Apr 2nd, 2019, 06:56 PM

Netflix's Dating Around Challenges Typical Dating Shows

By Jada Steuart
Luke and Ashley on a not-so successful first date. Image Credit: Netlix
The show pushes the typical expectations of reality shows about modern romance.

Reality dating shows are a popular genre, but they're not something we all like to admit to watching. Many of them take their shows to the extreme, they are filled with contestants fighting one another in ridiculous situations to get to the next phase, or sticking them all on an island until they fall for someone. Dating Around is not that, the new Netflix show takes an entirely new perspective on reality dating shows and modern romance.

The show takes a look into dating by setting up one person on a series of five blind dates.  Each date begins with drinks and dinner, and if the blind date is lucky, they go for more drinks after dinner. At the end of the show, it's revealed who of the five the main person has chosen. 

What Dating Around does very well is giving an inside look into the reality of first dates and human connection. Unlike its competitors in the genre, the show isn’t fluffy or cheesy. It gives a real insight into the good and bad of modern dating, especially in an age when dating in a lot of countries is controlled by apps, giving people nearly limitless options in who they can date. The show does a great job at mirroring the reality of dating in this new technological era by showing the process of meeting numerous people and the decision making of who to continue seeing.  

Dating Around focuses on the conversation between the "main character" and the people they are dating. It highlights the varying needs of each person in who and what they are looking for, and because of the shows diversity, it features the varying ups and downs of dating for each person. 

The show has people of different ages, sexual orientations, and ethnicities and it demonstrates how different dating can be for each person, but at the same time how similar it can be. One character struggles with being recently divorced while another struggles with recently becoming a widower, while in different situations, they are both coming to terms with the reality of starting to date again. In each of their episodes, the viewer can see how they begin to become more comfortable with the situation and how they begin to explore this new phase in their lives.

The show is also filmed in such a way that it doesn’t scream a reality show. While many shows in the reality genre are shot in a way to keep the viewer enticed, Dating Around avoids that. Typically dating shows have massive cliff hangers, dramatic cuts, and beautiful exotic locations, Dating Around, however, doesn’t do this. The shots are very smooth and elegant and the whole season is set in New York City.  The show has a very casual feel to it, making it an easy and enjoyable watch.  

Typically Netflix reality shows do not follow the classic tropes of reality TV. The success of other reality shows like Queer Eye on the platform highlight the company’s willingness to not just do the familiar traditions of television but instead, they push the boundaries of the genre and Dating Around is yet another example of this.