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to think that "The Undateables" is voyeuristic and wrong?

(215 Posts)
Bogeyface Netherlands Tue 22-Jan-13 00:39:19

I have only watched part of one show as H put it on, I watched some of it and left the room in disgust. Am posting this as a trailer just reminded me.

Last week a young man with ASD was on there, and because he didnt understand how to behave or what to do when connecting with other people, his mum had texted him some tips. He memorised them and then did his best. It was horrible. He got it very wrong at times, and my heart went out to him because he was trying so hard. He was on a date with a young lady with learning issues and they were struggling to relate to each other.

Now dont get me wrong, I think that any programme that highlights the difficulties that anyone with (forgive me) "difficulities" faces is a good thing, but this wasnt presented like that. It was, to me at least, presented as "lets laugh at the thickos"

I have a son with cerebal palsy who I thought for years would never have an adult relationshp, so I accept that I may be very biased, but it just feels very wrong to me. Not the concept so much as the presentation.

PS DS is about to move in with his NT GF, who is wonderful and adores him but she doesnt take excuses and has taken him from a "I cant help it, I am disabled" teen into a "I am disabled, but thats your problem not mine" adult smile

KC225 Tue 22-Jan-13 00:55:01

I disagree, I watched the last series and I thought it great. I didn't think it was voyeuristic or wrong. I remember thinking how refreshing that the people on the show were romantic, courtly and so hopeful. It put a smile or your heart when a date went well or one of them found love.

I remember saying to my husband certain endlessly single girlfriends with picky lists should watch the show and learn a thing or two about being dating without baggage or judgement.

Mybumissquidgy Tue 22-Jan-13 01:00:49

I thought it was interesting but at the same time it has an element of the old fashioned "freak show" about it (not that any of the participants are freaks iyswim) that made me feel uncomfortable.

Bogeyface Netherlands Tue 22-Jan-13 01:01:39

I remember saying to my husband certain endlessly single girlfriends with picky lists should watch the show and learn a thing or two about being dating without baggage or judgement.

THats a good point, and if my DS's GF had had her "picky list" then she wouldnt have looked at DS twice. The part I watched just seemed.......intrusive I suppose. It seemed private and not appropriate for public for consumption.

Bogeyface Netherlands Tue 22-Jan-13 01:03:17

Mybum I do kwym, thats why I said voyeuristic, it just felt wrong.

DizzyZebra Tue 22-Jan-13 01:04:36

Was that the black gentleman?
I saw it and i was nearly in tears. The first series wasn't too bad but last week i just got the feeling that it was all for entertainment and 'ha ha look at ths' rather than trying to highlight actual struggles and difficulties.

Bogeyface Netherlands Tue 22-Jan-13 01:15:18

No, he wasnt black. He was a white young man with ASD, in his twenties I think. Ha ha lets watch the freaks pretty much sums up how I feel it was. It was wrong sad

Porkster Tue 22-Jan-13 01:16:35

I watched one episode the last time, but won't watch it again.

I felt a bit uncomfortable about it & questioned whether it is vouyeuristic and exploits the participants. I heard colleagues discussing it as though it was a comedy.

I won't watch it again.

Booyhoo Tue 22-Jan-13 01:19:44

i haven't seen any of this series but did watch one episode of the last one. i have to agree OP. i felt there was an undercurrent of sniggering up their sleeves at how foolish those people might have looked trying to find love. they tried to make it seem like it was an attempt at understanding the problems people might encounter but the undercurrent was there in the way it was edited. i was disappointed tbh. it is C4 though isn't it? not surprised really.

Booyhoo Tue 22-Jan-13 01:21:44

i was also unfortunate enough to see this programme being discussed on my FB newsfeed in a "how hilarious was that?" kind of way. needless to say those people are no longer my friends

SinisterSal Tue 22-Jan-13 01:26:41

It's all dressed up as concern and education, but I'm not convinced that's the primary motivation

DizzyZebra Tue 22-Jan-13 01:36:47

Bogey - I only saw bits. I think the one i saw was a man with treacher colins? And then a lovely black man who i thought was very sweet. It just really really upset me. I can't watch again. My daughter has additional needs (Not like these people, My daughter is profoundly deaf) and i worry that she will be taken advantage of at some point.

PictureMeInThese Tue 22-Jan-13 01:47:34

I felt very uncomfortable watching this programme. It felt very much dressed up as educational to disguise the fact they are subtly (or not) taking the piss.

Kafri Tue 22-Jan-13 05:44:44

I know one of the lads that appeared on the shows first series and the whole thing was done with much consultation with the people featured.
Someone said to me that they were horrified by the title of the show but they chose the title themselves too.
There have been parts of the show where I've thought 'ooh that's a bit inappropriate'. But then I think, hang on, if they tgemselves have ok'd it then who am I to stamp my feet in protest.

The young man with ASD, I actually thought, did very well with his difficulties. I liked that it showed his coping strategies, and showed just how difficult it can be when you're unable to learn the social rules.

HollyBerryBush Tue 22-Jan-13 06:00:51

I thought it was very touching and sweet. There wasn't anything I laughed at.

Last weeks one, the young man with the ( cant remember the medical term) blubous eyues - well that really showed what a looks driven society we are. made me quite ashamed of how shallow I probably was 30 yers ago.

Oooooh no shut them away.

FFS I think it nice and refreshing that people with disabilities are featured on mainstream TV, as so often is not the case and I really think some people will watch it for the freak show element and hopefully be surprised and have their eyes opened to the fact that the people featured are just disabled but have the same thoughts and feelings as everybody else.

I laughed along with Ray as he seemed to do that a lot - he was sweet, happy and funny and I shouted at the TV as I wanted him to stop talking about his ex on his date and didn't want him to go back to her. I didn't mock him, he was a loveky, funny guy. Often people's discomfort is their problem in accepting disability. I hope they do an update and Ray finds love with the lovely lady he was seeing.

JusticeCrab Tue 22-Jan-13 06:29:48

Whatever the intentions of the show are - and I haven't seen it - the title sucks. ALL the disabled adults I know, myself included, are sexually active. I don't want people thinking "OMG so you're an undateable" every time someone in whom they may be romantically interested says that they have a disability, or every time they look at someone who has an obvious disability.

MyBaby1day Tue 22-Jan-13 06:42:40

YANBU, I think the show is wrong wrong wrong like "can disabled people really get dates"?. It's totally sending the wrong message out.

Mimishimi Tue 22-Jan-13 06:42:55

I've only ever watched one episode of it. It was a young man who was born with some condition where one side of his face was malformed? He grew his hair long over that bit to hide it. I didn't feel he was 'undateable' at all actually. Lovely personality (albeit understandably a bit too self conscious) and gorgeous artistic hands ( I have a thing for beautiful hands). They agree to go on the show so I don't think it's too voyeuristic.

snuffaluffagus Tue 22-Jan-13 07:21:15

The title is quite deliberately provocative though, that's the point. I find it a really sweet programme that's really sensitive to the contributors. It's not at all exploitative.

ajandjjmum Tue 22-Jan-13 07:27:50

I think there are elements that are difficult, and elements that are enlightening. What the small, dark haired girl lacked in height, she certainly made up for in character! And the guy with tourettes, he was a star, and I was so thrilled when he got on so well with the girl he met. Those that I feel are a little uncomfortable tend to be those where one person is accompanied - but I'm quite prepared to understand that's my problem.

msrisotto Tue 22-Jan-13 07:39:56

I've been watching this for a while. The title is absolutely the worst part about it. The actual programme is sensitively handled and people seem to be treated on an equal plane IMO.

