Dates, Channel 4: Mia, David and the Londoners on modern dating

When TV shows try to describe modern love, it most of the time fails in clichés. And when TV shows also mention internet dating, it’s even worse: a lack of sensitivity, of understanding of why people go on Meetic etc.

It’s the absolute opposite with the new Channel 4 TV series, “Dates“. Created by Bryan Elsley, the show explores the complicated relationships of grown-ups in London. The episodes are directed by diverse talents, so as the series is interesting both for her sociological understanding and for her anthropological essay about London.

There is Mia, glamorous and somehow neurotic young woman. Her femme fatale attitude quickly fades with a need to fall in one’s arms; one of the girls who want to rule the world but without the right weapons. It asks the question of what’s real female power at the end? A creation, an illusion in men’s eyes or something that should be different?

There’s is a lorry driver and a doctor. There are people who already got married and who have children, and who after their second dates seem in a hurry to introduce all their past to their potential love. It also raises the issues of privacy in the era of Social Media: what’s your digital footprint when you meet someone new?

What I love is this epic mess, caught in a very deep and very touching way in Dates. Instead of promising love stories that don’t exist, the cast and directors achieve to keep this exact experience of what London nights can be: a very lonely city, which sometimes offer rays of hopes to wannabe couples.

Oh and of course the theme song, Chloé by Hannah Peel, is magics.

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