Why Australia Has Fallen in Love With Hit Reality Show ‘First Dates’
Television’s a little bit obsessed with watching strangers find a partner, fall in love and get married lately. Dating shows have risen to the top of the reality TV genre, gaining more popularity than the standard fare of cooking and talent programs. Even the promos for My Kitchen Rules feature a potential new love as part of their story line. So it stands to reason that First Dates would do well, too.
But I’m not sure that Channel Seven expected it to be doing as well as it is! So why have we fallen in love with such a simple show?
Because it’s just awesome. Reality television at it’s finest.
The characters that appear on the show are amazing. They are everyday folk like any of us, with the same flaws, the same personality quirks, the same food aversions. No one’s perfect, but everyone is looking for the same thing. Love. And perhaps a little publicity, but mainly love.
Most of the contestants are endearing to the audience, like this guy, for example.
Shadi hit our screens a few weeks ago with his sparkly eyes and great sense of fun. He’s become a cult favourite of the show, after being invited back a further two times in an attempt to find love. After three ‘First Dates’, the 28 year old student and Red Rooster delivery guy is still single, and we do not know why. He’s simply awesome.
Another favourite is 26 year old nanny Roxy, the self-proclaimed “Bridget Jones of Australia”. She’s been on 50 dates and has paid for all of them. Her dating life is a disaster. Even eHarmony gave her a full refund!
Then there’s the very lovely barman, Cam, who puts nervous patrons minds at ease while waiting to meet their blind date. He’s kind and flirty, and his facial expressions are everything.
The awkwardness of the dates is absolutely priceless, from miscommunications and failed attempts at flirting, to one-liners that go down like a lead balloon. The dates are raw, authentic, confusing and hilarious. Just like real life.
The conversation about who will pay for the bill is always cringey, and afterwards the couple are led to the most awkward part of the evening.
They are ushered into an interview room and asked if they’d like to see the other person again. We’re all hoping they’ll say yes and it’s sad to see the happy expressions change when the realisation hits that the other person doesn’t feel the same.
But when they do agree to a second date? And they show pictures of the happy couple at the beach and doing normal couple things? YAY!! Success! We cheer from our couches. Good for them.
Why are we so invested in seeing a random duo find love?
Because at the end of the day, everyone wants the same thing – to be loved and to love another. And it’s nice to see people happy.
It’s a feel good show about normal life. This is why reality TV is a thing. Not everything has to be deep, thrilling or sexy. We don’t always want to watch shows with intense storylines and cryptic drama.
Sometimes we just want a bit of fluff to giggle at and cheer along with. First Dates is perfect for that.