Critics of the British dating show ‘Naked Attraction’ are calling on Max, its US streaming home, to ditch the program. But I bet plenty are watching.
The trailer for Naked Attraction makes it clear from the start. Back in the 1980s, the show Love Connection promised to reveal “everything” about a couple’s first date. Naked Attraction reveals everything about the prospective daters before they ever sit down to dinner. In fact, when I say everything, I mean the “naked truth.”
Yes, on this reality dating show, one half of a couple chooses their match by seeing their potential dates in the buff.
The trailer hides what the actual program apparently shows without apology. Have a (limited) look:
The trailer includes this line: “We like to start where a good date ends: Naked.”
Well, hey, at least they’re honest about their intentions. I’ll give them that much.
The show premiered back in 2016 on England’s Channel 4. The premise is simple: a bachelor or bachelorette stands before six booths with screens that conceal a person. Round by round, the screens rise little by little, revealing the bodies of their potential dates. By the last round, the chooser sees their potential dates’ faces, and decides which to select. Apparently, there are times when the chooser might pick two contestants for a date.
The pair — or trio — then go out on a fully clothed date.
The U.S. streaming service Max carries reruns of the show. I don’t subscribe to Max so I haven’t seen more than what’s in the trailer. But one thought occurs to me louder than any other when I think of the people standing in those little booths: Better they than I.
The objections are predictable
Mashable asks, “What’s the problem?” in response to the objections to the show. They shouldn’t have to ask. They already know what the “problem” is. Americans aren’t used to full-frontal nudity on a television show. In the UK, it’s common enough that it doesn’t bat an eye most of the time.
But introduce a show that “lets it all hang out” and I don’t know how you couldn’t imagine the objections.
No one forces those who don’t want to watch to do so. From the earliest days of television, one truth has always existed: you can always change the channel. (OK, in the earliest days, there might have only been one channel available for a while. But those viewers still had the option to turn the television off until the next show came on.)
The UK’s Daily Express found two couples who appeared on the show and are still together. Well, if they only found two after a six-year run, that doesn’t seem to say much about the “social experiment’s” success.
The Parents Television and Media Council demanded that Max pull the series, which it called an “exploitative, pornographic program.” They also accused Max of having “mediocre” parental controls, which, they say, means children could access it.
Given that Naked Attraction seems to be Max’s top program, I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to remove it.
Would you want to watch?
That’s the big question, isn’t it? I’d probably watch one episode, after which I imagine I’d grow incredibly bored with the whole thing. Once you’ve seen “the full monty,” who’s going to stick around to watch the clothed date, assuming they even bother showing that part?
Once all of the clothes come off, what else is there? You can’t even let your imagine run away when there’s nothing left to the imagination.
I’m sure the publicity the show is getting from groups like PTC is helping boost the show’s ratings for those who are overly curious. Will it become a longterm hit for Max because of that initial sampling? Well, that remains to be seen (along with everything else on stage).
But even if it does, two things will remain true: First, if parents are worried about their kids accessing the show when they’re not around, they can always cut their Max subscription. Second, if you are checking out options and you stumble upon the show and find it distasteful, you can always watch something else.
Television is far more of a democratic process than our democracy happens to be.
If a show doesn’t find an audience, sooner or later, it will go away.