I haven't watched the programme but I did watch an interview with 2 of the people on the show. The title of the show was chosen by them, if you look at the title sequence it starts as The Undateables the ''Un' bit then falls down making the title The Dateables. They wanted to show people that they are just like everyone else, wanting to find love, be with someone.
Neither of them believed that they where being exploited, or the intent of the programme makers was to create a freak show.

WelshMaenad Tue 22-Jan-13 08:21:01

That 'small dark haired girl' was a WOMAN. A woman in her 30's with a PhD in psychology. She just happened to have achondroplasia. Calling her a 'girl' is about as patronising as the dickhead who patted her on the head as she walked past.

Ariel21 Tue 22-Jan-13 08:28:05

I don't think there is anything wrong with calling someone a 'girl' - most females would find it flattering as it implies youth! I still call my friends and peers 'girls' and we are nearly 30.

My husband and I dearly love this show and watched all of the last series. It makes us laugh and cry as we follow the individual journeys of the participants. I think it is sensitively handled and is not really about disability but about experiences of finding love that are familiar to all of us.

TroublesomeEx Tue 22-Jan-13 08:35:14

I did see the one with the young man with ASD.

I thought the most shocking thing about that was his mother advising him to say that "a gentleman never tells" when the girl asked him how many girlfriends he'd had!

Surely that's a perfectly reasonable question and "a gentleman" can't hide behind doing whatever he wants so long as he keeps it a secret. Ahem.

But I digress. I don't like these sorts of programmes generally.

But I don't think there was any element of "lets laugh at the thickos".

CailinDana Tue 22-Jan-13 08:50:45

The idea that people with disabilities need to be "protected" from nasty producers is so incredibly patronising. They are grown adults, capable of making their own decisions (albeit sometimes with help from parents) and they were happy to participate in the show. Research has shown that it's this "oh poor them" attitude that is one of the most disabling things that people with learning disabilities in particular experience - the idea that they must be "protected" and prevented from making decisions that are "not in their best interest" (ie, decisions that make other people feel uncomfortable). If you don't like the show, don't watch it, but it's not "wrong" for people to want their stories told. There are plenty of programmes about people with hoarding problems, alcohol problems, problems with their weight etc, are those "wrong"? What in particular is "wrong" with learning about the problems people with disabilities encounter when dating?

Punkatheart Tue 22-Jan-13 08:59:01

How strange - I found it utterly wonderful. You have to stick with it, but it is handled very sensitively. I loved Steve....his face was wonderful and he was kind and loving.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:06:23

adults looking for a person to share their life with isn't wrong and a little help goes a long way , I think the title is a bit iffy but the whole show is lovely and why shouldn't a grown person with ASD find a partner ,

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:08:10

and on the same programme a woman with dwarfisim hadn't had a partner or boyfriend for years because of perverts and feeling uncomfortable she wanted to find somebody in a safe way

YorkshireDeb Tue 22-Jan-13 09:13:45

I think this programme is brilliant. Try not to judge it on the title - I think it is designed to catch people's attention & as someone said, in the opening credits the 'un' falls off, which says to be that despite what people think, they are very much dateable. There have been some wonderful people featured on the programme & my heart melts when they meet someone who they have a real connection with. X

I liked it. It challenges me, and I admit it challenges my predjudices. I could never have imagined dating a man with tourettes, but now I can (well with DH's agreeement grin)

It also gives me hope for my ds with ASD as well as a better understanding of the kind of support he might need to achieve it and what to begin work on and aim for. I recognised the 'scripting' and was pleased that it seemed to be a success.

I think the 'gentleman never tells' comment was to enable him to avoid saying he's never had a girlfriend.

katykuns Tue 22-Jan-13 09:21:16

I hate the show, I think its portrayed very much like 'haha let's all laugh at the disabled people'. I also hate the title. I just think it could have been done far better and with more sensitivity.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:28:14

e 'haha let's all laugh at the disabled people'. I also hate the title. I just think it could have been done far better and with more sensitivity.

^^ this is your own perception of the programme as a disabled person I have never felt it was ha ha laugh at the disabled people at all, I do agree with the title it is a bit iffy

bottleofbeer Tue 22-Jan-13 09:35:14

How patronising, it's like saying they were incapable of deciding to go on the programme. They've CHOSEN to be featured, they've chosen to have the cameras follow them around and it's never, ever felt like a 'freak show' to me.

If everybody involved has agreed to be in the show then I respect that and don't sit wringing my hands at how exploited they must be.

If some are so immature they watch it and laugh then that's their problem. Most of us watch it and root for them to find love. It's lovely and heartwarming when a date works out and I get the stupidest cheesy grin on my face. I think most of them agree to it (or maybe even put themselves forward) to help raise awareness and to say look - we're no different from you.

Chandon Tue 22-Jan-13 09:37:14

Watched it with DH.

It was at times painful to watch, but also helped us understand more about autism and how an autist's mind works. We felt nothing but sympathy for the participants, and I thought it was respectfully and sympathetically done. Most of it quite touching really.

Not much to laugh about, imo, if anyone finds it hilarious it says more about the viewer than the programme!

snowybrrr Tue 22-Jan-13 09:38:36

YANBU I feel exactly the same way although I have only seen the trailers

EarlyInTheMorning Tue 22-Jan-13 09:39:29

I have watched this program and has given me a lot of food for thought. Disability is not something I need to deal with on a day to day basis so this program has been extremely educational and an eye opener to understand what other families have to deal with in the personal relationships arena. Having said that, I do feel that the program has a too strong entertainment agenda and it does make me feel extremely uncomfortable. For me this is similar to entertainment shows like the x factor when sometimes a contestant clearly has learning difficulties and their auditions get broadcasted over and over again purely for our entertainment. It makes me feel ashamed.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:40:20

there are some funny moments in it but it isn't laughing AT people it is laughing WITH people. sometimes disabled people will laugh at themselves and it is is ok to laugh along imo

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:42:28

It makes me feel ashamed.

why shame ? these people are adults who happen to have learning difficulties and only a portion of the people who have learning difficulties not all of the people featured . It is a documentary style series not an entertainment xfacotry type programme,

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 22-Jan-13 09:43:26

I agree with you OP, especially as since it's been on I've only ever heard it discussed as something to laugh at and those on the show have been mocked, not admired.

pleasestoptalking Tue 22-Jan-13 09:43:51

I don't think it's patronising at all. I certainly wasn't watching it sniggering up my sleeve so I didn't assume other people would be either.

I thought it was sensitively handled and agree with Ariel that it's about how important it is for most people to find a partner in life and about the experiences of trying to find that partner.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:46:30

I have never seen anybody laughing or mocking anybody on the programme catch you must have some very uncaring friends and people you know,

My sister is a support worker she loves this programme she doesn't find it patronising or lets all laugh at the disabled she finds it refreshing and warm and caring and it shows disabled people in a 'normal way '

FantasticDay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:46:31

I really enjoy it. Shows disabled people as ordinary, sexual beings (which is rare in media representations) having all the same issues with dating as non-disabled people. (Yes, it was a bit toe-curling when the bloke brought up his ex on a first date, but that was nothing to do with disability. I've had a non-disabled person do something similar to me - and I've made similar hideous mistakes myself...). Also dealt with some particular issues from a disablist society - thinking of the stunning women with a PhD, and dwarfism, and guys seeing her as a sexual novelty. Challenges (my) prejudices - the man with Tourette's was just lovely, and I'd certainly have dated him.

