There is nothing I love more than watching two adorable British people on a first date.
First Dates is a British reality show that has been airing on Channel 4 since 2013. The show takes over a central London restaurant, outfits the whole thing with discrete cameras (think Big Brother style) and brings in people throughout the evening to go on Blind Dates. Some dates go extremely well, some go extremely awful – but the show is so endearing that all works out in the end for everyone.
First Dates was so successful as a format that it’s been sold to 15 countries. Slice airs First Dates Canada and it’s just as good. It’s filmed in Vancouver, features lots of wonderful single Canadians and a wonderful cast of restaurant staff. It recently arrived on my On Demand menu and it has become one of my favourite programs to unwind with at the end of the day.
There is also a spin-off First Dates: Hotel that is set in a hotel rather than a restaurant – and gives the guests a chance to stay longer with their dates if things go well.
It really doesn’t matter where the date occurs – in London, in a hotel in France, in Canada – it’s always wonderful. As The Guardian says:
“It remains very much a formula not to be tampered with: funny, cringeworthy and beguiling. You have to watch the first half through splayed fingers, but by the end you’re always a little in love with everyone.”
What I love most about this series is that it gives equal opportunities for everyone to fall in love. You get the hot 20-something you normally see on TV, but also the awkward nerdy 40-year-olds, and divorced or windowed 60-somethings. It all feels very normal.
Again from the Guardian:
“Within minutes of meeting, Nathan reveals to Morganne the exact number of tattoos on his bum: eight.
“I’ve got all my friends’ names tattooed on my arse,” he says, “for no reason whatsoever.” Morganne’s single objection to Nathan’s comportment came when he poured his digestif into his beer. “What even are you doing?” she shouted. “What even did you just do with your Jaeger?”
They were both charming and quite possibly made for one another. I would not hesitate to cry at their wedding.”
The production team does a great job of setting people up based on what they ‘say’ they are looking for and so all the dates start off with a flicker of hope – however as we know, what people say they want and what they actually want are very different.
So in honour of my love for this show, I’ve picked out some of my top videos from the First Dates youtube page – but trust me when I say you should find full episodes to watch. It is a joy to watch the dates from start to finish.
Let me know which videos are your favourite in the comments!