Everyone watched the same shows, and those programs inevitably depicted characters dating."There were three or four shows you could watch on network television, and movies were aimed at a broad general audience in a way that they aren't today," says Bailey.Each segment started with an introduction of the contestants and interview clips in which they outline unrealistic expectations for what they hope to find in a mate. The couple would typically go to a few different locations throughout the course of the date (outfit changes were also fairly common), which provided plenty of time for awkward car conversations while the pair drove between spots.The dates themselves were activity-based (surfing lessons! A countdown clock was often displayed leading up to the worst part of the date.It wasn't unusual for people to appear on the show more than once, nor was it unusual for men and women of color to only be paired up with other men and women of color (there were either no same-sex couples on the show, or so few that extensive internet research yielded zero results).The show leaned heavily on gender stereotypes, insinuating via caption that any woman looking to "settle down" was obsessive and psychotic.More women were entering the workforce in the 1960s, and the second-wave feminist movement was well underway.By 1972, all women could obtain a prescription for birth control, regardless of marital status.
In the 1920s and ‘30s, the concept of "dating and rating" — in which a woman's popularity, or rating, was determined by the amount of dates she had and the quality of men they were with — took hold on college campuses.
In one recap segment, a male contestant said that he would probably go on a second date with his companion, but only if she would come over and meet his "physical needs." For better or worse, some of this dialogue was probably scripted. Thor Jensen wrote that his appearance on the show was largely managed by the producers: One thing about Blind Date and other syndicated shows is that they are very, very controlling about what you talk about on camera.
We were sat down and given a list of things that weren't allowed to discuss: movies, music, TV shows, politics — basically anything that would set the date in a specific period of time.
Are you slabs of meat ready to be cooked and eaten?! Other categories included hair color and "bedroom style," and "brains" for good measure.
The first round eliminated large swaths of contestants based on a questionnaire they filled out before appearing on-screen; men could be removed because of their "package size," and women could be banished due to the size of their breasts.
Jenny casually gyrates on a guy wearing a straw hat, while a woman in a masquerade mask is paraded in front of the group by a man in a Cupid costume, complete with saggy white briefs. When it premiered in 1995, it was nothing like any show that had preceded it. The setup was simple, but seemingly supersized: 50 men compete for a chance to go on a date with one woman, and 50 women compete for a date with one man.