Tonight, on the series premiere of Dating In the Dark: Six people date each other. In the dark. Does attractiveness matter in a relationship? Probably. Does it matter in casting a reality show? Apparently not.
So, it seems we won’t be able to move on with this recap until we discuss something: How freaking high and drunk were the people who pitched this crap?! Like, seriously?!
Stoned P.A. #1: Dude, how about a dating show . . .
Stoned P.A. #2: Whaaaa? Let’s get some Doritos!
Stoned P.A. #1: In the dark!
Stoned P.A. #2: Whaaaa? Let’s get Cool Ranch!
Stoned P.A. #1: Yeah, they like . . . they live in a house . . . and junk, and then they meet each other, in like, a dark room!
Stoned P.A. #2: Whaaaa? . . . Um . . . Zesty Taco?
How the hell did anyone approve this? Ah, well, ABC’s ineptitude is our gain, my friendly and loyal Gasmii. Grab yourself some chardonnay or peyote, hunker down on the couch, and pray for daylight! Cuz it’s time for: Dating In the Dark! Dun dun dun!
Your boobie feels weird.
The host dude voice overs about, like, what if 6 people like, lived in a house? And then entered dark rooms where they couldn’t see members of the opposite sex, and then, like, had to date them and stuff! Ooh, what a fascinating social experiment, making people rely on personality and touch and junk to score a date. Fascinating but dumb. Where are the gay guys who want to date in the dark, you ask? Why, they’re in the back room of Touche on Clark street! And they’re not so much dating as much as — let’s not get into that.
The guys and gals live in separate wings of the house, then meet each other in the dark room for some talk and perhaps an awkward handy j., and then at the end of each ep, decide whether or not they should date. Riveting. There are no cash prizes and no eliminations. WHAT?! So, we won’t be able to hate someone and go, “Dammit, he better not win that $50,000!” Or, “Dammit, that ho better be eliminated tonight!” Guess we’ll just have to hate everyone all the time. Done and done. Let’s meet our contestants:
There’s Stephen, an SAT tutor, who has a hard time fitting in because he’s “a genius.” How do we know this? Because he tells us so. “Literally. I’m in MENSA.” Yeah, maybe you shouldn’t open with that one, Stevie. Stephen says that dating in the dark will be interesting because his “weirdness and idiosyncrasies” will be front and center. And “hopefully [the girl] will have great pheromones and a good hip-to-waist ratio.”
Here’s an SAT analogy for ya: Douche is to bag as you are to everyone.
Next up is Seth, an audio-visual designer. Which means he’s the one who in your office who hooks up your laptop to the projector when it’s time for your powerpoint presentation. Seth thinks this whole thing is a good idea because he’ll display his personality and also he won’t “automatically look for the hottest girl in the room.”
Who then completely rejects him.
And then we have Allister. Allister was born in Manchester, and his mom left him and his brother when he was young, so he has issues with women. Also, Allister looks like Gene Wilder as WIlly Wonka.
If Willy Wonka and Gavin Rossdale had a baby.
On to the women. Christina is a marketing manager. She chooses attractive men who are emotionally unavailable, so she’s ready for a guy with more substance, the perfect person for her.
Who she’ll totally find on a reality show.
Next up is Melanie, an assistant to . . . I forget. Someone in color or design or something. And you know what? Melanie is going to be my favorite. She has Hermione Granger hair and looks quirky, and I bet she has tons of gay guys as her best friends. Yay! She seems the most nervous of the bunch.
Hilary Duff in 10 years.
Finally, we have Leni from Melbourne, Australia, a nanny. Her best assets, according to her, are her sense of humor and her boobs. Leni looks completely different in the interview portions than she does in the regular portions of the show. It’s off-putting. She’s ready to meet and like a guy based on his personality, not his attractiveness. Well, I think we’ve got the show for you, Leni!
Geez, get a load of those manchesters! What are they, 32A? Huge!
We’re introduced to our host, Rossi Morreale. I thought he was a nobody, but I found out he played football for the University of Arkansas and was on the second season of Temptation Island.
So it turns out I was right.
