The dating game show subgenre has its origins in the United States.
The original dating game shows were introduced by television producer Chuck Barris.
Author Nancy Jo Sales and her editors have done what they can to try and drum up tension or drama in the essay.
A sub-headline declares ominously, "As romance gets swiped from the screen, some twentysomethings aren't liking what they see." And sure enough, some of the subjects express a vague longing for a deeper connection.
They are presented for the entertainment of the viewers.
As the genre progressed, the format developed towards a reality-style show and more into a relationship show then simply finding a mate.
Thankfully, no one in the story gets hurt in this sense. The world recounted by Sales — or, more likely, a world even less judgmental and even more saturated by even more advanced forms of technology — will be their world. I want them to experience the rarer and more precious goods that follow from the disciplining of their baser instincts (like the animal desire to copulate with a different sexual partner every night of the week) in order to reach an end that's pursued for its own sake rather than for the instantaneous rewards it brings. Won't the world be better off without those musty old ideas limiting our freedom, hovering over our heads, judging us, weighing on our conscience?
But of course all of this presumes the existence of a stable standard of excellence that tells us which goods are higher and which lower, allowing us to rank ways of life and modes of behavior. The idea of "nature," in its older teleological sense, does something similar.
And nothing demonstrates our complicity more than our incapacity to react with anything sterner than a furrowed brow or more compelling than, "As long as no one gets hurt..." It's good not to get hurt. I want them to enjoy the fulfillment that can only come from devoting themselves to something that transcends the self — a spouse, a child, a family.
But without references to fuller standards of human flourishing and degradation, "hurt" gets reduced to brute physical and egregious mental harm. That's the question that haunts me as I raise my own kids, aged 9 and 13. I want them to experience falling in love and feel their hearts opened to hopes of a higher, more enduring form of happiness.
Sex drives are just too powerful to resist when satisfying them is so easy.