Viviennemary Tue 22-Jan-13 09:50:42

I had mixed feelings about the whole idea of it but I watched most of the first series and thought it was quite sensitively done. I've haven't really watched the second series much but I think on the whole it is a good thing and I didn't find any of it in the least bit amusing. I don't agree with this calling people girls is patronising at all. My auntie called everyone younger than her a girl but she was 96.

Giddypants Tue 22-Jan-13 09:52:40

bogeyface my DS (4yo) has CP, I often worry about him as an adult, thank you for sharing about your DS it gives me hope that there is someone out there for him who understands him.

And I can't watch that vile programme, I fine it as let's poke fun at the disabled/under average intelligent! c4 should be ashamed

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 09:54:14

giddy if you dont watch how can you say it is vile genuine question

McBalls Tue 22-Jan-13 09:57:32

I watched the last two episodes, hadn't seen it before.

I found it really touching and thought everyone in it came across very well.

There is an element (or possibility) of freak show in every single 'real life documentary' type programme. This one is no different to any other. Well, no the difference is that you would hope the issues of consent etc are even more robustly dealt with beforehand.

Makes my blood boil to think of some knuckle-dragging cunts laughing about these people on FB (as mentioned below) but those people are scummy and will not change by hiding those with SN away. Not that they'll change anyway but why the fuck should anyone be hidden away because of the reaction of idiots.

As for the reaction of OP, and others of the same view - I think you should take responsibility for your own feelings. I, and I'm sure many others, did not see the 'lets laugh at the thickos' angle. Every person will watch through the lens of their own feelings/experience, maybe think about why you felt the way you did before assuming the fault was with the programme.

bottleofbeer Tue 22-Jan-13 09:58:46

No, I mean it's patronising to say it's voyeuristic as though those involved couldn't make enough of an informed decision about appearing on it.

It's their choice and I respect that.

The autistic guy who got a right cob on about a date falling through who said "I'd rather have a hypoallergenic bichon frise anyway!" made me fall about laughing. I wasn't laughing at him I just thought it was so dry and witty.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Tue 22-Jan-13 10:01:28

The point is - surely - that after you've watched it for a while you tune out the disability and tune in to the personality.

When you think what you'd like to wake up next to for the rest of your life - i'd acclimatise to a malformed face far quicker than to an angry or spiteful face.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:09

I think it's a great, thought provoking and well done show.

Funny how people form opinions on something without taking the time to actually watch it!

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:56

And everyone else on this thread that have heard people mock the show, mrsjay, they have very uncaring friends too? I don't understand your mentioning of your support worker sister who loves the show? I have a son and stepdaughter both with disabilities and I hated the show?

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 10:05:08

Funny how people form opinions on something without taking the time to actually watch it!

that is what I was thinking

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 10:07:29

I don't understand your mentioning of your support worker sister who loves the show? I have a son and stepdaughter both with disabilities and I hated the show?

I was just trying to point out that there are people out there who are trying to help people with disabilities live a life like everybody else, sometimes disabled people are hidden away as non people with out feelings my sister works every day to avoid that,

FreckledLeopard Tue 22-Jan-13 10:07:54

I think it's a really thought-provoking, sensitive and compassionate show. I watched the last series and this one too.

I think it does a lot in terms of dispelling prejudices and also, you get a sense of each person's personality, regardless of the disability. Some of those on there are likeable, others not so much. The show highlights the individual, not the disability.

I think it's really eye-opening and challenges a lot of prejudices.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 10:07:58

nobody on this thread mocked the programme No one

BeaWheesht Tue 22-Jan-13 10:29:29

I haven't read the whole thread but I don't find it intrusive or voyeuristic.

If people laugh at it then they'd laugh at it however it was edited / titled and tbh then were into the realms of not having people with disabilities on television.

Fwiw I find it unbelievable that there's a channel 4 programme called 'embarrassing fat bodies'. I don't find this show anything like as offensive as that.

pigletmania Tue 22-Jan-13 11:07:42

I like the Programme it highlights te difficulties that people with sn/disabilities face when dating (my dd 5 has ASD) so watching with interest. I often wonder wether she will find that special someone, settle down, Mabey get married. It's something that arents with NT kids don't hav to worry too much. I hate the title by te way, it's very negative and implies that people who have sn are not desirable or should date

The title is 'The Undateables' because (I believe from the interview) that is what the people who took part in the show decided on. (This is from memory) they chose that title because that is how they are perceived by a large number of people and also in some part how they perceive themselves. The title sequence changes and the 'Un' part is dropped and the title becomes 'The Dateables' it's so show what the programme is about, that people with disabilities are not undateable, that they do want relationships, that they do want to be with someone.

threesocksmorgan Tue 22-Jan-13 11:17:22

yanbu
the title is sick, I don't watch it as I find that offensive.
my dd is not undateable

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 22-Jan-13 11:18:44

I absolutely love it. I've been hooked since the very first one.

I think if anyone knows anyone who mocks it surely that just tells you that those people are twats?

Surely to goodness we've moved on from the days where people with sn were hidden away "for their own good".

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:19:26

OH Binky well thought out oh I see where ch4 are coming from , from the participants themselves, DUH @ me never even thought about it being that,

threesocksmorgan Tue 22-Jan-13 11:19:32

yes lets just call them "undateable" instead....

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:20:52

where people with sn were hidden away "for their own good".

you would think eh , some people are still of the frame of mind that these people need protected from 'nasty people' these people put themselves forward for this programme,

ResolutelyCheeky Tue 22-Jan-13 11:22:07

I walked past whilst they were filming tonight's episode so have to watch to see if I got my 5 secs of fame. grin
The filming was done very quietly and everyone seemed lovely.

I have watched it because it highlights people's lives and issues that I may not have previously considered.

I do not like the title but I guess it had the impact they desired.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 22-Jan-13 11:22:46

Binky explained about the title.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:22:55

three you are furious about something you havn't watched

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:23:23

if I got my 5 secs of fame.

I will watch for the lurker grin

bottleofbeer Tue 22-Jan-13 11:24:47

Yes but they knock the "un" off at the beginning to change it to Dateables. Which is basically proving it's own point. They clearly are dateable because almost all of them end up with successful dates/relationships. It's challenging the myth that nobody will want them.

Watch it and see for yourself.

ResolutelyCheeky Tue 22-Jan-13 11:24:57

It wasn't a good day to be caught on camera trust me grin

Flobbadobs Tue 22-Jan-13 11:25:50

The first time I watched it I spent the first 10 minutes squirming as it did look like a type of 'lets laugh at the disabled people' type of programme. But I kept watching and discovered that it really isn't. I think the trick is to get over your own preconceptions and open your mind a little.
YABU.

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:25:51

It wasn't a good day to be caught on camera trust me

you should have asked for a re take grin

bottleofbeer Tue 22-Jan-13 11:26:05

Oh X post!

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 11:26:30

I sky plus so I never watch opening titles anymore

Spero Tue 22-Jan-13 11:38:39

I would rather disabled people were on mainstream telly than not, even if there is an element that others perceive of voyerism and taking the piss. People who feel uncomfortable about it I think maybe need to examine their own feelings a bit more deeply.

I find my able bodied friends generally very uncomfortable about acknowledging any difficulties the disabled might have about sex and relationships. They tend to bat me off with a dismissive comment. I am usually the only disabled person they know.

so anything that opens people's eyes and minds is great in my book. And its fabulous twat radar - if anyone you know finds these people 'hilarious' you can cross them off your christmas card list with a sigh of relief.

