The good news is that HELLO STRANGER was better than the truly awful Naked Attraction. You must have seen or heard about the latter, the only dating show where people select each other based on the aesthetics of their bits and bobs.
The bad news though is that Hello Stranger was pretty dire stuff. It was that bad that I am already missing that hour of my life that I spent watching it. It was a dating show with a twist it claimed, namely via the use of hypnosis.
Call me an old cynic here, but I did not believe most of what I watched. Speaking as somebody who has tried hypnosis twice in the past, the young couple in question (Lucy and George) - just came across as two celebrity wannabees (they have a YouTube channel apparently) who were at best average actors.
As the ending credits rolled, I sat there thinking what a pointless show with an utterly pointless outcome. I am all for easy viewing but this made Blind Date look like the Mastermind of dating shows!
Straight into the show we were introduced to hypnotist Aaron Calvert. He was the presenter (sort-of) throughout, together with a woman who did voice-over bits. My main problem with Aaron, was that with his headset on and his overly enthusiastic nature, he reminded me a bit of the dating version of the football commentator John Motson on acid! He got that excited at one point near the end that I literally thought he was going to explode!
The format was as follows. Lucy and George, supposedly had their memories of each other erased from their minds through hypnosis. There was this bit where they each had to choose a favourite possession of theirs that would then remind them of their relationship (when taken out of the hypnosis). It was like watching one of those toe curling sob stories that feature on The X-Factor.
Lucy and George, then went on two dates with two people who had not been hypnotised and that they didn't know. Here, the voice-over's comments at times were a bit too much Carry On like for me, i.e. overly suggestive that made it corny. Their third date was with each other and as I've already mentioned, Aaron nearly wet himself here with excitement when they supposedly didn't instantly recognise one another.
Aaron in his role of fake dating show presenter (to them), then separately asked Lucy and George to pick a photo of the person that they would like to date again. The climax of the show came about when their choices were revealed to each other. This time though they were brought out of their hypnotic states before the big revelation occurred. Again, call me a cynic if you want, but I just didn't believe their coming out of hypnosis reactions. It all just felt a bit over-the-top.
It would have at least made reasonably entertaining telly if they had chosen other people to go on a second date with, but rather predictably we saw them choose one another. Hooray, we got a happy ending, but for me it was just a load of silly tripe that I can't believe I'd made myself watch.
I am trying to think if I have missed any positive underlying messages from this show. In production terms, it also has to be said that it came across as cheap as chips. I definitely won't be making a second date to watch it, I'm sorry but I'll be busy washing my hair!
- Watched on C4. 05/06/2018