The last episode of ‘Dating in the Dark‘ asked yet again, how important is appearance in the dating game. Did it come any closer to an answer?
First we need to meet this week’s daters. There’s Matt, a restaurant manager that states he is “looking for the mother of my children” (a statement that would send me running for the hills – that’s an awful lot of pressure!), Jose, a middle school teacher who labels himself “The Nice Guy’ (which is my experience, is usually not exactly true) and Jeff, a divorced bartender who judges books by their covers. On the girl’s side, there is Deanne, a new reporter who hopes whoever she choses if hot, Renee, a jewelry designer who has never let her guard down and Gina, a yoga instructor with a short temper.
I have come to expect very little from the Group Date, but tonight it offered more than the usual exclamations about how dark it actually is. It offered the first real argument. Jose, proving the Nice Guy strategy is his go-to-mode, gave each of the other guys a heart shaped candy they could each give tot he girls. After receiving the offering, the girls introduce themselves. Well, Renee and Deanne introduce, Gina launches into an “All About Me” speech that is clearly well rehearsed as a favored past time. As such, after a while Renee announces the date has become Al About Gina and tosses her candy in the other girl’s direction. And hits her in the side of the face.
It’s sort of beautiful. Less beautiful is how Gina spoils any mood of joviality by showing her short temper and cursing at Renee. Renee tries to explain that she didn’t mean to hit her in the head, what with it being pitch black and all, but Gina is unmoved and refuses to accept any apology. More disturbing is how the guys seem to think it was awesome of Gina to totally overact to something that not done with the degree of malicious intent she seems to think it was.
Breaking tradition, instead of letting the daters rifle through each other’s belongings, they being in an “FBI psychological profiler” to spend 15 minutes with each of them and then report his findings to the other half of the house. In truth, he offers little of substance, saying Gina is brutally honest and blames her ethnicity for her jealous streak, Renee is guarded, family oriented and basically The-Girl-Next-Door while Deanne doesn’t disclose anything about herself easily. He also says that Jose is a risk taker and passionate about what he does, Jeff is self-critical and Matt takes responsibility for himself.
On their first round of individual dates, Matt and Gina chat about looking for something “real”, Renee brings Jose cookies and judges his height, and Jeff invites Deanne to the gun show. After this encounter, they bring around baskets so they can all see what the other group slept in the night before. It’s as exciting as it sounds as the guys frown over Renee’s flannel pajamas and the girls squeal in disgust over Matt’s pit-stained undershirt. On the next round of dates, Renee asks him about the hygiene gaffe (though we see not response) while he and Deanne sit in awkward silence. Things go better for Jose who decides to put on a more aggressive persona and kisses Gina.
The Compatibility Dates reveal some unwelcome information, as it puts Renee with Jose and Gina with Matt – a scenario Gina is less than happy with. Deanne and Jeff have the first date and he feels his choice is vindicated by the experts but still worries about her appearance. Jose tells Renee that he felt they were connected until she checked his height, but she sears it’s not a deal breaker for her. Then she says she wants a guy who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it – a statement Jose deduces means it’s safe to try and kiss her. It’s apparently not, even though he does everything but ask permission in plain language first. When Renee returns from the date Gina demands to know if Jose kissed her and when she finds out he did, she decides to revenge kiss Matt – a ploy he’s fine with.
The Final Dates again feel drawn out, as Deanne and Jeff kiss, Gina worries that Matt’s lack of confidence means he’s unattractive and Renee decides to finally let her walls down. While her date with Jose has more substance, it feels like too little, too late. The Reveals arrive on the heels and I am appalled by Gina’s unrealistic expectations, grinning that she wants “a fairy tale” and literally praying out loud, with Matt in the room “please be hot, please be hot”. I wish he would have responded “Please have tact…oh wait”.
Gina reports back that Matt “looks 40” and is fat and that she can’t “see this person on top of me”. Great. Now I just pictured her having sex and I need to go scrub my brain with bleach. That aside, it’s no shock that she opts for the front door. Honestly, how much better off is he? Renee reports back that Jose was very attractive, with perfect teeth and skin and dark eyes, but worries that she just didn’t feel any chemistry. Her tear stained apology when she opts for the front door at least feels genuine, even if Jose adds it to an apparent pile of rejection and to his sense of inadequacy. Deanne finds Jeff “super hot” with amazing eyes “that pop”, but he’s not wowed. Yet, in the end, he decides to give substance a shot over super model looks and comes to meet her on the balcony.
In the end, do you think Dating in the Dark proved that looks matter or not?