In the era of Blind Date, finding the one on TV was a simple proposition. Now, in the digital age, things have become more complicated…
Safe to say that we know what Love Island is now: people with six packs or eyelash extensions saying, Wheres your head at right now? for eight straight weeks; Caroline Flack nominally hosts. And, crucially, that it is a statistical outlier in terms of TV dating shows: Love Island, above every other, offers a genuine chance at love. Winners Jack and Dani may be set to make 2m in the next year alone, but the real prize is an unshakeable bond between their two tanned Essex souls and a lifetime spent hugging, squabbling and going to barbecues with Danny Dyer together. Truly, it is the dream.
What if you cant get two months off work to go graft in a villa, though? Well, you have two options: go for the Saturday night blockbuster gloss of Blind Date and Take Me Out essentially the same show on different channels, where a man in a suit watches people stand on podiums and flirt loudly while occasionally saying Woo! to an appreciative studio audience. Or, you go weirder. What about Sexy Beasts (people dressed in monstrous prosthetics go to a normal bar for a very, very weird first date)? Or Naked Attraction (featuring a junk-up slow reveal, like a dick pic-first version of Tinder)? How about Hello Stranger (a hypnotist temporarily makes a couple forget they are in love and they go dating again)? Why do we love dating shows so much wed watch even the very weirdest formats?
I think its because weve all probably been in the same position, says Sean Doyle, Channel 5s commissioning editor and the man in charge of bringing Blind Date back. [Weve all been] meeting someone for the first time or trying to win someones affection, so its relatable. Also, I think ultimately people want to see good things happen to good people, which is why we root for people to fall in love.