Tag Archives: channel4

Looking vs Dates

Well this looks good… HBO getting in on the modern dating action.

The new trailer opens with Patrick having high hopes for his new life in a brand-new city: “It’s San Francisco. It shouldn’t be so hard to meet cool people in this town.”

It dives deeper into Patrick’s idealistic view of finding love in the City by the Bay, with him attempting to find his soulmate via dating websites and Instagram filters. From the looks of things, it seems Patrick — who’s had one long-term boyfriend his entire life, it’s revealed in the trailer – may be finding love.

Wonder how it compares to Channel4’s Dates? From the trailer, less cinemantic and more real?

 

Will it be fluff or be actually interesting? Dating on BBC Radio

The Cougar & Her Date

The BBC hasn’t got the best track record of covering issues like dating… Who could forget (I certainly won’t) the terrible year of making love? But to be fair they did good job covering the problems with online dating in Panaroma recently. However compare it to Channel4’s recent mating/dating. 2 run away hits… Dates and First Dates plus all the other back up programmes put Channel4’s mating coverage well above the BBC’s to date.

However, BBC’s radio coverage is getting better. I’ve heard recently Miss London’s 28 dates later which had me in stitches…

In her first Radio 4 series, London Hughes aka Miss London writes and stars in a sitcom about the tricky world of romance and dating in the capital – does it ever live up to the romantic dreams pedalled by Rom Coms? Shona, played by London works in a cinema with best friend Kristen and is desperately searching for someone to make her life complete but still doesn’t get the compromises needed to make love work.

Of course follow my brief time on BBC Merseyside, it will be interesting to hear what happens when BBC Radio 4’s Womens hour and Men’s hour get together to discuss online dating (thanks Tony for the tweet).

If this list is anything to go by, I’m already worried

Cough up: the bill is a gender politics minefield. To grab the bill and offer to pay looks like retro male-dominant chauvinism – to sit back and leave the bill in no-man’s land looks a bit cheap and not manly enough. So, politely ask if you can pay the bill. However, if she has shown a total disinterest in you during the date – and not asked any questions about you – then suggest you split the bill. That’ll teach her (nothing) but make you feel you’ve escaped with some dignity (miniscule)

Don’t get me started! *smile*

Come on BBC, I know your better than this… lets hear something worth while, new and actually interesting. Please no stereotypes… Online dating is interesting and has changed/warpped culture. Theres plenty to explore… otherwise expect another round of relationships 2.0!

Is she a player or serial dater?

Phil and Tamsin‘s date on Channel4’s First dates got me going recently, specially following my blog post and discussion with Chris and others…

In Phil’s own words….

“She’s a lovely girl, she ticks a lot of boxes. But I think there’s a little bit of a player side”

Of course I have clipped the part for your own viewing pleasureWatch it before its blocked! Too Late, so I uploaded it to Soundcloud

 

You never get chatted up? Really? Balls…

Dr. Chatty

I don’t know what I even bother linking to it (specially being from the Sun) but I thought it was worth highlighting as silly…

A WOMAN as beautiful as Purdey Miles should be fighting men off with a stick. Years ago, she would hardly have been able to enter a bar without being besieged by guys begging for a date. Yet the 23-year-old has had to turn to the internet to find romance.

She says: “No one has asked me out face-to-face for years.

“I think men have become lazy about asking women out.”

And IT worker Purdey is by no means alone. Increasingly, attractive young women like her are having to turn to the web to find love. Internet dating is one of the fastest-growing sectors in this country, generating £170million last year. Nine million people in the UK logged on for romance last year, recent figures show, and we have the highest online dating turnover in Europe. Many women feel this means men are effectively getting sex without having to put in the legwork of asking a woman out.

I’ve never heard such balls in my life…

Ok I can imagine more men are more respectful and doing less hitting on woman, heck maybe we finally got out of the clubbing woman over the head with a club and dragging them back to our caves (joke of course).

