“He is H.O.T.T” and other reasons I can’t dating programmes.
Ok, don’t get me wrong – TV can be great (stress on the ‘can’). There are some truly fantastic documentaries, drama’s and superb comedy shows on pretty much every channel – however rare it may be to find something that doesn’t send you to sleep. What I mean is that TV is powerful, it’s the thing that we can rely on to entertain and inform us pretty much anywhere around the world. Sometimes however, TV makes blunders…and I’m NOT just talking Big Brother style.
As feminists I’m sure you’ll agree that we all tend to be a little more aware of the stereotype of women in reality TV shows as well as advertisements during the breaks (coming in my next blog). TV can really bug me, but nothing makes me want to bang my head against a wall more than a dating show we have over in the UK called “Take Me Out”. Seriously it’s awful. If you’ve never watched it, be glad and if you have I totally give you permission to stop reading now for a moment to shudder in disgust before you continue to read.
I have a major thing against dating shows (and the way they portray women) for a few reasons:
1 – THEY ARE NEVER, EVER, ‘REAL’ PEOPLE ON THESE SHOWS. Not once have I seen someone who looks fairly average. Ok fine it doesn’t make ‘good TV’, but surely in this culture of so-called ‘reality’ shows, that’s what the public want right?
2 – If on a rare occasion they actually do have someone who actually NEEDS a little help getting a date (what Take Me Out promotes), they simply get laughed at. The token ‘ugly’ person of the series, someone for all the pretty people to reject because they’re obviously aiming too high (yeah, cause I’m sure everyone wants to date a plastic fantastic bimbo)
3 – They are shallow. Take Me Out encourages the contestants (yes ‘contestants’ because all the women are ‘competing’ to date the man) to ask deep and meaningful questions so as to make a worthwhile decision about their potential date. (Questions like “how would you get me to fall head over heels girls?” and a genuine response being “I’d make you wear these shoes!”…yeah real deep)
The contestants of Take Me Out are the stereotypical tall, tanned, fashion-conscious, manicured, shallow-seeming girls; whilst the boys are the macho, muscly, rich, suited characters you’d expect to see in a magazine. How these people even ‘need’ dates in the first place is slightly beyond me…though one girl did in fact answer my question on last Saturday’s show: “I go on 3 or 4 dates a week…well a girl’s gotta eat hasn’t she?!” Because of course, it would be ridiculous to think we could provide for a meal ourselves right?
Possibly the worst thing about Take Me Out is the bit at the end where there a few girls that are left still interested (of the 30 or so who all have lights that they turn off “when they’re feeling turned off”). The man chooses which girl he wants, then the channel pays for them to have a week’s holiday as their date. Last week’s show ended with the ‘lucky chosen one’ stating that she thought the guy was “H.O.T.T” (I buried my head too) and the man with; “She seemed quite good…hopefully I’ll be seeing a lot more of her”
(NB: if I was being REALLY picky, I might be asking why there isn’t ever a gay couple equivalent of Take Me Out)