This is a vicious cycle, but it works: Women (and men) are confused about dating, because who isn't?Hoping to get it right, we tune into a show or read a book to teach us "The Rules." And then, maybe, we feel better: We weren't all that bad to start with!
Chalk it up to human foibles, schadenfreude, whatever). These also mostly pitted men and women against each other on something of an even playing field, with a game show feel that made both sexes seem pretty idiotic.
They were also launching pads for people who wanted to become celebrities, like Farrah Fawcett and Tom Selleck, who both appeared as contestants on and so on.
This idea has bred the matchmaker-based show, like Patti Stanger's show and Steven Ward's last night, is when they are inherently cruel to women.
Much like dating advice books and dating advice "experts" who purport to advise women (and, yes, sometimes men, but the audience in general is mostly women), these shows hope to entice girls with an idea of what they can do better to "snag a guy" while at the same time making fun of or "teaching" women who are doing it wrong.
There are too many to count, but suffice it to say, dating shows are a staple, pairing the big business of reality TV with a universal interest in sex, dating, and relationships.
Then enter the "instructional" element, i.e., how to do it right, or how to watch people who are doing it wrong and compare yourself favorably.
In fact, you might blatantly break rules that you'd yell at a paying customer for flouting, as Laurent does in this first episode.
That seems entirely based in this premise, with just blips of how the "experts" conduct their professional business and a focus on how they fail personally, is a kind of evolution overall in the dating show—though I'm not sure it's a forward evolution.
Laurent’s first book Eight Weeks to Everlasting – How to Get (and Keep) the Guy You Want will be released in summer 2012.