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How delightful not to be on the marriage market in an age when going on a first date is like interviewing for a fellowship, or sitting for a deposition, with its “So, tell me about your last girlfriend,” and so forth. His pentalogy of dinner dates occurs at Le Barricou. It presents a fine contrast with “Temptation Island,” an early-twenty-first-century artifact with a fin-de-siècle vibe, which has recently recrudesced on the USA Network.
When you hear, in another introductory testimonial, that “Sarah is constantly falling for the wrong type of guy,” you simply must start wagering whether Sarah’s type is John or Antonio or Adrian or Matt or perhaps John, who works as “a real-estate agent.” Real-estate guys are to “Dating Around” what pharmaceutical-sales reps are to “The Bachelor.” I am uncertain whether to understand their superabundance as a comment on hyper-gentrification or simply a consequence of it. Sexual politics have changed since “Temptation Island” first aired on Fox, in 2001, as an infidelity obstacle course hosted by Mark L. But its enthusiastic tawdriness is still captivating, as attested by the reboot’s decent ratings.
An epilogue reveals which of the five aspirants has advanced to a second date. It may surprise you to hear that this programming is gripping, even when Luke is around.
(“You’re such a real-estate guy,” his date Ashley says, foreshadowing her early exit.) But how could you not stick around to see whether Luke succumbs to the charms of Betty, who salsa dances with him on the sidewalk?
In an introductory voice-over, a friend testifies, “He looks like a model. He’s a basic bro in a skinny suit, a nonfat flat white of a man. They proceed to a dinner table, where they trade personal histories and explicate their tattoos and probably split the spring rolls.
In a segment labelled “After Hours,” they may share a nightcap, perhaps chasing it with polite lies about how they had such a great night, perhaps swapping spit in the back of the Lyft.
— The inimitable Glenn Close and her seven Oscar-nominated roles Looking for more?
Some of the dates go stupendously; others, not so much. That said, the show still shows its seams occasionally, betraying its status as a reality show.
Gurki Basra’s meet-up with a dater named Justin was the second kind. Culvenor told that matches for each dater were selected based on the sorts of people they might encounter in their real dating lives.
The setting is New York City; while young suckers for the romance of Gotham will thrill to the show’s views of the Flatiron Building, locals will appreciate its inadvertent heads-up on the most exciting new restaurants to avoid. but Luke can also be a little mysterious.” The model thing makes sense if you imagine a stock image licensed to promote a fully furnished rental apartment. My main focus is working with buyers and sellers.” He says it’s been eight or nine months since his last relationship: “I’ve been more on a personal journey myself.”There are three acts to each courtship drama.
Our first bachelor is Luke, a powerfully bland twenty-seven-year-old. The mystery concerns the alien origins of the life-form that has snatched Luke’s personality from his passably handsome shell. First, our daters enjoy (or at least ingest) drinks and make small talk.
The series is rife with opportunities to question the personality defects of the contestants and the judgment of the producers. (There is, after all, something simultaneously leering and belittling in his voice when Cory says, “I work in real-estate development,” and he replies, “Oh, shit, that’s fun! Is Justin (“I had a friend tell me, ‘Hey, get your real-estate license,’ and I joined a really amazing team”) simply being a drunken jerk when he berates Gurki for her attitude toward her failed marriage—or is he a drunken jerk making an important point? We are five episodes into a narrative about four heterosexual couples who have descended on a tropical locale and then parted ways, perhaps permanently; the ladies head up to the mountain villa, where they keep company with freelance casanovas. (“This is what I expected to do when I came to the island,” Jake, one of the tempters, said.