ITV has tried to recreate the success of Love Island with My Mum, Your Dad, a slightly glum dating show for single parents. Here are more that don’t need a middle-aged version.
Having genitals thrust in your face apparently celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes, but a never-ending parade of sagging balls isn’t most people’s idea of must-see TV. Plus it might prove too much even for Anna Richardson’s unflagging enthusiasm for cock to get excited about thousands of paunchy people’s droopy, wrinkled sex organs.
Take Me Out
The Paddy McGuinness-fronted freakshow has featured 40-somethings before, but they’ve all been rapidly rejected for being overly pervy, having a weird obsessive hobby, or both. Viewers want to see some cuties, not just lame dads who can do ‘a mean Gary Barlow impression’ at karaoke and self-proclaimed ‘cougars’ wanting a Timothée Chalamet lookalike to come down in the Love Lift. And you can’t help but agree.
This social media catfishing experiment involves contestants making up shit about themselves on an app. Middle-aged contestants wouldn’t like the format requiring them to be imprisoned in an apartment block, preferring the creature comforts of home and a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea in front of Gogglebox. Also they’re still slightly confused by apps, so after fiddling with it fruitlessly for a bit, the whole show would consist of them sitting quietly playing Candy Crush Saga.
A full-on middle-aged version of Casa De Amor would be painful. Parents in the villa would be more concerned about sunscreen and meal planning than trying to look fit, and the sexiest qualities in a partner would be whether they’ve paid off their mortgage and the quality of schools in their area. Plus there’s the small but real risk of seeing your mum bitchily claiming ‘Jayda is so fake’ before snogging a paunchy, receding sales manager. Or as you’ll soon know him, ‘Dad’.
The reality hit’s allure lies in the cast manning a superyacht while trying to get their leg over and knowing f**k all about seafaring. A middle-aged crew would see mansplaining dads trying to take charge and mums doing laundry all day, just like at home. Then they’d have to cope with the wealthy ‘charter guests’ thrown into the mix to spice things up, ie. cause arguments. Someone would forget to check the radar, they’d stray into the path of a Chinese supertanker and the rest is a tragic maritime disaster.
You have to be quite old to remember Davina McCall trying to pair up high street shoppers against their will. Approaching middle-aged people who turn out to be married could lead to a lot of suspicious partners, plus finding way too many sleazy married blokes who’d love a bit on the side, round the back of Asda now if necessary. Even if you were suitably single, most of us would prefer not to find love standing outside a Ladbrokes with a C-list presenter shouting at you to mate with a random divorcee.