Heck I can even imagine we may have a slightly more disconnected world, once again I’m sure Sherry Turke would have a lot to say about that. But blaming the internet is a cop out. Plus don’t ruin it for every other woman who has had to deal with being hit on all the bloody time (some are thinking too)

I’ll tell you why! It takes two to tango…!

Sorry Purdey Miles, who took part in Dawn O’Porters experiment into online dating. Unless all the guys have suddenly come out of the closet or discovered there bi-sexual, it just stinks of the usual rubbish I expect to hear from the Sun. Maybe dare I say it Purdey you should have a read of SBM’s Why dont men ask women out

Why the heck did I bother reading this garbage again?

Dawn’s guide to the odds of online dating

Well you can’t knock Channel4 for their number crunching, Matt Parker (stand up maths guy) sits with Dawn O’Porter and explains the odds of a decent match to Dawn. Something the Year of Making Love never really explored and got slated for by myself and others.

I’ve been thinking if online dating may be passing its prime as it passes into the mainstream myself. But its hard to get a grip due the lack of data out there. Dawn’s 1000 isn’t bad but you really need a much bigger sample than 1000 to really get a sense of whats happening out there.

Anyway in a previous episode Dawn had a list of do’s and don’t for online dating… I think most of them are similar or taken from Susan Quilliam (relationship psychologist) tips… Here’s the points

1. Be ready to date. If you’re not over a previous relationship or anxious and demotivated about going online, you’ll self-sabotage. Wait until you’re emotionally available, confident in yourself, ready to put in time and energy.

Absolutely… When I first got divorced I thought I was ready to push myself out there but in actual fact I was too early. Luckily the woman I met were nice enough to point this out to me.

2. Decide what you want first. The site you use, your profile and photo all need to be chosen to suit the partner and partnership you’re looking for. So before you ever go online, think carefully through your wants, needs, deal breakers.

Yes not all sites are the same, some are known for certain types of people and so you need to think long and hard or at least try a few before going forward. Its no good trying match.com and saying well it doesn’t bloody work. I would also add don’t be put off by free online dating. In actual fact I would swear by it for many reasons including that fear to do everything in one month before the credit runs out .

3. Ignore the numbers. No site – however huge their database – will bring you results if the site users aren’t your kind of people. Plus, the ones with big memberships can overwhelm you with numbers. Instead, trawl sites to find one you personally identify with.

Indeed, Match and e-harmony are well known and over subscribed with the kind of people who (I’m assume if your reading this blog) you don’t really want to date too often. Niche dating sites like Guardian Soulmates can be pointless because everyone signs up anyway. Think uniform dating advert.

4. Don’t sell – invite. Writing your profile shouldn’t be a marketing exercise. In fact, research suggests the more you major on “I”, the more you’ll actively put people off. Instead, welcome in prospective partners by writing warmly about the relationship you’d love to have with them.

Although this might be true, I would fight back with to sell is human. You can tell a lot by what someone wants and what they are selling about themselves. Inviting is good but sometimes you need to stand out from the crowd.

5. Choose a welcoming photo not a mug shot. Get a friend or a professional photographer to take hundreds of photos of you smiling and laughing. Then choose the ones where you look the most relaxed and approachable.

Absolutely… I’ve already talked to death about pictures never to use… It still shocks me the kind of thing people put in there dating pictures… For example I was scrolling through my ok cupid locals and was blown away by a woman putting/swallowing a beer bottle. Ok its unique but boy oh boy why oh why would you ever think it was the kind of thing you should use for your dating picture? And don’t get me started on white chicks and gang signs.

6. Don’t go shopping. Studies suggest that, when faced with too much choice in partners, we make decisions on irrelevant criteria, such as whether someone wears glasses. Instead, decide who to approach based on whether their profile lets you imagine having a good relationship with them.

