One of the highlights of my youth was to pretend to do homework and instead watch the dating shows that aired in the afternoons on MTV.
These shows taught me a lot about what single people look for in potential mates such as a nice rack and “fun” personality.
Unfortunately the lessons I learned watching these shows have not served me well as I am still single at 22 years old. That, among other reasons including my need to rejoice in self-pity over two young people finding love via the “Next” bus, is why I need the following retro MTV shows to return.
Plot: A single man or woman can go on up to five dates with other single men or women. The five single people are secluded in the “Next” bus while they wait to go on their dates. The date begins with the bachelor or bachelorette waiting for the first date to come out of the bus.
At any time during the date the bachelor or bachelorette can shout “Next” if they are not into it. Then the next single person will come out of the bus. It ends when the bachelor or bachelorette finds someone they like or”Next’s” everyone.
Why you loved it: Sometimes the bachelor or bachelorette would “Next” people the moment they came off the bus – ouch. This was like Tinder in real life (I wonder if that is where the creators of the popular app got the idea). This show was completely superficial and terrible, which is why I loved it.
A handful of full episodes are streaming on MTV.com, they also occasionally air episodes on TV.
Plot: An available man or woman inspects the bedrooms of three potential suitors. The three suitors sit in a bus watching a live feed of the “raid.” The three suitors were surprised so they didn’t have any time to clean up. All photos are removed to conceal identities. The single person picks a mate based off which room he or she likes best.
Why you loved it: Most of the potential suitors lived with their parents and the single person would either note this or wonder if the person was the most successful 18 year old ever besides Mark Zuckerberg. Sometimes the single person would find something scandalous such as a bra in a man’s room. There was also a “spy kit” which included a black light to inspect questionable substances found in the room. So raunchy.
Dozens of episodes are streaming on MTV.com.
Plot: A young man or woman’s parents do not like their child’s significant other. The parent’s interview several prospective mates for their child that they think will be a better match. Then each parent picks one potential mate to go on a date with their child. After the dates, the child has to choose to stay in their current relationship, choose one of the new people or go single.
Why you loved it: Usually the boyfriend or girlfriend of the person being setup seemed to be a really crappy person. It was always interesting to see how easily some of these people would ditch their current significant other to try someone new out. It was also kind of funny to see who your parents would pick to go out with you.
Plot: A single woman or man goes on a date with two potential mates. The two potential mates are hooked up to lie detection software. The single woman or man wears an earpiece in his or her ear while a friend sits outside in a van that has all the information from the lie detection software. The friend in the van tells the single person whenever one of the potential suitors is lying. After the date is over the single person picks the lessor of two liars.
Why you loved it: These potential suitors lied a lot, which was interesting considering they (presumably) knew they were hooked up to lie detection software. Usually the single person went for the hotter one even though they lied more. This was definitely the most realistic of the MTV dating shows.
Luckily MTV.com streams old episodes of these shows, but if someone wants to start a Change.org petition or raise funds for production on Kickstarter I will totally support you.