Dating shows have gone very risqué of late such as Naked Attraction on Channel 4 and the brand new MEET THE PARENTS which has begun on ITV1.


Hosted by Holly Willoughby, the show asks one contestant to pick between three people. So what’s the catch? They never actually see their dates before choosing. Instead have to rely on their potential parent(s)-in-law answering honestly about their son or daughter.

It begins by meeting the three potential dates and their parents; the girls were Suzie, Hollie and Imani. Before the contestant Lewis appears, they give their parents some word of caution. One says, “Mum please don’t flirt with him.” Another added “Don’t act as my best friend.”

The dates then disappear into a box and watch the events occur on a television, whilst Lewis grills their parents about… very random things. Questions included things such as “how do they dance?” and “tell me about them growing up.” I probably would not have asked any of them questions on a serious love finding session and it does come across that a lot of this talk is pre-planned or at least scripted.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some funny answers. When asked on his previous advice to Imani, Jay says “Dating, don’t do it ever. I will need your postcode, national insurance number and gym location.” Just a little protective then! When asked about her daughter growing up, Claire said “Hollie went to school with no knickers on.”

The most pointless part about these Q&A sections is a telephone positioned within the television room. The three dates get to call up their parents once each to basically tell them off. I mean seriously, it’s just very bizarre and stupid. This should definitely be removed from future episodes.

After all the shenanigans, the contestant picks his date (aka the parents he finds the most charming or funny). Then the new twosome visits a restaurant for some at times very awkward chat.

In the second segment the show then repeats itself and brings out a new set of three (Adam, Paddy and Jack) and a contestant (Suzanne). Some of the answers were even more awkward such as John’s Mum, Kerry saying “He will show you a good time.” Cath who came as moral support for Paddy’s Mum described his best feature, “His bum, it’s delicious and a beautiful bottom.” It was all getting a bit weird.

You will see plenty of awkward moments in MEET THE PARENTS, with the show funny throughout. Unfortunately I think it will struggle to find a regular audience as it looks too repetitive and ITV already has Take Me Out. I also struggle to find any sort of relevance to the show, as it doesn’t seem to match up true love. It’s more a show full of gimmicks and jokes.