December 18, 2010
As dated as ever
As anyone who remembers "The Dating Game" knows, the way the game works is that a young female contestant gets to ask a series of questions to three young male contestants (aka "eligible bachelors"), then chooses the best man based on the answers. She cannot see them, of course.
In this charming episode from 1972, horror star Vincent Price offers a variation on the theme by asking the questions on the girl's behalf, then choosing the boy he thinks would be the best date.
I watched it carefully, and I have to agree with Vincent Price. Bachelor Number One strikes me as an egotistical jerk, so he's out from the get-go. This leaves Bachelor Number Two (a wholesome and attractive class president type) and Bachelor Number Three (by far the most intelligent, if also eccentric of the three).
Fascinatingly, Three is the lone Republican of the group -- a quirky thing for a young 1970s TV contestant. Because Price was a good Democrat, he would never have picked a Republican, and politically this left him with no choice but Number Two.
I would agree with Vincent Price, but not because Number Three was a Republican, but because he would have made the best husband. The purpose of the show was not to find long-term husband material, but a hot date. Number Two is the kind of guy who would have taken her to the back seat of his car and given her a hot time. Number Three was a non-conformist who clearly did not follow the herd. A "geek" even. He had to be rejected.
In those days, television audiences wanted show, not substance. Vincent Price delivered.
In today's terms, she got the best hookup. Maybe the show isn't as dated as it seems.
posted by Eric on 12.18.10 at 12:54 AM
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