Man, remember Temptation Island? Doesn’t that seem, like, ages ago, back when reality shows were plentiful and based on completely stupid ideas given by stoned production assistants? My, how far we have come! Rossi tells the guys and gals that they’ll be meeting the girls in the dark. Damn, we get it! Meeting in the dark! It’s not gimmicky anymore, just annoying! The first date is a group one.
Now we get to the only fun part of the show: Seeing people walk into a completely dark room. Well, I say “fun,” but I mean “mildly entertaining.” The guys go in first. Nobody really bumps into stuff, but Stephen does this annoying thing where he narrates his thoughts out loud, like, “here’s a chair, and here’s a wall, ok, ok.” Wow, he IS a genius! Here come the girls. Much is said about how it really is dark(!). Introductions are made, and Leni interviews/voice overs about how nice it was that no one was looking at her boobs. Maybe it’s just me — seeing that I’m not a boob man. Or a vagina man, for that matter — but I’m pretty sure her boobs are average.
Everyone asks everyone what they do. Leni likes that Stephen “knows about words,” and asks him if he knows what an antecedent is, although she pronounces it “an-TI-sih-dent,” and Stephen corrects her. As much as I want to peg Leni as the idiot of the house, I’m willing to chalk up her mispronunciation as an accent thing. Then, of course, Stephen gives not only the definition of the word, but also it’s Latin roots. It sounds boring, but really, guys, it totally is. Leni flirts with every single guy: Oh, Stephen you like words? I like words! Oh, Seth, you like cars? I like cars! Oh, Allister, you’re a DJ? I brought my turntable! Yeah, pretty sure p.m. didn’t, liar. Man, it’s like 1:45 p.m. and I’m already tempted to start drinking.
Rossi wants the guys to take their shirts off. Geez, Rossi, keep your pants on, this isn’t Logo! Apparently, he wants the girls to smell them to get a sense of . . . what they smell like. First of all, ew. Second of all, ew. And c.) gross. He does the same thing with the girls. And then after sniffing the hell out of that shit, they’ll get to pick who to date. Stephen goes into Genius Mode (which is just a nice way of saying Dorking Out) and talks about acidosis and metabolism, and the other guys think he’s a total tool. So do the 8 people watching this crap. And then the peeps sit down at a computer and message the person they want to get to know better IN HUGE FONT.
Message: Stephen, I hate the way you exist.
And now begin the one-on-one dates. Averagely Boobed Leni and Seth are up (Leni invited Seth), and they touch each other’s faces and bodies and stuff, and that’s pretty much the extent of her date. Next up, Stephen and Christina, who invited each other. They’re eating snacks and drinking wine, and then Stephen smells Christina. Twice. You know what I smell? The stinking turd that is this show. And Melanie and Stephen have a date that must have been uninteresting because they show us exactly 1.5 seconds of it. Next up, Allister (whom none of the gals chose. Awwwww!) and Leni (who he invited). Rossi voice overs that no true romantic spark occurred yet. Wow, how completely unbelievable. Because I don’t know how y’all are, but usually when I’M in a completely dark room with someone I just met . . . I’m in the back room of Touche on Clark street.
It’s morning, and Rossi tells the poor bastards on this abortion of a show that based on their interviews, questionnaires, psychologists and relationship experts, and the Free Scientology Personality Test that they took in the parking lot of Chili’s, it will be revealed exactly who would be their best match. After they know who the person is, they will continue to date that person on a regular basis. They can still spend time in the dark room with whoever they’d like, but they’ll spend the most time with the most compatible person. So, does that mean that they can see their compatible match, or what? Oh, the suspense . . . less-ness. Here’s who matched up with who. Whom. Whatever: Seth/Christina, Allister/Melanie, Stephen/Leni. Wheeeeee!
I think I misunderstood the rules, but I don’t care enough to rewind and see what they actually were. Because, Seth and Christina are in the dark room, so I guess they won’t be able to see each other. Seth brought . . . wait for it . . . a putter. To teach Christina how to putt. In the dark. And he brought balls. And glasses to hit the balls into. In the dark. You know what? Fuck it, I’m breaking out the chardonnay. Seth “raises the stakes” and says that if Christina hits the glass, he’ll kiss her, but if she misses the glass, she can kiss him. Oh, geez. All these rules go out the window when Christina decides to screw it and just kiss him. And Seth is thinking that it’s totally a good thing that you can’t see a boner in the dark. After the date, the girls gab about Christina’s kiss. Melanie is wearing an apron and cooking. Aw, so cute, Melanie! Christina interviews that the kiss was good, but she hopes Seth isn’t Shrek. Did he feel like Shrek, dumbass?
