Dating mtv show
In each of the show’s first seven seasons, 20 singles (and sometimes an additional wild card or two) were put through a “rigorous matchmaking process” and chosen to live together in a massive house.
They were diverse in geographic and racial background but uniformly young, brash, attractive, and heterosexual.
For heterosexual audiences, it’s didacticism wrapped in an alcohol-soaked reality-TV bow, while for LGBTQ viewers, it’s an opportunity to be seen—for better or worse—more intimately than many dating shows have previously allowed.
The new season of premiered right at the tail end of June—Pride Month.
The 2007 MTV show began with Tila, then a popular My Space personality and men’s magazine model, meeting the 16 straight men and 16 lesbians who had been picked to live in a house and compete for her love.
Of course, the series still operates within the framework of reality television.
There are unnecessary fights, illicit makeouts, and love triangles galore. But as the entertainment industry has slowly shifted to offer more nuanced portrayals of queer people, attempts to apply that impulse to the rowdiest corner of television.
Like the hyper-branded festivities it coincided with, the show is a fascinating tonal mashup: The episodes that have aired thus far weave lessons about sexuality and gender (and the politics of dating while queer) into every element of the show.
Cast members introduce themselves with backstories that account for upbringings spent in the closet or involve being the only publicly queer kid in middle school.
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“Welcome to the most ambitious matchmaking experiment ever attempted,” then-host Ryan Devlin told the starry-eyed singles.