The dating game 1970 episodes
Jenny casually gyrates on a guy wearing a straw hat, while a woman in a masquerade mask is paraded in front of the group by a man in a Cupid costume, complete with saggy white briefs. When it premiered in 1995, it was nothing like any show that had preceded it. The setup was simple, but seemingly supersized: 50 men compete for a chance to go on a date with one woman, and 50 women compete for a date with one man.
Dates as we know them first became popular about a hundred years ago, when courtship rituals moved outside the home and into the public arena.
The Oxford Companion to United States History explains that "especially in urban areas, new public diversions like dance halls, amusement parks, theaters, and parks enticed courting couples away from the safety of their parlors." Courtship had officially transformed into a public act.
Television, which became a familiar device in people's homes in the 1950s and ‘60s, further contributed to our understanding of what a date should be.
It wasn't unusual for people to appear on the show more than once, nor was it unusual for men and women of color to only be paired up with other men and women of color (there were either no same-sex couples on the show, or so few that extensive internet research yielded zero results).
In the 1920s and ‘30s, the concept of "dating and rating" — in which a woman's popularity, or rating, was determined by the amount of dates she had and the quality of men they were with — took hold on college campuses."The freewheeling 1970s made shows like The Dating Game seem downright chaste," proclaimed Katie Couric in a 2005 Today Show segment."No one felt the need for a marriage license to have sex and the pickup scene at bars stayed in full swing throughout the next decade." The next major television dating show was Love Connection, which debuted in 1983 and followed a different format.In her book From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America, Bailey explains that women would strive to go on multiple dates a week to climb the social ranks. "For women involved in this early model of dating — where success was having two dates in one night, and if you didn't have any, you were sitting in your room with the lights off on Saturday so nobody could tell you weren't popular — they were walking a really difficult line between being what was considered sexually alluring and attractive and not ruining their reputations," Bailey tells me over the phone.An increase in the activities available to young people played just as important a role in the rise of dating.