Punkatheart Tue 22-Jan-13 12:33:26

But I wanted Ray to get back with Lolita. He was adamant that he wanted to 'move on.' I felt a bit sad for Lolita.

People need to see and understand the programme before they are offended. Clever, interesting people who happen to be disabled. The perception of them being undateable is from a superficial society. This programme seeks to challenge this.

And yes, great point made earlier by Spero - that disabled people need to be on mainstream TV.

I hope you haven't had to cross any people off your Xmas card lists, Spero. Idiots who make fun of the disabled, really are stoooooooopid. Whereas the wonderfully witty autistic man:

'How many girlfriends have you had?'

'A gentleman never tells!'

Now that's someone I would be interested in having a conversation...

TroublesomeEx Tue 22-Jan-13 12:44:47

But he only said that Punk because his mum had told him to. I think at the start of the programme he read out a list and he'd had around 17 girlfriends.

He wasn't being wonderfully witty, he was saying it because he asked his mum what he should say if the lady asked questions and she told him to say it.

I'd rather have a conversation with the real him rather than the one his mother was instructing him to be!

TroublesomeEx Tue 22-Jan-13 12:47:00

I'd have preferred it if his mother had told him to tell the truth.

But then I have big problems with people keeping secrets in relationships and thinking they can do what they like as long as they never "tell" and it never gets found out.

I could feature on my very own episode of The Undateables. It would be a brave foolish man who took me on now!

<slinks off to deal with own ishoos rather than cluttering up the thread>

Punkatheart Tue 22-Jan-13 12:51:45

Good point...I may have missed the beginning so missed some crucial info...

Folkgirl, I am completely undateable. Lymphoma which makes me exhausted, seriously depressed teenage daughter, frothing fury over desertion by ex. I bet you are lovely.

I loved Steve...but he too young for me. I like kind. Kind is under-rated.

msrisotto Tue 22-Jan-13 13:39:35

I wouldn't criticise his poor mum, she's only trying her best to help him get through a date!

mrsjay Tue 22-Jan-13 13:40:35

I wouldn't criticise his poor mum, she's only trying her best to help him get through a date!

^ ^ this she was just trying to help and advise him,

TroublesomeEx Tue 22-Jan-13 14:32:47

Hey not criticising his mum!

Just explaining that it wasn't a comment designed to hide his embarrassment over never having a girlfriend, nor him just being witty. smile

TroublesomeEx Tue 22-Jan-13 14:33:35

And the other stuff about secrets and lies. Well that's a personal thing.

GreyGardens Tue 22-Jan-13 20:46:53

I liked it, it really surprised me and challenged any ingrained prejudices, and I would also happily date the young man with tourettes (if I was 20 yrs younger and single) wink.
I thought initially it might be patronising or point and laughy but it really wasn't.
Plus someone made a v good point upthread about simply portraying people with disabilities on tv makes it more the norm, which must be a good thing, I hope?
If anything, it dispels fears.
I think the programme makers hearts were in the right place.

I have only watched the first series but I think it's more positive than negative. The people who feature in the programme might help the viewing public to see the person rather than their disability.

My brother's advanced muscular dystrophy means that some people can't see past the electric wheelchair. Luckily the lovely woman he married a couple of years ago was not one of those people.

bottleofbeer Wed 23-Jan-13 09:07:57

People with down's have seriously made me think we were all born lacking a chromosome, it's not them with an extra one. Imagine how much nicer the world would be if everyone had such a lovely outlook on life. I know it's not true of all of them, but most IME.

chocoluvva Wed 23-Jan-13 10:04:08

My teenage daughter and I really enjoyed it.

The vulnerability of some of the participants really came across. Educational, touching and entertaining IMO.

PolterGoose Argentina Wed 23-Jan-13 11:19:34

My ds has an ASD. I love the programme, mostly because it just shows the stars of the show as they are. It is funny, informative and full of hope.

Can I also point out to some posters that many of the participants don't have learning difficulties and even those that do are adults who have autonomy, so to suggest that it is exploitative is patronising and plain rude.

Kafri Wed 23-Jan-13 11:41:04

I can't remember if I've posted this or just meant to post it and didn't...
(Baby brain)

The title was decided by the people who were featured in series one, so how can it be offensive to others on their behalf?

pigletmania Wed 23-Jan-13 12:28:04

Yabvu would you have said this if it was just a show about the highs and lows of the dating scene, and nt people going on dates, probably not! If it involves people with sn or disabi,ities it's somehow a freak show or voyeuristic hmm. I have watched the programme trough the series, it is bth enlightening, informative and endearing. The people on it are just that, people not defined by their disabilities. I was pleased to see some adults with Autism on it, my dd (ASD) is only 5 but I do wonder if she will have an independent life, go on dates, live independently, have a job. Seeing real people with disabilities manage this has made me realise that this could be possible.

pigletmania Wed 23-Jan-13 12:30:35

Exactly polter goose, like saying they are children not capable of living te life of an adult, and should be hidden away. This is rude and very patronising as this show shows the opposite.

drjohnsonscat Wed 23-Jan-13 12:38:57

I saw a bit of this last night and although I hadn't intended to watch it I found it interesting and also educational for me, quite honestly. I missed a part of it but I was struck by the girl with downs syndrome and the chap she met (don't remember names). She was someone you wanted to watch. Truthfully, I was also struck by how she was living her life, her skills and her sophistication. I know that makes me woefully uneducated but I'm glad I saw the programme so I can see a bit more about someone's life that I hadn't understood before. This is a hands-up really - I'm confessing it gave me an insight into people's lives that perhaps I should have had before and didn't.

Not sure if I saw the same episode as everyone else though confused

pigletmania Wed 23-Jan-13 12:45:50

No drjohn we all watched the same one, some people think negatively of the programme as it features shock horror eople with sn/ disabilities doing what everyday nt people do, going on dates. Like they are incapable of having adult feelings or emotions, that they are like children who should b protected from this, ad hidden away. You wat to educate oeople about sn/disabilities this is te way to do it, by bringing it public and to the forefront

chocoluvva Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:08

It's definitely educational.

The reaction of viewers probably says a lot about the viewers.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 23-Jan-13 13:06:20

I think it is a brilliant programme. I think the participants are portrayed with warmth and sensitivity. It's a way of showing that, like everyone else, people with learning disabilities or who are perceived as "different" in other ways also want to find love. This might be something that has literally never occured to some people. I am sad to hear that some people have heard it being discussed in a derogatory way though. Hopefully many more viewers have found it informative and touching.

Punkatheart Wed 23-Jan-13 13:07:38

I got a bit tearful over this one.....it was the innocent and the loving comments made by - was it Kate, the redhaired girl? I loved the poem she wrote and then the grin 'That poem worked.'

In a crap, deceptive and complicated world, this breathes sense and tenderness.

As the parent of a learning disabled and autistic teenager I wasn't sure if I could bear to watch the programme, precisely because I didn't want to be shown how difficult it is for those with special needs to meet partners, and because I was worried it would turn into a 'freak show'

In actuality I found it reassuring, moving and very positive..and has given me hope that with the right support, my son will find someone! My DS2 is gentle and loving and wants a girlfriend, with none of the social skills or independence needed to just go out and meet someone.. but I will be looking at the sort of dating agency when the time comes and I thought the programme was very nicely done.

Punkatheart Wed 23-Jan-13 14:51:08

That's lovely to hear Medusa. We all want our children to be happy. Gentle and loving are such beautiful qualities. I also thought how wonderful the parents were in the programme. I am looking forward to the next one.

Good luck to your son! The dating game is never easy but isn't it great when it works?