This is something me and imran are interested in… The digitalisation of dating/mating and whats it doing to our brains our habits and the way we see each other. I really need to sit down and read dating in the age of algorithms. I’m sure Sherry Turkle author of alone together and Barry Schwartz author of the paradox of choice would have plenty to say about this whole thing too.

7. Get real – and get real early. Don’t fall for the spell of email and text – feeling close online says nothing about whether you’re compatible in real life. So talk on the phone and meet up as soon as you possibly can.

Ah yes the whole thing about certain people are far too comfortable with chatting from a far. Sites such as Howaboutwe.com are fighting back trying to urge members outside to meet each other but generally if your person you’ve been chatting to for a long (2 months) while refuses to meetup. Think Catfish?

8. Tell the truth. Most folk on dating sites are genuinely looking for love – if they’re not, they go to ‘hook-up’ or ‘married’ sites. But many people are also insecure, so tweak age, height or weight to make a good impression. It works best to be truthful – anything else creates a false start to love.

Yes the truth is the best place to work from. Yes I know lots people lie about there height, weight, job, etc but if you have that much of a problem about it. Just don’t put it down.

9. Don’t expect instant success. In everyday life you may meet hundreds of people at work, socially or by chance before you find someone to date. The same’s true online – it can take months of regular searching before you find a match.

Yes chill out, as I said to Northern Lass 32 from the Guardian

Chill and take your time, stop rushing and just let things wash over you as interesting experiences

It takes time and you should enjoy the time you have while single.

10. Ignore bad behaviour. Because online dating’s so new, we haven’t worked out the courtesies: for example, many people don’t respond to approaches made to them. So if you get snubbed, rejected or dumped, ignore it; not your fault.

I agree, move on. The rules are not set and even if they are for a small community. There is floods of newbies coming into the online dating industry. Some of them don’t understand how the internet works, some don’t understand socially what works. Just brush it off and move on…

11. Get support. Find a dating buddy, someone to help you through the tricky stages, support you through disappointment, celebrate your success.

A dating buddy? Hummmm not so sure about this one. Me personally think talk about your experiences with friends and family. Yes they will laugh at first but after a while they will become supportive in some way. Also think this isn’t a zero sum game. If you make a great new friend, you win. If you meet someone you never want to see again, well you kinda of win again. Just look at it all as experiences

As usual I found a myself with a request for my video via youtube’s system, should have used the same technique as I used on this video

Dear Mr Forrester,

Your video “dating data based on 1000 people“, may have content that is owned or licensed by Channel 4, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, it may be blocked, or ads may appear next to it.

This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.

Sincerely,
– The YouTube Team

Hopefully the advertising will be enough…

Dating the people on screen, but should I?

First Dates

Channel4 have launched into the dating world with a number of interesting mating programmes. One of the best is Dates which I’ve blogged about before but the other biggie is there first dates show.

As part of the broadcaster’s Mating Season, Date Night will give viewers the chance to hook up with the singletons they see on screen.

Channel 4 is to enter the competitive market of online dating. Anyone who visits the broadcaster’s website will be able to apply to date pre-selected members of the public. The inevitable twist? Their first date will be filmed for an interactive documentary series, entitled Date Night.

“We’re looking for 50 or 60 people who want to come on the show,” revealed executive producer Meredith Chambers at the launch last night. “They will be known to us in advance. [Then] viewers from two weeks before the series goes out, and while the series goes out, can make a connection with those people. We want it to be as much like the real thing as possible.”

Just like any dating site, the pre-selected singletons will choose their own dates from those who get in touch online. Applicants who are overlooked first time round need not despair: they may get a second chance. “Twice or three times in each show, people whose dates didn’t work out that night will look down the barrel of the lens and say: ‘people of Britain, can you do better?’”

The first episode was last week and now the audience have the chance to join the dating pool by applying online.

I personally would consider breaking my rule about getting involved in with dating shows following the total screw up of the year of making love. But to be honest looking at the people involved I’m not so sure.

