Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Last date

It's a sad time for singles. Blind Date and ElimiDate have been canceled.

And with them dies a genre.

ElimiDate wore out its welcome several seasons ago, around the time they started throwing in the "stunt dates," such as the ones where the featured contestants brings along a friend to help him/her choose among the four girls/guys the show offered up as potential mating fodder. Blind Date, though it tweaked its format slightly over the years, mostly remained true to itself: follow a newly introduced couple around town during their date, and barrage the screen with snarky commentary, delivered by way of pop-up graphics.

Blind Date also had the benefit of its smarmy host, Roger Lodge, who managed to deftly straddle the line between congenial and sarcastic as he introduced each segment. ElimiDate's host-free approach always felt cold and distant to me, making it tougher to really get into the show.

The last two dating shows in syndication now join a slew of their predecessors and contemporaries (The Fifth Wheel, EX-treme Dating, Shipmates, et al.), on the ash heap of television oblivion. None of the latecomers ever truly captured the magic of the classic Love Connection, where an earnest Chuck Woolery prodded juicy details from the dating contestants, then promised to return after the commercial break in two minutes and two seconds.

Although its star shone only briefly, the road for the more salacious style of shows like Blind Date and ElimiDate was paved by Studs, which ran for a couple of seasons in the early 1990s. Studs, hosted by the unctuous Mark DeCarlo (currently seen on the foodie series Taste of America on the Travel Channel), ratcheted up the innuendo quotient from the more genteel level of Love Connection, opening the floodgates for the torrent of similar programs that launched around the beginning of the present decade.

I guess all the young, hot swinging singles will now have to find their prey using old-fashioned methodologies, like nightclubs and classified ads.


2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Mr. Fabulous offered these pearls of wisdom...


I have never admitted this before. I was a closet Elimidate fan. Not for the whole run of the show, but for a period of about six months several years ago I got hooked on it.

I am so ashamed. Yet it feels good to get it out in the open.

1:20 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Heck, I watched practically all of these shows, Mr. Fab. That tells you everything you need to know about my sad, small life.

1:42 PM  

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