Next up: Melanie and Allister. Melanie has a bit of trouble locating the furniture in the dark room, and it’s very funny.
“I just feel this . . . this strange connection with you, you know?”
Allister goes on this weird tirade in an interview about how he “doesn’t want to unload a bunch of emotional baggage” on Melanie. He doesn’t “want to be that guy!” Blimey. Aw, they’re holding hands in the dark room! So cute! Actually, if these two end up together, I think it would be awesome. I can totally see them living in a kick-ass loft in New York and having an eclectic set of friends over for a dinner party. In interview, Melanie thinks Allister is funny, but what’s he hiding underneath, hmmm? Back in the dark room (heretofore abbreviated as the DR), Allister says he doesn’t have a lot of dating experience, Melanie asks why, and then we cut to an interview with Allister, who talks about having a twin brother and how his mom left and they were poor. It’s all very Eastenders. Okay, I’ve never seen Eastenders, I just know it’s a British drama, but I’m willing to bet there’s some character who’s poor or British or something. Remember when Allister didn’t want to be That Emotional Baggage Unloader? He doesn’t, apparently, as he talks to Melanie about being teased as a kid for being poor or a DJ or whatever. Melanie interviews that she wants to help Allister “heal” from his bad times in life. Oooohhhh, Melanie honey, no. We don’t do that. We don’t date men because we want to fix them, or “help them heal.” This is never a good thing, and it will end badly, with you 6 months pregnant and making dinner when he comes home and says he wants a divorce and that he’s in love with another woman. It’ll be very Eastenders. I mean, probably.
Stephen and Leni are up. Leni asks Stephen about marriage and kids, and his answer is about sex and passion. And we all know sex and passion has nothing to do with marriage and kids, right folks? Hey-Oh! Also, way to understand the question, genius. Stephen then creepily smells Leni repeatedly and interviews that Leni has some kind of pheromone on him that drives him crazy. Maybe she smells like no. 2 pencils and standardized tests. Hot. Leni actually says, “You’ll wait to kiss me.” Wow, we know who wears the pants in Leni’s relationships. And the average-sized bras.
So now there’s another round of “free-dating,” where everyone dates someone other than the one they were told was The Most Compatible. And things don’t really work out, so everyone decides to just date the person they were told to. On another date in the DR, Melanie brings a ring to Allister, a ring that she was given by her dad when he married her stepmother to, I don’t know, give Allister a little piece of family that he missed when he was growing up. This is very sweet. Or, at least it would be if this was a month or two into their relationship and not the second freaking time they’ve talked to each other. This relationship is already completely too codependent.
“So, my parents are coming to the DR to meet you, is that cool?”
Seth and Christina are on a second date, and he too brings something for Christina, and it’s a dime in a baggie that has sentimental attachments to it. His mom was sick or dying or something, and his dad gave him that so he could call him whenever he wanted to. Yeah. Seriously. How the hell did ABC find these needy weirdos? I can practically smell the desperation emanating from my laptop. So can Stephen. Because he’s a genius.
And Leni and Stephen. I wonder what Stephen brought for Leni. You know, besides an erection. They flirt some more. It’s really boring.
Rossi brings professional sketch artists to draw a composite of what everyone thinks his/her date looks like. Stephen’s all, “Leni has a sparkle in her eyes.” Uh-huh, I’m pretty sure Jane the sketch artist is out of glitter, you dumbass. People talk and other people draw, and Seth looks more and more like Jack Black. In the end, the pictures of the girls look pretty much like they do in real life. The guys? Not so much. Stephen’s drawing is 400 times more attractive than he is in real life, Allister’s looks absolutely nothing like him, at all. And then there’s Seth.
Apparently, he’s 15 years old and is in N*Sync according to the sketch artist.