Nadia E sounds, quite nice… 31 years old, Entrepreneur wants someone whos a gentleman and someone whos a partner rather than a bit on the side. But shes from London and I don’t think that would work even with me going back and forth to London all the time.

Sophie T is maybe too young at 27 but is also from London.

There are a couple others but none really make me rush to sign up…

So the real question is should I also sign up for this one or not? I could just watch the site out of interest just in-case but it does seem better to be in the pool ahead of time? Heck who knows what might happen, might be interesting to be in the background having another first date?

I can almost feel my hand filling out the online form, although I got to say the terms and conditions are questionable…

Your profile may be removed from the First Dates website at any time for any reason at the discretion of Twenty Twenty and/or Channel 4 without notice. Twenty Twenty and Channel 4 shall also be entitled to edit your profile.

If selected…

If you appear in First Dates we may agree with you that you will become a dater on the show, in which case, members of the public will be able to apply to date you on the First Dates programme by way of the First Dates website.

If you are selected as a potential contributor and/or contributor then you consent to your personal information as it forms part of your profile being made available on the First Dates website and in connection with the rights granted by you under these terms and conditions. You understand and agree that your profile may be available publicly for an indefinite period of time.

Not a fan of some of the terms and conditions but heck what you say, its TV and its the reason why I don’t really like to be involved. But alas something is making me consider it…

Shall I or should I not?

Ok I decided to do it in the end…

My description isn’t the best but alas if you seen my OKCupid profile you will know what kind of madness I typed in (maybe I should have grammar checked it first?). If this goes badly of course I’ll be writing the whole lot on my blog, like always.

A review of Channel4’s Dates so far…

Dates

Channel4’s Dates is currently on its 3rd episode, next one is Tuesday? As the site says, Modern Dating. It’s complicated… Yes it darn well is… And dates starts to do it justice.

Spoilers below… you were warned!

Episode 1: David and Mia

Loved this episode, so many things about it. The way Mia waits at the bar, the way David is over dressed, the reaction of Mia at the honesty of David’s 4 kids, David’s pin point deconstruction of Mia’s in-security and finally Mia putting her foot in it with the question about her David’s ex-wife. So great and the interplay between them both is something of joy.

Have I ever been on a date with Mia? Not exactly but I have met some very confused woman who don’t know what they actually want from the date or even life. I have also met the female equivalent of David, Fresh faced new to dating. Unsurprisingly I was nothing like Mia to them.

Episode 2: Jenny and Nick

This story I was kind of enjoying but then it took a turn into something quite weird and unbelievable. I admit I have dated a couple teachers in the past and they have been quite a English rose like Jenny.

Talking of confused, lets talk about Nick. I swear the bar they are in only has men except the woman (was she a woman?), who was in the toilet. Nick also has quite a strict personality, he’s the kind of guy I can imagine some woman quite hating. When dating I tend not to, leaving anything expensive alone. Overall the episode was much more stereotypical of what a person who hasn’t been dating recently imagines its like now.

Episode 3: Mia and Stephen

Interesting story this one. Having met before and going through all that, Mia and Stephen go the street for a quick shag (once again like episode 2, I rolled my eyes a little) but it got interesting after the pub. Mia turns nurse and somewhat witnesses Mrs Black’s death. She gets a real feel of what its like to be Stephen. But Mia steals Stephen’s heart and breath at the end.

Interesting to see Stephen at the start and then at the end with a rewatch. Never had such a thing happen to me before, actually the closes story I got to that is seeing the same woman at speed dating again. Luckily things went well on the date, so we just laughed about seeing each other again for 3 mins.

Next week?

The preview looks good, some stereotypical date and a gay date. I’m interested to see if more of the characters we have met already come back, as Mia is a great character and I’m sure she’ll be back.

 

Channel4’s Dates, go watch it…

Dates s1ep1

Angie was the first person to tell me about Channel4’s Dates

From the creator of Skins, a witty, sexy and emotional drama series about the complicated and hilarious ways that strangers interact on dates in their quest to find love

I am happy to say I have watched the first one on my tablet half in my lunch time and the other half on the tram home.

