First Dates on TV vs. First Dates in Reality

by Rachel Semigran

Dating in your 20's and 30's is hard enough as is without TV and movies making you feel like everyone is constantly going out to nice places and having exciting sex with a new person every week. The reality of Tinder and OkCupid are far less romantic in reality than any Netflix marathon might have you believe. Thankfully the CW just might have the antidote to unrealistic dating in the Age of Swipe Right. According to The Wrap, the network has just ordered a brand-new series from the UK, Dates. Every episode follows a date between people who met online and it's not all butterflies and hearts drawn in cappuccino foam.

Truth be told, online dating is awkward, oftentimes grueling, and rarely rewarding. It's high time there's a show that braves the nearly-impossible-to-navigate universe of meeting people online, because it's just so painful sometimes, we just need to laugh at it. Despite its prevalence, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to online dating. Which is bizarre considering every friend who is part of a couple tells their single friends to try it out.

Hopefully Dates, which stars Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Katie McGrath (Jurassic World), Amanda Hale (The White Queen) and Gemma Chan (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), will make everyone watching it as hilariously uncomfortable as all of us who try online dating are when we brave those first dates.

Let's take a look at how dates on TV match up with dates in real life:

The Fancy Man

TV: Hop on a Private Jet and Go to Italy

Because that's how all of us get pizza!

Reality: A Horrible Overpriced Bar


The tables are opaque glass and lit from below with neon lights. Yuck.

The Artist

TV: A Fancy Gallery

You'll feel dizzy on champagne and those dark eyes.

Reality: A Spicy Restaurant

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Nothing says romance like way too much incense wafting through the air and the threat of "heartburn."

The Bartender

TV: A Swanky Cocktail Lounge With the Perfect Martini

Adam Berry/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images


Reality: A Dive

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Guzzle down those sweet, sweet Rolling Rock ponies and the finest selection nearly-clear beers.

The Trendy Guy

TV: A Garden Brunch Spot in Brooklyn

Yes, I will have the free-range omelette with creme fraiche and micro greens.

Reality: A Bar That Has Video and/or Board Games

Joshua Lott/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It's like, kitschy. Get it?

The Doctor

TV: A Cafeteria in or Near a Hospital

Or a two-minute dream date.

Reality: A Cafeteria in or Near a Hospital

Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images

That one is pretty accurate. Au Bon Pain and Cosi should have a special romantic seating for health care workers on dates. After all, love is soup in a bread bowl.

Images: HBO(2)