Netflix’s ‘Dating Around’ Beats ‘The Bachelor:’ Here’s Why

Claiming that there is a reality dating show superior to The Bachelor is a risky statement, one considered blasphemous amongst any devout fans. However, Dating Around brings a much-needed, and currently amiss, fresh perspective to the world of reality TV.

Netflix | Getty Images
Netflix | Getty Images

Netflix’s new reality dating show consists of six half-hour episodes, so it’s definitely a breeze to binge. Each episode focuses on a different “bachelor” or “bachelorette;” however, these individuals are by no means prototypical examples of these categories. From a divorced woman to an elderly gentleman looking for love, the series centers on everyday people.

How the show works

Each episode, a single man or woman – gay or straight – goes on a date with five different individuals, and is given the opportunity to pick one (or none) for a second date.

Throughout each episode, viewers watch several dinner dates in action. The episodes gracefully transition between the five dates, as if they are co-occurring, to give audiences an all-encompassing “feel” for the different potential partners.

From ordering drinks to choosing a dessert and asking about kids, the show takes a realistic approach to the dating scene. Unlike its competing contemporaries, Dating Around hasn’t forgotten that it’s a “reality” show.

How did the creators cast the show?

If you’re hoping to sign up for this one, you’re out of luck. The creators behind Dating Around wanted to attract people who normally wouldn’t tend towards such shows. Thus, they simply scouted the streets of New York City and worked on convincing those who seemed most hesitant. According to Romper, the show took approximately four months to cast.

Culvenor, the creator behind the show, said he made it a point to find individuals who were sincerely looking for romance and the chance to date eligible singles, as opposed to individuals looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, according to Romper.

Why ‘Dating Around’ is better than the bachelor

Dating Around aims to accurately reflect the dating scene in a society fraught with social media overload and unrealistic notions of romance. The show doesn’t ask a group of singles to coexist in a glorious mansion for an extended period. There are no helicopter flights over the city or dates at excessively priced famous eateries.

Each date is just average: the awkward tension is palpable, the exaggerated politeness is on full blast, and the self-consciousness is noticeable from a mile away.

The Netflix original reminds everyday viewers that romance starts with a little bit of tension, and it ends with a possible partner. There is no glory from the get-go; that comes later.

There are no proposals. The show does not try to depict two people falling in love; instead, it aims to illustrate just what it takes to find a person who is worth a second date.

Chris Culvenor: The man behind the show

Chris Culvenor, though admittedly a fan of The bachelor himself, had different intentions for this show. According to Romper, he stated:

“This isn’t a quest to find necessarily the love of your life, who you’re going to marry…This was really just an honest snapshot of what that experience is like. It can be fun. It can be awkward. It can be interesting. It can sort of change who you are…This was really, what we’re attempting to capture is an honest look at what the experience of dating is like.”

Chris Culvenor, also known for his work on Fake Off, Restaurant Startup, and The Chef’s Line, is an Australian business and television producer; he is the founder and CEO of Eureka Productions.