Duffer...A new twist on TV dating
Remember The Dating Game? If you’re younger than 50 you may not. How about Love Connection? If you’re younger than 35, you may not.
For those of you who don’t remember either of these TV “game” shows or may possibly have never even heard of them, don’t fret. The Dating Game was a popular daytime television show from the mid-1960s through the 1970s while Love Connection spanned the early 1980s through the early 1990s. At least that’s when their original versions aired. Both shows went on to spawn newer versions with different hosts that continued for several more years, but they weren’t nearly as popular as their forerunners.
The Dating Game featured a bachelorette who asked various questions to three eligible bachelors who were hidden from her view. After listening to their responses, she would choose the one whose answers she felt were the most satisfactory, and then would go out with that individual on a date that was paid for by the show.
Love Connection was similar in nature, but the contestant chose his or her date based on videotaped profiles of three candidates. The two would go on a date together prior to the show being aired, but the viewer saw only excerpts from the three video profiles. Members of the studio audience voted electronically who they thought would be the best bet for the contestant before he or she revealed which of the three was actually chosen to be dated.
The concept for a dating-themed show has taken on a few new twists since the days of Love Connection. In fact it’s become fairly risqué. Just when I thought the televised dating concept couldn’t get any more bizarre, along comes the next generation in risqué TV dating. While recently monkeying around on YouTube, I stumbled upon a British show that presented a new take on dating naked. The show is called Naked Attraction and is completely uncensored.
After watching an episode of this series, I couldn’t get over the fact that a game show featuring full frontal nudity could ever see the light of day on network television. They’re a little more open-minded in Britain than we are on this side of the pond, but this was really pushing the envelope.
A fully clothed male or female contestant stands before six different coloured tubes, each containing a fully nude individual hoping to be that person’s date. Each tube rises a few feet to reveal the potential date’s body from the waist down. Here we see the uncensored genitalia of the potential date. The show’s host asks the contestant to eliminate the one whose lower body he or she finds the least appealing. Since we’re now well into the 21st century, it’s not necessarily a man choosing a woman or vice versa. Occasionally a gay man will choose from among six men or a lesbian will choose from among six women.
With one potential date eliminated and five remaining, the tubes rise another couple feet to reveal the person from the neck down. Again, the contestant sends another person home whose breasts or chest isn’t to his or her liking. With four people remaining, the tubes are fully lifted so that their faces are revealed. It’s at this stage that we see those not-so-glamorous British teeth when they smile. Another person is eliminated at this point. With three remaining, the host asked each of them a question and the contestant axes yet another based on his or her take of their voices. That leaves two potential dates remaining, but, before one is finally chosen, the contestant goes backstage to disrobe and returns completely nude. The two surviving date wannabes check out the contestant from head to toe and offer their opinions to the host. Finally, the contestant chooses his or her date and they leave the stage hand in hand before going out on a clothed date.
I guess this is what passes for entertainment these days. Naked Attraction makes The Dating Game seem like a Disney production by comparison. On this British show, the camera tends to frequently zoom in on a person’s naughty bits as the female host asks a female contestant, “What do you think about his willy? Do you prefer circumcised or uncircumcised?”
I’m telling you, I’m not making any of this up. Naked Attraction is an actual show. I was curious enough to look into it and it has generated plenty of viewer complaints, but there is no sexual activity involved, and those appearing on the show hold down respectable careers.
I’m sure mom and dad would cringe to see their offspring on this show, but it’s not as if the contestants are all 20-year-olds. Some are older than 50.
TV dating has certainly come a long way since, “Bachelor No. 2, what is your favourite colour?”
Rod Perry, aka Duffer, is a Niagara-based freelance writer.
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