TroublesomeEx Wed 23-Jan-13 14:53:36

I watched it last night and I really enjoyed it.

I thought Kate was amazing. She seemed so confident and self assured and then after that chap seemed a little reticent on the whole commitment front, she released the love poem on him and it worked!!

I don't watch a lot of the programmes of this nature because I do find them a bit voyeuristic. But I don't think this falls into it at all.

And listening to people, men and women, just saying that all they wanted was to fall in love with someone and get married, looking for 'the one' without any of the angst I am filled with was really heartening.

And Oliver seemed lovely. I suspect I'm probably a bit too old for him though!

Punkatheart Wed 23-Jan-13 14:55:27

Also, Twitter - which can be a very harsh audience with some real idiots - has been incredible. It has opened people's eyes and they are moved by the programme.

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 23-Jan-13 15:04:20

Watched last night and I didn't think it was voyeuristic at all.

I was really shocked to hear how Damian's confidence was knocked because of how people reacted to his condition. I was also surprised when his dating agent said it would be 'really difficult to find him a match given how he looked'.

I loved seeing how happy Oliver was, which stemmed from doing something he really didn't want to. I thought he was really brave.

Kate was just a bundle of smiles, infectious ones.

I like the programme and would be quick to complain if I felt they took advantage

BooCanary Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:05

I'm torn about this. On the one hand I think the title is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and hints at 'freak show' documentary.

On the other hand, I must admit, after catching a few minutes of the first episode, I have been hooked. I have almost zero experience of SEN and the majority of disabilities (although my DM is disabled, so I like to think I have some understanding of the challenges). I regularly hear about ASD on MN and I really had no idea what it actually meant in practice IYSWIM. Watching the couple of blokes on Undateables with ASD has been a real eye opener, and I feel it has increased my understanding no end.

Granted, the programme title is deliberately provocative, but take that away, and what is the real problem? What mainstream programmes even feature disabled people (apart from the odd wheelchair bound person in soaps now and again). i think we need to be very clear about whether it is uncomfortable viewing because it is deemed exploitative, or is it because we find SEN and disability inherently uncomfortable.

Spero Wed 23-Jan-13 17:27:08

BooCanary - completely agree with your last sentence. That is exactly what is going on.

I am afraid some of the Twitter stuff has made me heave - lots of 'o! aren't they sweet!' which frankly is not much better than the more usual kinds of abuse. They aren't 'sweet'. They are people who want what almost everyone else wants - someone to love.

I am always surprised that the able bodied are so 'shocked' that disabled people get rejected in terms of love/sex. I always get this from my friends - I can't believe anyone would be put off by your disability! Are you sure?' Er yes. I then ask them how many disabled people they have been out with/had sex with.

Answer - none.

Punkatheart Wed 23-Jan-13 17:51:43

Yes I can understand that it sounds patronising - but I have described non-disabled people as sweet. I have friends who are 'sweet.'

One friend who has a disability - deafness - has had terrible experiences with dating. People lack patience with her and one even RAN when he saw the hearing aid. Charming.

Spero Wed 23-Jan-13 18:03:38

I have just read the excellent 'Examined Life' by Stephen Grosz and he describes the woman who called her husband 'sweetie' as using 'sugar coated contempt'

I agree. Puppies and babies are 'sweet'. To say 'aaaaah, look at that sweet disabled person' I find monumentally sick making.

It's not 'sweet' to be disabled.

Spero Wed 23-Jan-13 18:05:07

How interesting, after typing out 'sweet' several times, it has now lost all meaning and seems like a nonsense word.

Bogeyface Netherlands Wed 23-Jan-13 21:57:59

To make it clear, it have a disabled child, I dont have a problem with SEN or disability. I feel that this programme is exploitative.

Bogeyface Netherlands Wed 23-Jan-13 21:59:05

Oh and my son isnt "sweet" he is a stinky lazy pain in the arse, who I happen to adore because he is my son! Goodness knows what his GF sees in him though, she assures me he showers daily, so just goes to show that love can perform miracles grin

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 23-Jan-13 22:00:59

Yanbu.

threesocksmorgan Wed 23-Jan-13 22:05:17

"The title was decided by the people who were featured in series one, so how can it be offensive to others on their behalf?"
unless I am wrong it is a programme about disabled people and dating.
not a mixture of nt/sn.
so i couldn't give a flying fuck who thought it up, the title makes it sound like a programme about people who are un dateable.
my dd might be disabled but she is not undateable

pigletmania Wed 23-Jan-13 22:09:08

How is it exploitive op. wuld yousaytat if it featured nt people talking about dating hmm. The majority believe that it is factual and educational

MrsKeithRichards Wed 23-Jan-13 22:31:55

I was watching this in bed last night when my ds came through. He's 7. He watched the second half with me and do you know what he commented on?

How he didn't like the lip piercing on the woman who was on a date with the man who had the albino condition.

Spero Wed 23-Jan-13 23:16:10

If the adults who have consented to be on the show, don't find it exploitative, that is good enough for me. There is enough unnecessary paternalism directed at disabled people as it is.

pigletmania Thu 24-Jan-13 00:19:41

Nt people fluff up their lines in dates, and have desasterous dates, no different IMO. the people chose to take part, I am sure They.they are capable of making tat decision. It was lovely, the people on it wanted to date people not just looks but personality and because they liked them not because of how they look. I don't see how it was exploitive at all. Actually it gives many people on here with chidren who have disabilities that they can have relationships, they can have independent lives.

They are not children but adults with real adult feelings, the programme makers handled it well. Whatwould have been crass if they had come Dine with me jokey commentary poking fun, but they did not. Nobody I knew was laughing at te programme.

PariahHairy Thu 24-Jan-13 00:30:12

The thing that stood out to me was the work colleague of the Lady with Down Syndrome, he said "Oh yes, She is just like everybody else" I'm sure the poor guy was just trying to appear tolerant and pc on TV, he most likely is very tolerant and lovely. But by saying that, he basically said "I recognize that she has a disability, but it's an acceptable disability because she can function in normal society"

That is the impression I got anyway, that lady did seem very vulnerable to me, she was just looking for A MAN any one that would have her, which is never a good idea.

pigletmania Thu 24-Jan-13 00:35:58

Pariah i am sure he meant well, many people have those sort of stereotypical views. She seemed a bit desparate but Mabey it's because she had not been in a relationship for a while

bottleofbeer Thu 24-Jan-13 00:36:56

Maybe he is just tolerant and having been asked, he honestly answered that "she's just like everybody else".

There is a possibility he does feel that way and wasn't trying to be PC.

This place is choc full of forced political correctness if you ask me.

AmIthatWintry Thu 24-Jan-13 00:59:57

I watched the first series and can still remember some of the participants.

I did see some of it last night and thought it was fine, not uncomfortable at all.

I have worries about my DD and how she will cope with relationships when she is a little older. I could see so much of her in Oliver.

And when he smiled at his new girlfriend, the look of joy on his face, as he had managed to achieve what *he *wanted to........well I thought it was wonderful

TroublesomeEx Thu 24-Jan-13 08:39:46

spero My daughter has hearing aids and tbh the scenario you describe with people avoiding her because of it when she is older did concern me.

However, she's really proud of them at the moment (she's 6) and tells everyone she's deaf (she's not really it's mild/mod loss). And although I've seen people looking, no one appears to have treated her differently.

