If you signed up for the Date Night app then hopefully you realise your profile may wind up on the TV version of the show (which appears to be what it was created for).
What you may not realise is that there is a chance your photo & profile may be used for humour more than romance, as singles and friends giggle and cringe their way through a swift parade of swipes.
Landing as a mix between First Dates and Gogglebox, Nine’s new dating series is ready to judge a book by its cover. 4 singles are looking for matches each week and their friends / family are happy to advise.
As Narrator Gyton Grantley tells us, online dating is now a spectator sport. Swipe Left for No, Swipe Right for Yes.
28 year old Faryn is ready for someone “nice, unusual, different” and her mum Kerryn and bestie Laura are wine-time ready to assist. As they swipe through a string of single men the judgments come thick and fast. Unattractive fella, boring photo, dull profile, and someone who doesn’t like pointless chit chat.
“We do a lot of that” Faryn’s friend admits.
Eventually she settles on Josh, ‘almost a doctor’ from a small town who is free to catch up next Saturday night. Bonus, she was also a country girl, things are looking up.
Meanwhile, Lyndal, 47, is aided by her best mate Amanda, who says she needs to be more open to prospective dates. How does she feel about someone aged 60? Another series of rejected singles follows.
Ben is a blokey 30 year old who is getting advice from his ex-flatmate Darren on who to swipe left / right on. They debate one possible candidate but are stuck on a stark difference between two of her photos. “Let’s ask her for a nude,” Darren suggests.
Lastly, 23 year old Jason, who admits to feeling like a 40 year old virgin, has 2 wingmen Trent & Gal and one wing-woman Sophy advising him. His longest relationship only lasted 4 weeks. Ouch.
Visually this show borrows heavily from Gogglebox, with the cast anchored on couches, drinks in hand, and staring at TV sets. Yes, despite it being driven by an app, everybody stares at a TV screen -did nobody have an iPad?
Unlike Gogglebox, it is thin on gags, with very little of the natural humour so intrinsic to the format (Anastasia you are missed!).
Just one single heads out on a date, as Faryn meets her almost doctor Josh. But instead of the fairytale dressing of The Bachelor, or even the awkward dinners of First Dates, these two are perched at an outdoor cafe table eating chips in broad daylight. What happened to Saturday night….?
There isn’t enough explanation as to whether her date is being filmed Candid Camera-style or whether he knows he is part of a Reality TV construct (to be clear, it’s the latter). The odds of falling for someone under these conditions feel like they are stacked against them.
Thankfully things wind up after 30 minutes and whilst Nine indicates this will include both straight & gay singles, there needs to be either more romance or more humour to sustain it.
I get that this is cheap and cheerful telly, but it feels like there just isn’t enough originality to warrant everybody’s time (including mine). I suspect it would also feel more at home on 9GO! than the primary channel.
Date Night airs 9pm Tuesday on Nine.