If you were going on a blind date with someone who you would potentially spend the rest of your life with, would you want it broadcast on national television? For me that is my worst nightmare, but apparently for some, it is not.
First Dates returns for its fourth series, the previous three have gone down a storm. The premise is simple; people volunteer for a blind date at a restaurant in which everyone is on a blind date. Channel 4 have rigged cameras all over the venue, even the bathrooms, where often the best conversations take place, not a word, a look or a gesture is missed.
It is part of the new wave of reality TV that is overtaking the more dated formats of the likes of Made in Chelsea. It is not scripted, with no interference from crew due to the well-placed remote cameras, yet heavy editing is used to mould the viewers perceptions of the individuals. Despite this, however, it is a lot more ‘real’, and this is why it is so endearing.
The participants are relatable because they are searching for the most basic human needs: love. First Dates showcases those who have the balls to put themselves in the line of judgement of not only their date, but also the entire nation.
The show offers an insight into Britain’s insecurities, flaws and modern dating culture. The modern dating scene seems to be plagued with shallowness, endless lists of the ‘perfect’ man/woman and bravado. Superficial dating software such as Tinder and Grindr and even Facebook, seem to have skewed peoples’ perception of dating, people expect people to be the exact replica of their online profiles, just lists of likes and dislikes with a flattering picture to match. Reality slaps people in the face when they have no way to google their date beforehand and no way to swipe left if they don’t meet their expectations.
Those partaking in First Dates are forced into reality, whilst we watching at home staring at what could be.