I've now decided that as she gets older they will just become a bit of a twat filter when it comes to dating!

mrsjay Thu 24-Jan-13 08:42:28

I know 5 deaf people folk all been married are married or have relationships I am sure your dds and her twat filter will be fine grin

TroublesomeEx Thu 24-Jan-13 09:00:51

Yeah I'm sure she'll be fine too MrsJay. But thanks for the reassurance grin

Spero Thu 24-Jan-13 09:09:47

Folkgirl, please don't worry for your daughter. Her disability is not so 'visible' as to cause real problems on the dating scene and as you say will work as a very effective twat filter.

But I do find it very naive and annoying when people deny that I have had any problems - surely not! they seem to think they know better than I do how my life has been, even though they don't mix socially with any disabled people and they certainly don't fuck any.

My disability - artificial leg - is visible and also perceived as quite comical. a lot of my friends joined facebook groups saying they hated Heather Mills and I had to point out that some of the most vile and horrible things were directed against her artificial leg - the one thing she had no control over!

I was verbally and physcially abused all throughout primary school but luckily for me I was the kind of child who physically fought back.

having an artificial leg has most definitely and without doubt made me 'undateable' in the eyes of many. They don't want to stop and get to know the 'real' me as they can't get past the limp.

And I think a lot of this is just fear and ignorance. So I say, shine a light on it. If the participants were happy to do the programme, respect their decision.

ajandjjmum Thu 24-Jan-13 18:06:49

FolkGirl
DS was born with a cleft lip and palate, and like you, we worried about the impact it would have on his friendships and social life.
He is nearing 21, has the most fantastic group of friends who seem to totally disregard his cleft, a very beautiful gf who loves him nearly as much as I do, and if anything, it has acted as a bit of a 'twat filter' as you suggest. Occasionally he's had to cope with the odd bent nose comment, but has treated those people with the contempt they deserve.
We always encouraged him to talk to people, and if asked, be completely open. We also made sure that he interacted with strangers from a young age ('go and ask the lady how much that costs' sort of thing), so that his confidence in communicating with others hasn't been a problem.
Good luck to your DD - and good for her being proud of herself!

SigmundFraude Thu 24-Jan-13 18:17:56

It was a thought-provoking programme. I don't know anyone with SN, so it's not something that crosses my radar. I didn't particularly feel that was voyeuristic, it was reasonably sensitive.

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 12:13:57

I love it. I am very involved with the world of special needs for various reasons and I can't see it's patronising to the people involved at all. It depicts them in their own light, as individuals like everyone else. A life worth living, one with joy and sadness, personalities and feelings.

If morons at work, on Facebook think it's a comedy, get new friends! Wankers

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 12:15:25

Gosh this thread is a year old!

Freyalright Fri 10-Jan-14 12:36:41

This show is exploitive. The title is bollocks. The questioning from behind the camera is patronising.
It might work if it was led more by the daters but it seems to try and evoke pity.
I think the crucial thing to decide if it is ok, is whether it would inspire someone watching with one of the conditions. I don't think they would feel positively about it.

Dawndonnaagain Fri 10-Jan-14 12:40:10

Me and my three undateables watch this, with their various partners.
The title was apparently chosen by those taking part, although of course it's designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. However, if it changes attitudes, it's worth it. There will be people watching who will change their minds about disabilities, will have more empathy, will perhaps realise that there is more to people than their ability/disability.

2tiredtocare Fri 10-Jan-14 12:44:13

All reality programmes are voyeuristic

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-Jan-14 12:45:04

I like it.

But I think many many people watch it as a comedy and laugh at the particpants.

My colleague shouted out "Oh great girls, the Undateables is on tonight" to two other colleagues standing beside me. They had the good grace to cringe.

She was NOT talking about watching it as a serious documentary.

I had the misfortune to read the ARRSE thread about it too once, disgusting.

kali110 United States Fri 10-Jan-14 12:49:29

Love this programme. Shows that we are all the same.
None of my friends mock the people or the show

I have heard to many people laughing about the people taking part, in pubs and on buses, it is particulary difficult if my totally aware DD, who has moderate invisible LD's is within earshot.

I have upset one or two people in the pub, when my DD isn't with me, by being totally honest about why the misogynic/DA perpetrator/bigoted arsehole spouting insults should have their own "undatable" show.

It's marketed as a freak show at times, I've noticed that the adverts for it varies depending when/where they are shown.

I agree that most reality shows are exploitative and people watch the to take the piss or feel smug.

I am more uncomfortable with this one, because those taking part are the most vulnerable in our society.

LittleMilla Fri 10-Jan-14 13:11:12

My husband and I have discussed this at great length as his little sister (26) has Down's syndrome. She's desperate to find love and we have spoken about whether or not we'd feel happy for her to appear on the show.

Jury is still out tbh. Is her quest for love and long term happiness worth exposing her to ridicule by some small minded individuals? Don't know and she's not mentally able to make the decision herself, she just wouldn't understand.

It does give us hope that there are many utterly charming people (like her) that do manage to find love though.

chandlery Fri 10-Jan-14 13:20:15

Its not my kind of programme (dating/reality) but so glad that people who have faced these challenges are getting mainstream air time. Hopefully this can be a stepping stone to more tolerance and understanding.

I have just left a sports orientated frienship group on the dreaded FB as one of the members thought it was amusing to post a pic of one of the ladies featured when on this morning with some 'witty' in jokes.

Which were defo not funny!

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 13:32:30

If people are making fun of it they need to start watching it with their brains in gear
What are these people frightened of exactly?

formerbabe Fri 10-Jan-14 13:37:02

It makes me really sad...I always want them to find love and they never tell you at the end what happened next.

Its hard enough to find a suitable partner when you have no disabilities so must be so much harder if you do.

Ubik1 Fri 10-Jan-14 13:41:29

Why shouldn't disabled people appear on TV in this context? confused

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 13:47:42

I don't understand why they shouldn't either. I can't see how the questions are patronising either. Some people on the program have communication difficulties and require straightforward questioning, it's not patronising. I am sure Daniels parents for example, would not have encouraged him to appear if they felt their son would be exploited either, they were brilliant advocates for their son, helping him to fulfil his life despite his differences

tiktok Fri 10-Jan-14 14:03:33

I loved the programme. I thought it treated people with LDs - actually only Daniel and his date on last night's show - as individuals. Daniel was asked if it was tiring, to have his communications problems, and he said it was.

I thought they were all great - loved Mary's confidence and her great fashion sense and her teenage son was fun, too.

Freyalright Fri 10-Jan-14 14:13:41

I don't think the people involved shouldn't be on tv. I think a genuine documentary on any of the daters would be great. I think the narrative and the way it's constructed to create an entertainment show. A show used to sell advertising.
I'm sure Daniel's parents could have sort out the dating agency with out the cameras being there and the production company placing demands on him.

Wuxiapian Fri 10-Jan-14 14:16:47

I Like the show.

My DS is Aspergers and I found myself smiling to myself in parts.

They have disabilities, yes, but, are people with hopes and desires - what's wrong or voyeuristic about sharing that?

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 14:22:07

I don't think Daniels parents sought out the media interest either, but why not agree? Daniel is a lovely, kind young man. The program showed that.

InaneNameChange Fri 10-Jan-14 14:28:42

I found that the show almost mocks the people that DO have prejudices about disabilities. Not the people who have 'disabilities' themselves.

I've only watched it a few times and really enjoyed it because the people on it were so genuine and hoping to find love, or at least it was edited that way.

2blessed Fri 10-Jan-14 15:28:30

I think its the title that I have the most problem with. It screams of sensationalist tv. There is nothing wrong, however in shining a light on a section of our society who are normally hidden from mainstream programme making.

