In Order to Stay Relevant to Younger Viewers, the New Season of MTV’s Dating Show Goes Sexually Fluid
Are you the one?
That is, to be on MTV’s reality dating show.
That is, to hook up with your dream lover.
That is, for y’all to both be sexually fluid.
From Variety last week:
MTV’s dating reality show Are You The One? is addressing changing attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity by featuring sexually fluid contestants on the show’s eighth season, which [bowed] on June 27th.
MTV (and/or Variety) believes heterosexuality is so passé. Ain’t you talked to the kids lately? “O” is for Options:
The shift from the show’s past focus on heterosexual relationships is part of the larger effort at MTV to be relevant to younger viewers by reflecting contemporary mores and concerns in youth culture.
According to Executive Producer Rob LaPlante, the former Music Television is also hoping to cash in on the stakes of high drama:
“In previous seasons [the cast] hadn’t been through as much of a struggle. A lot of the people this season come to us having battled the world in terms of accepting them and accepting the way they look at sexuality and coming out. Struggle in anyone’s life makes them a more interesting person. It’s a growth mechanism. Life has not been handed to them on a silver platter.”
It isn’t just a case of adding a pool of gay contestants to interact with one another; now everybody’ll have a seat at a sexual buffet:
On previous seasons of Are You The One? producers would pair 10 male and 10 female singles in heterosexual couples via a matchmaking algorithm. The name of the game: find out who your “perfect match” is. Now, all contestants will be lumped together and have the ability to pair with anyone in the group. The new format has changed the matching algorithm due to higher variables (which the producers run by a statistics professor), but the essence of the show has remained the same.
The show’s transitioning from mere entertainment to entertainment with a message:
“It’s still a fun, drama-filled salacious ridiculous reality show but it’s now got a social message underneath it.”
Are You the One? — for which the main demographic is 21-26 — is gonna have some haters; but Rob isn’t worried:
“The world is going to shout louder than the voices that don’t need to be heard.”
It’s hard to believe how much television has changed over the past 20 years. I suppose the same can be said of politics.
It seems to me that society didn’t evolve so rapidly during the previous two decades:
In 1977, Billy Crystal played Jodie Dallas — a gay character — on the television program Soap. At the time, it was incredibly bold. And it lingered among television lore for years, as homosexuality remained far from the silver and small screen. But in the last few years, the slope of change has turned into an elevator.
For a preview of the show — which I was hesitant to embed here — visit this link.
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