I liked it, somethings I’ve experienced and somethings I would avoid. Interesting conclusion to the episode too. I won’t spoil it… Go watch it on 4OD now.

Black mirror s2e1: Be right back

Black Mirror s2ep1

Black Mirror season 2 episode 1

Martha (Hayley Atwell) and Ash (Domhnall Gleeson) are a young couple who move to a remote cottage, where Ash’s parents used to live. Ash is a big user of social media, tapping away on his phone, just a bit too much. Martha doesn’t really mind, she loves him and they’re looking forward to their new life together. The day after the move, Ash is killed, returning the hire van. At the funeral, Sarah (Sinead Matthews), a friend of Martha’s, tells her about a new service that lets you stay in touch with the deceased. By using all his past online communications and social media profiles, a new ‘Ash’ can be created – disarmingly ‘real’ and a help to a grieving partner. Martha is disgusted by the concept and wants nothing to do with it. Martha decides to stay in the cottage, despite her sister, Naomi (Claire Keelen), being worried about her isolation. Then one morning Martha receives an email from ‘Ash’. Sarah has signed her up. Martha is furious and deletes the message. But then she discovers she is pregnant and in a confused and lonely state Martha decides to talk to ‘him’.

*Spoilers ahead, you were warned*

Excellent episode which involves a woman losing her partner. A friend sets up her with a special system which takes all the public data of that person and generates a avatar of the data. So all those public tweets, flickr pictures, etc. First it emulates the voice and then it starts to emulates other aspects. In the end the woman is lured into levelling up  to a physical avatar.

While it seems somewhat insane… Its not as far future as you may think.

When I first started watching it, I instantly thought about Weavrs

Weavrs are your alter egos crafted from the threads of the social web.

Imagine Weavrs + Google Now…! Yes be afraid, be very afraid… You think sleeping with your partner as weavr is bad, wait till you point it at someone eles’s weavr! Or worst pointing it at yourself!  Scary and freaky stuff!

Charlie Brooker did a preview showing of black mirror at the BFI last month, which I need to watch when I get a chance (can’t get it to play on my xbmc setup unforgettably). Thanks to tim dobson for reminding me of tomscott’s piece about this a while ago… well worth watching like most of his stuff

 

Ecstasy

Ecstasy Facts

My experience with Ecstasy is not like you would imagine.

I have never ever taken Ecstasy or for that fact taken any other illegal drugs. Even though I was surrounded by the ecstasy filled rave scene. Me personally I was very much into the music and the experience of dancing in time with people of all cultures and backgrounds. However I won’t be lie and say I never noticed the amount of drugs going around. In actual fact I have some interesting experiences off the back of ecstasy.

Channel4 are putting Ecstasy on trail in another one of their grand experiments.

Nearly half a million people are believed to take the Class A drug ecstasy every year in Britain and the country was dubbed the ‘drug-taking capital of Europe’ in a recent EU Drugs Agency report.

Now, in a UK television first, two live programmes will follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study.

Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen, the programmes aim to cut through the emotional debate surrounding the issue and accurately inform the public about the effects and potential risks of MDMA.

When I was in school, I had strongly held believes that Ecstasy should be decriminalised and even legalised for many reasons. Most of it is about getting drugs out of the drug dealers hands. But even more to get a base-level quality. Ecstasy use to be cut with all types of crap including brick dust, ketamine, asprin, sugar, etc, etc. So what your buying could be anything. In the past there was rumours of Ecstasy being sold with a coat of LSD. End of the day, you had no idea.

Ecstasy was new on the scene and was instantly demionised by the press. Then Leah Betts died and all hell broke loose. The notion that she had drunk 7-8 litres of water in 90mins was ignored or never came out till much later. After that the war on drugs went into overdrive and by the mid millennium ecstasy was being replaced by other drugs. The point I guess I’m making is it was never tested in lab conditions to see the full effect, who would be allergic to it and the long term effects.

