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Dating On Screen: Reality TV Edition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Dating shows are on the rise, and becoming more popular than ever. It hasn’t always been this way, though. With nearly three decades on its track record, dating shows have evolved so much over time, even making history, and influencing so many other new show concepts.

Love is in the air, or at least on the screen. For over two decades, dating shows have taken reality tv by storm, providing heartfelt moments, some lasting relationships, and of course neverending chaos. From historical shows like The Bachelor to recent ones like The Circle, it’s no secret that the world of reality dating has evolved over the time being and with time comes great influence.

The first dating show to air was called The Dating Game which aired around the 1960s and 80s. A bachelor or bachelorette would have three contestants and would be able to ask a series of questions; at the end, they would pick one to go on a date with. This concept was a hit and the series ran for over 2 decades, prompting a reboot in 2021. Of course we know this was not the end, as the 2000s scored with the most infamous show of all: The Bachelor. For the first time we got to see a show that not only had romance but the messy drama that most of our guilty hearts desire. 

 It took television by storm because it had the concept of the original shows, but much more drama and controversy. By the 2010s, there were about 6 different spin offs added to The Bachelor series, many of which were also incredibly popular. Now, with newer shows like Married at First Sight and The Circle, the contestant list might be shorter but the drama is always present.  

As years go on, shows have made history when it comes to television as a whole. For instance, in 2017, Rachel Lindsay, the first black bachelorette, was casted on The Bachelor series. Previously, there wasn’t as much diversity in these types of shows. The response to the new member was mixed, as expected, but a majority were overjoyed. By 2020, the first black bachelor was casted, making history once again. 

Of course the diversity does not end there. 90 Day Fiance is a dating show where an American brings over someone from a different country via K-1 visa and has exactly 90 days to get married in the states. This show was new to the game but shed so much light on the immigration process and struggles that come with it, from cultural differences to societal differences and so on. Viewers have enjoyed it greatly as it was added to the Top Ten Most Watched Reality Dating Show. The concept is interesting in itself but the representation is so important. For a show to act on that and convey the difficulties of immigrating, is quite amazing. 

Overall, dating shows have definitely changed the game for sure and, as time goes on, I firmly believe that it will continue to break even more barriers. So for the meantime, let us raise a glass, sit back, and enjoy the joy of romance on screen no matter how dysfunctional it actually is.

Currently, a junior at Temple University and apart of the Arts and entertainment section. i love books, fashion, movies, and naps, and a hardcore reality tv fanfic. A lover of aesthetically pleasing things, pink, and all things luxurious.