Get ready for the next generation of reality dating television. Having nothing to hide for your potential new boy or girlfriend is taken as a literal starting point for the Dutch Television program format ‘Adam looking for Eve’. In the hit show singles meet each other on a deserted tropical island, naked.
In the soft surf of the sea, a nude man and woman walk towards each other for their first encounter. The openings have proven to be rather awkward. After introducing themselves, comments like ‘this is really interesting, don’t you think?’ ‘So here we are…naked…wow’ or ‘Nice weather, huh?’ are followed by silence – you get the picture.
The couple is matched based on preferences they expressed prior to the show. Contestants get to stay in a true Garden of Eden. The paradise island has palm trees, a white beach, a clear blue see and a beautiful starlit night. What else could you wish for on a first date? Well, the contestants have to survive in the wild together. Searching the island for food supplies and spooning to keep each other warm at night could be romantic. But the irritations during the distribution of food and blankets offset that romance.
On the second day, a new Adam or Eve washes ashore to cause trouble in paradise. Either the two Adams have to battle for the love of one Eve, or two Eves have to battle for the love of the one Adam. The one in the minority has to choose which of the two he or she wants to meet again in the real world with their own clothes on.
Going back to basics and having to survive with naked strangers, is not easy. One can’t simply take their smartphone to play a game, text their friends or order a pizza. You would think that having so much time on your hands and just each other to spend it with would assist in the blossoming of love. Yet, awkwardness, boredom or frictions predominate. Few contestants think they have found true love in each other. The programme shows that going back to Adam and Eve basics is not the solution in the search for a dating show that successfully generates couples.
Even though the contestants arrive on the island the way God created them, the show doesn’t have much in common with the biblical story. The serpent in the form of the programme producer does not succeed to trick Adam and Eve into eating fruit from the forbidden tree. Even though there is enough forbidden fruit to taste from, little sexual temptations happen. This is inevitable as the show is broadcasted at primetime television. The novelty wears off, and looking at naked people that have little interesting to say and do becomes boring. While the show had good ratings with more than 850,000 people watching in the first weeks, by the end of the season it had lost almost half of its viewers.
The Dutch are inventive when it comes to reality shows, and this can be seen from earlier television programme formats such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘The Voice’. Both successful shows originate in the Netherlands and are sold to many countries around the world. It remains to be seen if the future will bring the same for ‘Adam Looking for Eve’. A more relevant question would be; when will the celeb sequel follow?