Mumraathenoisylion Fri 10-Jan-14 17:46:10

I really like the show. I'm not keen on the title either as it is quite derogatory and I'm sure it's just to get viewers but still I think they could have chosen something a little more respectful.

I don't see the issue, why shouldn't all people be given the opportunity to find love on tv or off it. Do those thinking they should do it quietly and in private think that if you have a difference, special need or disability that you should live all of your life secretly?

Owllady Fri 10-Jan-14 18:01:15

I don't like the title either, but I did notice this series shows the title and then drops the UN

Lilacroses Fri 10-Jan-14 18:16:14

This is one of our favourite shows. The people featured are fantastic. I think it's brilliant to show that people with disabilities are dating too and have largely the same concerns as those without disabilities . I remember this thread from last year and but quite a few more challenges. I was really shocked to hear that people ridicule the participants. I
That's not reason to stop showing it though, just because of some repulsive, ignorant twits.

Lilacroses Fri 10-Jan-14 18:16:58

Sorry post got oddly scrambled!

Lilacroses Fri 10-Jan-14 18:23:54

Come to think of it when do you ever see disabled eople on TV doing normal things? Almost never.

LittleMilla Fri 10-Jan-14 19:05:38

Hijack slightly: who would be happy for one of their loved ones to appear on this show?

FariesDoExist Fri 10-Jan-14 19:14:41

Oh, I took the title totally the other way, i.e. as a sarcastic poke at anyone who actually deems these people to be 'undateables' because you'd have to be pig-ignorant to think they that they are?

I saw the first series and I really liked it. It was an eye-opener to realise that, actually, finding a 'soul-mate' is really really difficult for some people. A lot of the characters were so loveable, I got sucked in to their 'plight' and desperately wanted to see them fall in love! There were humorous moments (as there are on most dates) but I never, ever sat there laughing at anyone for being 'stupid' (the thought that anyone would do that makes me feel sick). I found my self completely empathising with them and willing them to succeed in their mission to find love.

InaneNameChange Fri 10-Jan-14 19:19:21

LittleMilla I'd be happy as long as my loved one was, and they would be able to handle the ensuing public attention.

I had always thought about this show that in general people have criteria about dating such as must have money/must have own home/blah blah so it was approaching dating from a different angle and challenging our perceived views. E.g. on one show a disabled man went out with a privately educated graduate but she appeared to be the shallow one and not entering into it from a genuine desire for love and companionship.

The people shown have such a huge heart and seem so optimistic of finding love that I've really enjoyed the series that I've seen.

Another hijack: who does the intro music...? I really like it but can't find out who it is by.

wetaugust Fri 10-Jan-14 19:21:17

YANBU I hate this program.

SirChenjin Fri 10-Jan-14 19:25:26

I watched it last night after previously refusing to - the teen DCs watch it and I assumed it would be the same as all the other reality rubbish they watch, but I was wrong. I didn't feel it was voyeuristic or patronising - it showed another part of the lives of disabled people or people with different conditions that is not normally shown on TV. I got the impression that the show was made very much in conjunction with the people taking part, and found myself willing them to find love and happiness.

Jet was bloody gorgeous - Mary's a very lucky woman!

ladypete Fri 10-Jan-14 19:29:50

YANBU. Even the name makes me sad

LittleMilla Fri 10-Jan-14 19:36:03

Inane - that's the slight problem. My dsil has no idea what 'fame' or celebrity really means. I guess that the young man with autism last night would be the same.

For those with LDs it's the family that has to decide whether the search for love is worth exposing their loved ones to all of this.

My question is very genuine as we (her family) are thinking about putting her forward but are unsure if it's morally a fair thing to do.

sunshinemmum Fri 10-Jan-14 19:36:07

I hate the title. I can't watch it, it is too close to the bone for me, having to watch my beautiful son who has ASD struggle socially. I don't want to think about how it will be for him when all his friends start to date, we were warned about depression around this particularly at the time of his diagnosis. Cross that bridge when we come to it and all that!

NiceTabard Fri 10-Jan-14 19:36:30

I have never watched it because the name of it is just so bloody awful.

Kundry Fri 10-Jan-14 19:36:52

A long time ago I worked as a helper on an 18-30s holiday for people with physical disabilities. Dating was a huge issue for them and we spent a lot of time helping people swap rooms and position themselves in bed with one another as it was, well, an 18-30s holiday grin However many of them were clearly never going to date anyone not disabled and it was a cause of great sadness. I remember one very bright girl with cerebral palsy who had paired off with another guy we all thought was a loser - she told us 'Who else will I get?'

If you asked most of them how they described themselves, there was a culture them appropriating disablist words for their own use - so the most common word they used about themselves was cripples (usually shortened to crips). Not unlike rappers using the word nigger or gay people retaking the word queer.

I can absolutely see some of the people I met their wanting to appear on The Undateables and it's a title they would have loved and come up with themselves.

It isn't up to us to like the title or not, the disabled people appearing own that title and if they like it, the non-disabled should really STFU.

NiceTabard Fri 10-Jan-14 19:51:28

Kundry the people who make the program "own" the title.

I dislike the title intensely as I feel it is offensive. Thus I have chosen never to watch the program. Which is my right. I have no qualms about my decision.

Preciousbane Fri 10-Jan-14 20:00:43

There is nothing wrong with the programme in itself it is the attitudes that it can bring forth. I suppose it is a good test to see who is to be avoided when they make offensive remarks.

Mumraathenoisylion Fri 10-Jan-14 20:03:11

Little my db has special needs. Unfortunately he has no awareness of his future or interest in the other sex in that way. I would do it in any other case though because even if the show didn't bring any interest the publicity may in a difficult dating world.

If my dbro did have awareness I would absolutely go for it but that is because he would be happy with any attention in a positive way. I think it would be a bad choice to make if a person had sn and wouldn't like attention from people they didn't know, that is another aspect to consider.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 10-Jan-14 20:08:16

I don't know how any parent can watch it without a full heart....it must be so hurtful to see your child struggling to find a mate. Yes, the voice overs patronising but they always are regardless of genre.

LittleMilla Fri 10-Jan-14 20:10:21

Mum - I think she'd love the attention tbh!

The thing that bothers us all are the fuckwits that find it humorous. Saying that, these same people are the ones that will stare unashamedly when out in public too. Ignore, ignore, ignore!

Mumraathenoisylion Fri 10-Jan-14 20:13:33

Exactly Little I know the looks you are talking about! I used to get so angry about it when I was little. Those people will unfortunately be the same tv show or not I think.

herethereandeverywhere Fri 10-Jan-14 20:17:31

I haven't seen the new series - yet. I saw some of the last series and the trailer for the new one. I find the name of the show uncomfortable - but - can view it as challenging society's perception of the people featured. I see it as "The Undateables? [Just see what we can do!]".

I know that things don't always go to plan, or are cringeworthy (aren't they for everyone to some extent in matters of dating and love?) but I love seeing people seeking love, finding love, looking for the best in others and I find the attitudes of the people featured truly uplifting, particularly in the face of their additional needs and the difficulties they face. How hard they try, how hopeful they feel, the joy of finding love. It's just lovely.

Years ago I did voluntary work with adults with learning difficulties (various difficulties including some of those featured in the programme). I loved my time doing that and have such fond memories of the members of the club that I helped (I do keep in touch and my family still help out although I moved 250+ miles away sad) so I guess in some way it reminds me of them and their romances and tiffs and love interests. - I guess what I'm trying to say is it is possible I'm projecting my fond memories onto what would otherwise be uncomfortable viewing, I'm not sure.

