Take Me Out on ITV1 is a dating show with a twist. Now in its second series the programme has become immensely popular with men and women alike.
The set up of the show is that there is a line up of 30 women with lights in front of them. The women stand in a row looking pretty, while some poor man is thrust before them and dangled around like a chunk of meat. Now, being a vegetarian, I don’t find that particularly enticing, but it certainly does make for good television. If the women do not like something about the man that they see before them then they turn off their light. “No likey, no lighty” – the catchphrase of the programme’s Cupid, Paddy McGuinness, who every week makes it his goal to get as many couples together as possible. The fact that the men are paraded around in front of the women, could be seen as a complete role reversal from the days when women were somewhat seen as trophies to be shown off. The women on the programme are now the dominant ones. The men who sign themselves up for the programme never seem to see a problem with this however. Maybe because if they are successful in ‘selling themselves’ to more than one woman then the power lands back in their court, as they then get to choose which woman they want to take on a date.
Essentially, this is a dating show about power. The trouser-wearer in any of the relationships formed by the programme will always relate back to who chose who. The men are put through a series of embarrassing moments, where they have to show a video of themselves in everyday life, followed by a video of a friend of relative (usually female) talking about what they are REALLY like, and sometimes they are even put through the humiliation of performing an act of some kind. This series so far these have included bagpipe playing, wrestling and singing whilst playing a tambourine. You might think that this male humiliation is a step in the direction of feminism, however, McGuinness does not make life easy for the women on the show either. Somehow, no matter what they say, he always has a knack for making them sound stupid. For example, one girl stated that she enjoyed eating ready meals and McGuinness told her to ‘save your breath for blinking, love’.
Once a date has been secured the couple who have been paired together leave the studio, and go on their date to the so called romantic Isle of Fernados, near the coast of Brazil. A massive upgrade from last years date spot, a bar called Fernandos, where the men would often spend more time checking out the barmaids then talking to their actual dates. More often than not, the men are able to secure a date with one of the thirty women available, but if they do not manage to make themselves appealing enough, then they are forced to face public humiliation, and walk away while the women sing the heartbreaking song Celine Dion classic ‘All By Myself’.
Overall, the programme is mainly for entertainment purposes rather than for the search of love, as I doubt any of the couples formed on the show are actually compatible enough to make for a long term relationship. But on the whole I would definitely recommend watching Take Me Out, and if you ‘no likey’ then it’s easy enough to switch off the TV.