You could say I’m a total hypocrite because I’ve never taken it and never will. But I’d suggest that I can have an opinion and I’ve seen more that enough use in my time.

In times when I rubbed up against ecstasy use. I’ve never seen anyone die, I have seen some admitted to hospital to have there stomach pumped however, I remember spending time in First Aid with a asthmatic attack talking with a girl who had eaten 11 ecstasy pills (of course who knows what were in them) but she was chatting away and hugging people while chewing her lips off. Not a good thing but certainly not what the war on drugs wants you to see and think.

I welcome the Channel4 trial but to be honest I don’t think it will be scientific enough. Ecstasy has been used for many things in the past including a tool for couples having relationship problems. Fact is street ecstasy is nothing like you see in the lab. This is why I was a massive fan of those people who went to raves and clubs and tested ecstasy in the wild. I was also part of the Drugs Awareness Campaign in Bristol and dj’ed for them in many different venues (good to hear it still exists)

Its all about cutting through the hype, crap and frankly bull. Giving people frank honest information. Something the war on drugs never learned…

It upsets me so many people are fed dis-information saying “Just say no…” Hopefully Channel4 can raise a light to this massive issue.

The audience vs twitter…

Mainstream

Channel4 is known for some very interesting social experiments including something which really gets at something which I have a lot of opinions about

However before I talk about that TV programme. Let me give you my thoughts on The Audience

If you don’t know it, its basically… A bunch of people follow a chosen person for a week and help solve there problems.

People with life-changing decisions to make – from ‘should I give up the family business?’ to ‘should I have a gastric band fitted?’ or ‘should I consider fostering?’ – are followed around by 50 strangers for a week. These strangers must then agree on a decision and deliver their verdict on the path to take. For the person with the dilemma the process is emotional, sometimes difficult and often eye-opening. And the audience holding this enormous responsibility have to navigate through layers of heartache, resistance and personal revelations, as well as the nights out, kitchens and cramped offices of the people they’re trying to help.

Although I’ve not quite watched the first one yet… It strikes me as odd because frankly…

Isn’t this just Twitter???

I say twitter oppose to your social network because its people who you don’t know. The stranger advice is a well known human effect. People generally prefer to confide in the stranger.

Or maybe I’m wrong…?

I know this requires a level of transparency and openness which most people are not willing to disclose but personally I’ve had very good things happen from being so open and asking questions of strangers…

A vision of Intrusive TV?

There is one sequence in the last episode of Black Mirror, which you got me really thinking (bear in mind there is tons of interesting subjects matters explored in the show)…

A long while ago I coined the term Intrusive TV for a technology which later got renamed to Perceptive Media. Without going into any detail, this is what I’m worried may happen if certain aspects of the technology behind Perceptive Media is taken to its extremes.

Without any details, you can still certainly get a feel for how scary a future were heading towards…

Hopefully YouTube/Google won’t take it down straight away… But if so, watch the whole thing and about 40mins in look out for the sequence when there’s not enough credit to skip or change anything. You will know which bit when you see it…

Oh no… within a few moments I got a email…

Dear cubicgarden,

Your video, Intrusive TV?, may have content that is owned or licensed by Channel 4.

No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

Sincerely,
– The YouTube Team

Oh well so much for that…

Black mirror’s 15 million merits

You got to hand it to Charlie Brooker… not only is he a genius of comedy but he’s got a amazingly dark sense of humour…

If you’ve not checked out Channel 4’s 15 million merits, you must watch it.

Its a mix of Big Brother, Xfactor, Miniority report and Gamer all mixed in one with deep meaning for the connected generation. If you don’t mind being spoiled Den of Geek of a excellent review while if you’ve not seen it, check out this review which is a little less on the spoilers.

After watching it, its also worth reading the background of how it was all put together in creative review