Take Me Out
Writing about web page http://www.itv.com/entertainment/takemeout/
I have an announcement: TV dating is, yet again, back in vogue. After years of trying to spruce up the traditional ‘attractive person meets dubious partner, love?’ format, ITV decided to return to the unpretentiously crap cringe-inducing rejection-gasm train wreck to possible rape charge fare by commissioning ‘Take Me Out’, a dating show, refreshingly, without a difference.
I am a connoisseur of Bad TV. Granted; television programs which effectively force STDs upon their contestants can never, ever be called ‘good’, but they can be entertaining. Depressingly, program makers have recently leapt to the false conclusion that everyone is solely interested in watching debauchment and the successive spread of the afore mentioned groin-rotters. ITV’s previous dating flop, ‘Celebrity Love Island,’ was little more than a desperate attempt to recreate some Celebrity Sex-Tape magic on prime-time TV. However, the ridiculous idea that a group of people on a beach will eventually gang bang (note: ‘to gang bang’ is a verb) never came into fruition, and the dwindling viewing public couldn’t care less about Calum Best’s sex life. A whole series of ‘Love’ programs have emerged in the US (Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, Real Chance of Love, I Love Money) which solely serve to service the sexual needs of irrelevant, aging celebrities. Prostitution TV may be a ratings winner, but I think that (good)Bad TV should maintain its innocence. Blind Date was great because we never heard about the exchange of bodily fluids between the contestants. It’s crude and unnecessary.
OK, so ‘Take Me Out’ is a little bit prostitutey. Paddy McGuinness is the pimp to thirty ladies who are very willing to throw themselves at any given gentleman who comes down the ‘love lift’ for the sake of a few more minutes on television and a free meal. The basic premise of the show is that a man emerges from a lift to face inevitable rejection from the vast majority of thirty women. The women have a light which they can turn off at any point in the proceedings when they are themselves turned off by the man. If all thirty lights are turned off the man is sent packing, and if there are any lights left on at the end the man gets to choose who he wants to date. Simples.
However, the prostitutey element is not the predominant force in the program which helps to make it, in my not-so humble opinion, the greatest dating show ever. The pure volume of rejection and the visible depluming of bigoted peacocks is glorious. Equally so, the inevitable choice between the semi-wholesome good girl and the pole dancer the man has to make at the end of the process invariably results in the rejection of the good girl for Little Miss. Skankzilla. Basically, ‘Take Me Out’ demonstrates that all men are twerps who are solely interested in getting a leg over. It also shows most women to be attention seekers who are themselves solely interested in self-promotion and would actually never even dream of touching their suitor. The whole program is a series of dead-ends and pitfalls, but everyone carries on smiling and judging and giggling and clutching to their dignity with every ounce of their strength. I particularly like this one fat girl. She is clearly someone who half-attractive women stand next to in order to look better by comparison. Paddy ensures her, every week, that tonight is the night that she’ll be chosen for a date and she’s always standing there smiling at the end of the show. Oh, rejection is a funny game! My light, at least, is still on.