cilla Black



Street Mate

Davina McCall - Street Mate

Love Island


Dating in the Dark

Dating in the dark

Ex On The Beach

Ex on the beach

Take Me Out

Take me out

The Undateables

The undateables

First Dates

First Dates

And might we add…. “Oh la la”

So what do you make of these dating shows, good or bad? Remembering that these shows are purely made for our entertainment, we have to agree that they are fun to watch and keep us entertained on these chilly weekend evenings but what about the other influences they have?

There seems to be two key styles when it comes to dating shows, either: the participants are shown together without any influence from an audience/presenter, in a documentary style, or there is a presenter to ignite the spark between the two soon-to-be flames and we then follow the couple as they go on their date and see if it’s a thumb up or thumbs down. Both of these seem to be winning formulas but they send-off completely different messages.

If we compare two of the most recent shows, First Dates and Take Me Out, they show very different styles of bringing people together. Take Me Out is very glamorised and is open about the fact the girls are picked (mainly) on their looks. The contestants then jet set off to the Island of Fernandos and take part in a day-long date which includes an activity and dinner. Once this is done they talk to the camera about how they feel about each other and if they want to see the other person again. Needless to say a lot of the dates don’t work out.

First Dates is the complete opposite to this. They have applications from various people come in to the show and they will then determine which people would be a good match based on their answers to the questionnaire. The couple then meet and enjoy a ‘traditional’ style dinner date which the audience can then watch. It is only after the date that the intervention comes and the couples sit in a room together and discuss if they like each other and if a second date is on the cards. The show usually follows the couples that did say they liked each other and let the audience see what happened after the show.

The influences of these two shows demonstrate very different things. Should you date someone based purely on how attracted you are to them, should you see if there is a spark or should you avoid dating all together and let other people go through the pain?!

Let us know your thoughts via a love letter <3.