Reality rears his ugly head.
It’s the day of the “big reveal,” as Christina tells us. Each person gets to choose who they see revealed in the DR, and it turns out they all picked their compatibility matches. Who’s surprised? No one, that’s who. Leni and Stephen are up first. The light comes up on Stephen first (and somehow, he’s not able to see Leni’s reaction, I think). Also, they aren’t allowed to talk. Um, okay, so they can’t see and they can’t talk, so I’m guessing the next logical step is, what, cutting off their hands? You know what, ABC? I’m not really opposed to that. Leni is revealed to Stephen. Then they go back to their respective idiot posses, where Stephen is impressed and Leni is less than, but she thinks he’s okay, I guess.
Christina and Seth. Seth is like, “Am I a 10? No. Am I a hobbit? No.” Are you Jack Black with a dash of hobbit thrown in? Yes. Hell yes. Christina is revealed first, and Seth is okay with how she looks, I suppose. And then Seth is revealed, and here is Christina’s reaction
“Um, no. Just . . . just no.”
Seth tells the guys that, basically, he’s so ready to do her on the futon in his room in his parents’ basement. Christina? Not so much.
Melanie and Allister. Allister says he’s nervous and not comfortable being judged on looks, and that’s why he’s wearing a tie. He calls it “polishing a turd.” Ha. Allister is revealed, and Melanie smiles a bit. Allister blows her a kiss. I have no idea what she’s thinking. Then Melanie is revealed, and Allister smiles a bit, and I have no idea what he’s thinking. Melanie tells the girls that he’s “dashing,” which he is a bit, and Allister tells the guys that she had a headband in her curly hair. Huh. Melanie’s happy and giddy, but Allister is still afraid that she’ll find out more things about him and then chuck him. I’m not convinced he’s really into her, physically. But as needy as their relationship would be, they would make a cute couple.
Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod! It’s the second most anticipated event of the episode (second only to the closing credits)! Who will choose to stay with whom? Who. Whatever. So the deal is that each person will go out on the balcony — oh, I’m sorry VERANDA, because this is apparently a Tennessee Williams play now. They have the choice of showing up or not, so either they’ll both end up on the veranda, or only one person will, a factor which I’m sure will not be completely devastating and heartbreaking and cause the person to go immediately to the nearest convenience store, pick up some 40s of Colt 45, and drink and cry himself to sleep in his futon in his room in his parents’ basement while listening to “Without You” by Celine Dion over and over again. **Cough** Seth **cough**.
Stephen walks out on the veranda, and thinks it would be cute and fun to hide behind a plant and Pier One pottery to make Leni think he’s not coming out. If she comes out herself. And it doesn’t seem like she will. Finally, Leni and her huge Dolly Parton ta-tas arrive on the veranda. He surprises her. They interview that they like each other and then drive away in a silver BMW or Mercedes. I don’t know cars.
I give it a day. Or the time it takes to drive to the airport.
Seth walks out onto the veranda. Christina talks about how much they shared, and that’s great, but at the end of the day, she’s a vapid person who’d rather date someone attractive who treats her like shit. She doesn’t say that in so many words, per se. But we all totally know that’s what she means, right? I’m not saying that Seth is the greatest guy or anything, but Christina will always be the type of girl who dates assholes. And she’ll marry an asshole. Because he’s hot. And that makes everything okay. Needless to say, she doesn’t show up. And Seth has to watch her walk out the front door from the veranda. Ouch! Oh well, Christina’s loss! Except kind of not.
“Smell ya later, fugs.”
Melanie and Allister. Allister says he connected with Melanie, but he’s concerned about “the physical side of things.” Whatever THAT means. Melanie waits for Allister on the veranda. Will he or won’t he?! He does. They don’t kiss, but they hug, which I find charming, and actually makes me think they may make it after all. Probably not, though. That’s it, kids! Stay tuned next week for more people groping for love and acceptance and boobies in the dark! Mwahahahahaha! Also, the announcer guy said you could go to ABC.com to find out if the couples are still dating. I tried that, but I didn’t see anything, then I wondered why I cared, and then I closed my browser. So, if you find out, post it in the comments!