First Dates is our ultimate guilty pleasure when it comes to fly-on-the-wall television. We don’t have to call up and vote for who we want to stay in, there are no cruel tasks for contestants to tackle (other than, y’know, getting to know one another over dinner), and there are no celebrity judges to impress.
So what if the Channel 4 show is aimed squarely at our love of eavesdropping and insatiable appetite for bad dating stories? Its success lies in the fact that it also takes into account the sneaky part of us that is rooting for a happy ever after.
So it’s no shocker that the USA have bought the rights to the show and whipped up a special American version.
The NBC show is being produced by none other than Ellen DeGeneres – and she’s lined up one of her celebrity pals to take on the role of show narrator.
Step up to the
plate microphone, Drew Barrymore.
As in, yes, actual Drew Barrymore. Of The Wedding Singer, Charlie’s Angels, and Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet fame.
Judging by the trailer, Fred Sirieix will sadly not be involved with the new show – which means that his loyal crew of waiters and bartenders will remain here in the UK with him.
However, other than that, it all looks… well, it all looks pretty similar. They’ve seemingly hired lookalike staff (watch the trailer and try to spot Cici’s double for yourself), the big red heart in the background, plenty of first date butterflies, and a lot of contention over who’s going to be paying the bill at the end of the meal.
The Chicago restaurant has taken further inspiration from the original UK show and installed cameras in the toilets so that they can capture the inevitable moment each singleton calls their loved ones to give them the lowdown on their date.
“I hate him,” says one woman down the phone. Which, if we’re any judge of such things, does not bode well for her dinner date.
First Dates will air in the US on April 7 at 8pm on NBC.
Images: Netflix / Channel 4