Unfortunately we’re not talking about a real dinner date with Channel Seven’s new star personality, Manu Feildel. Just weeks after his Dancing With the Stars triumph, the French chef is returning to the small screen tonight in Dinner Date, the new show that combines finding love with food. If the premise of the show sounds a little confusing, and perhaps like it’s trying to do too much, we’ll break it down so you know what to expect.
Who: Each week Manu introduces us to a single guy or girl looking for love. Tonight, in its premiere episode, we’re following the romantic adventures of PR consultant and single mum Simone.
What: Simone is presented with five menu options. After going through each menu and stating what she loves or doesn’t like about them, she picks the top three. The creators of those menus are the men Simone will be going on a blind date with — she’ll rock up to their homes (on different nights) and be presented with a delicious home-cooked three-course meal.
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And then? Considering Simone chooses her potential suitors from the menus they present, the food is a big part of the show. Conversations about former relationships, life direction and general getting-to-know-you chatter are peppered with (pun intended) comments about the food — how it tastes and how well it was prepared. After the three dates, she has to make a decision about who she wants to see again on a special, overnight trip.
The pros: The success of previous dating shows, such as The Farmer Wants a Wife, proves that we love seeing people, well, fall in love. First dates in real-life are often not as smooth as they appear in the movies, so all that awkwardness is captured on camera and makes for some entertaining — though sometimes cringe-worthy — viewing.
The cons: The mixed genre of the show is overall a tad confusing. Is it trying to be a show about finding love? Or is it trying to tap into the success of MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules and go for the food angle? The opening scene where Simone goes through five menus also feels unnecessary — do we really need to get a quick intro of the two guys she’s not going to meet at all? It’s a scene that could’ve been left on the cutting room floor.
Dinner Date airs tonight on Channel Seven at 9:30 p.m.