Oh, the season of love. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching there is really no way to avoid it: love is in the air. And what better way to find love than by going on a reality dating show? Programs like The Bachelor and its multiple spin-offs have been helping singles find “the one” (or the one for now) since before 2002. More recently created shows, such as 90 Day Fiance and Are You the One?, prove the tradition of looking for love on a TV show is still going strong.
But for every success story, there is a show you almost forget existed (or one that you can’t believe really existed in the first place). These are the shows like A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, which was notable for featuring a bisexual woman looking for love from a male or female partner, and Flavor of Love. (Remember, the one where women tried to date Flavor Flav for some reason?) They were the kind of dating shows that made us scratch our heads, but kept us watching at the same time because we just couldn’t look away. But those weren’t the only ones.
Here are 15 Crazy Dating Shows You Forgot Existed.
15. Baggage (2010-2015)
Baggage is the Jerry Springer-hosted dating game show where three contestants would bring out suitcases representing their literal baggage. Each suitcase contained a secret ranging from the just plain weird (like “I drugged my ex and killed his fish“) to the sad but true (“I left my fiancé at the altar“). The dater had to decide which person had “too much baggage” for them to handle and what secrets they could live with.
Baggage was pretty much the perfect guilty pleasure show. It’s the ultimate “would you rather”, complete with all of the worst possible outcomes. It makes you question who you would choose if you were in this situation while also making you realize the complete ludicrous nature of the whole process. Springer fits well into these proceedings, presiding over the ridiculousness with a sly comment or a bad pun. He’s seen it all and nothing much will surprise him. Or us for that matter.
Watch only one episode Baggage and you have an idea of just what kind of show you are in for: one where a person might overlook a seemingly insurmountable problem because of a person’s good looks. Might not be true love, but it sure was entertaining.
14. Dating Naked (2014-2016)
Dating Naked is exactly what it sounds like. Potential partners meet while completely nude (and tastefully blurred for TV viewers at home). Each week the original contestant must go on a date with a new person and then choose to who keep and who to send home. This all takes place in a tropical paradise, like Bora Bora, where the contestants stay in hopes of developing and trying to maintain a relationship with the main contestant.
The premise of Dating Naked is to “strip away preconceived notions, stereotypes-and clothes.” It’s a bold move for sure, but mostly it just makes you question the kind of dates you can go on while naked. (There are surprisingly a lot.) Contestants don’t get as vulnerable as you would think, making this just a generic dating show deep down. It’s another one of those instances where you just can’t look away, especially with the added drama of a bunch of naked people all living in a house together, fighting for love.
Episodes from season 3 of Dating Naked are currently on VH1’s website, if you feel so inclined.