These days, it’s hard to tell whether reality television is scripted or not, especially when some Kardashian scandal just so happens to get leaked to the press right before the new season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The “reality” aspect makes it more entertaining to watch because it takes us away from the drama in our own lives, even if deep down most of us know that it’s all scripted and carefully produced. But this transformation to more realistic reality television came after a renaissance (watch some clips from the first seasons of “Keeping Up”), and there’s one show that seemed to miss the memo. That show is “Blind Date,” a reboot of a show from the early 2000s by the same name. Each persona is made to be a caricature of a person that couldn’t possibly exist in real life, which is the main indicator that this show didn’t make enough effort to assimilate to the current standard of the reality television genre.
The premiere follows two pairs every episode and takes each of them through their first date from an activity, to a bar, then to a hot tub. The first pair’s introduced as “Party Peter” and “Sexy Kristen,” which you can immediately tell are the only two characteristics the episode is going to milk for the rest of their date. The immediate labeling of these two was already concerning, but what was even more alarming was the daunting realization that Peter referred to himself as “Party Peter,” a self-declared “fun drunk.” This was maybe after three shots. The only hint of three-dimensionality we see in Peter is his initial interview, when he takes on the “I work too much to find love” persona, which sounds like something out of a Wattpad story in itself.
And it gets worse. The second pair, Angelique and Slick 23, have perhaps the most uncomfortable and cringey date of human existence, as if the first one wasn’t torture enough. It kicks off with an interview with Angelique, who repeats an unnecessary amount of times repeating how lying is a turn-off for her. They meet, and he introduces himself with an accent that he doesn’t have, then they go to a sex toy shop for a wholesome first date. For the entirety of their date, Slick 23 refuses to tell her his real name, yet they somehow make it to the hot tub until Angelique decides to leave. Probably for episode length reasons.
While the first date was bad, the second one did not allow the show to redeem itself in any way, but was admittedly a pinch more entertaining simply from the absurdity of it all. The show also inserted random meme-like edits to make fun of the characters, which were hardly ever funny or additive to the quality of the episode as a whole. Reality television is supposed to be trashy and dramatic, but this show is so far detached from “The Bachelor”-level trashy television that I had a near-existential crisis thinking about its place in the world of television as a whole. Save yourself the precious half-hour that “Blind Date” took up in my life and take a power nap or call your mom. It’s not worth it.