I am sure that there are some that will use the programme as a 'point and laugh' exercise but I'm not sure that's a reason to not show it. Having people with learning difficulties on TV, getting more media exposure will, IMHO dispel myths and 'normalise' what is to some - ignorant people - 'abnormal'.

InaneNameChange Fri 10-Jan-14 20:18:56

LittleMilla there will always be a minority who mocks ANYONE in the public eye. Celebrities or politicians aren't immune.

I would hate to be in the public eye! She shouldn't really get too much adverse reaction but it depends if she understands that there might be some, and can coast it as much as possible.

LittleMilla Fri 10-Jan-14 20:33:54

I suppose the good thing about dsil and many others with LDs is that they don't really understand much of the staring or other negative attention. They are fairly oblivious most of the time.

Still not sure. Will see if they're doing another series and see.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-Jan-14 20:36:10

My DD has the best self esteem of anyone I have ever met. So far everyone is nice to her and praises her so she thinks she is awesome (she is).

Long may it continue.

promote Fri 10-Jan-14 20:56:24

there were funny bits like the deathly silences when they had nothing to say , it happens to everyone , i fail to see where it was lets laugh at the thickos or how it is voyeuristic and wrong .

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 10-Jan-14 21:21:59

I think it has the potential to be unpleasant and freak show-esque but that result isn't actually the intention.

Rather, it's intended to show the Everyman on the street that people with disabilities have the same hopes,desires and needs as the able.

I think, especially given that it's channel 4 that it is done quite sensitively.

Particularly with regard to Daniel, the young man with ASD, there is no way his parents (who came across as being wonderful parents) would allow him to be involved in a programmes that was openly mocking him.

The lady with dwarfism is 44 years old, a grown woman with her own teenage child. I didn't get the impression she was inclined to be made a fool of, ever.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-Jan-14 21:29:58

"Thickos"? hmm

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 10-Jan-14 21:30:05

"Thickos"? hmm

Wessex Fri 10-Jan-14 21:35:58

I watched this programme last night for the first time and completely fell for Daniel. He was so lovely and gorgeous too. I would definitely have gone on a date with him if I was 20 years younger.

2tiredtocare Fri 10-Jan-14 21:38:48

I loved Daniels mum and dad as well, a lovely couple themselves

CrohnicallySick Fri 10-Jan-14 21:39:39

Daniel's date reminded me of a boy with ASD I work with, his standard defence mechanism is "I'm all right" just like she said when Daniel asked for a kiss.

bialystockandbloom Fri 10-Jan-14 22:10:04

Watched last year and refuse to watch this year. At very, very best if could only produce a feeling in viewers of "oh bless them, aren't they sweet, look at them wanting to find love just like anybody else [for which read 'normal ' people]."

It's the perpetuation of people being 'they', 'them'.

At worst... I can't bear to think about it.

The title is repulsive. I doubt very very very much that any of the participants with learning difficulties/autism contributed to that hmm

Its a freak show masquerading as enlightened.

If people really are interested in learning anything about the lives of disabled people and their families they'd be welcome to make a fly-on- the-wall doc in my house. But that wouldn't really get viewing figures would it. Nor would reality docs about 'ordinary' people on a quest for relationships, would they.

SirChenjin Fri 10-Jan-14 22:34:53

I agree the title is repulsive - but having watched it for the first time last night after having refused to previously on the grounds that I thought it would be another grim reality programme, I really didn't get the sense that they were out to patronise or make a 'freak show'.

shona372 Fri 10-Jan-14 22:49:57

I agree that the title is not right however, it is one of my favourite programmes. I find it so heartwarming. Some of these people want to share their stories with us and they deserve to be heard.

LucyLasticBand Fri 10-Jan-14 23:51:34

yes and on this occasion their partners appeared to be genuine. that Jet is particularly lovely but you do wonder, well the last year's episode and one of the partners you ended up wondering WHY did they go through this? just for TV exposure?

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 11-Jan-14 07:30:44

It's also a real problem too.

My school friend is wheel chair bound since 22, her boyfriend left her three years ago, she has basically consigned herself to "the bargain bin" as she calls it. She knows that few normal bodied males would want to go on a date with her, she easily can't have sex (paralysed), and has to deal with the mbarrassnent of double incontinence. The only websites she's looked at have focused on "devotees" ie people who actively want a disabled partner. You also have the obvious problem (in her shoes) of being physically v v vulnerable combined with probably putting up with more than you might if you had more confidence to walk away. Her confidence is really low although she's beautiful, witty and has a v good job. I say she should just put herself out there but she's only just beginning to pluck up the courage now.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 10:19:48

I totally disagree, apart from the title, it us a fantastic programme, featuring a bunch of people who happen to have disabilities, who are looking for a date. Like any other dating programme really! Very we'll made, very frank and candid. My dd 6 has ASD so It's good to know how things might be as she gets older. I think that people who view this negatively are those who gave little or no experience with disability.

persimmon Sat 11-Jan-14 10:57:54

I agree OP. I also feel a bit hmm about Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 10:58:20

I think some attitudes towards disabled people and their behaviour on here are quite negative. Would there be this accusation of the programme being like a 'freak show' or voyuristic, if it did not feature those with disabilities hmm it's sad that some feel disabled people should be hidden and not allowed to be in the forefront. These people on the show, seemed like they were able to decide for themselves, and give their own consent. The show I felt was very well made, it did nit mock the people, just simply showed their experiences of looking for a date, though the title could do with an overhaul.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 11:00:09

Totally different to obsessive compulsive cleaners, but those on that programme gave their consent and were able to.

LucyLasticBand Sat 11-Jan-14 11:02:07

i feel hmm about obsessive compulsive cleaners as well.
what sort of crazy idea was that.

but then that is channel 4. voyeurism is that bodies programme. we all look and stare.

but the programme in question does seem to be well made and doesnot appear to be a freak show.

LucyLasticBand Sat 11-Jan-14 11:02:56

i just have reservation about the people that date the undateables. and hope they are genuine.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 11:08:05

I am sure they are, like any other person looking for a date, you would want them to be genuine! Some of the people use a dating sight specifically fir people with disabilities.

BrawToken Sat 11-Jan-14 11:43:32

I like it and I spend most of my life with people who have Learning Disabilities who also like it. It reminds me of the 'X Factor is exploitative' stuff when actually loads of folk I have met would have loved the opportunity to get on TV and sing in front of Simon, who was always bloody lovely to the people who I, perhaps wrongly, identified as having a disability. Why shouldn't people who want to go on telly and make a tit of themselves regardless of their ability. Some of the most amazing people I have ever met have learning disabilities.

I honestly think they have done a good job in stark contrast to Benefits Street. I wish channels would make more programmes like this which demistify folk who are in any way different and then we can all just get along without the need for labels etc.

Society has been through a period of great change following the NHS Community Care Act in 1990 with the closure of long stay hospitals etc, allowing people to all have the same dreams, aspirations and (hopefully) opportunities. I (perhaps naively) think this type of programming reflects this.

BrawToken Sat 11-Jan-14 11:44:44

And I HATE the name.

herethereandeverywhere Sat 11-Jan-14 11:57:50

Well said Braw Token, particular your first post.

I'm a bit hmm at some posters upthread who have assumed that the people featured cannot give their consent to be on the programme nor understand its implications - THAT is a huge assumption and prejudice.

Also the implication that TV programmes about disabled people should only be about how difficult it is to live with and care for them bothers me. I don't deny these difficulties exist but this programme goes some way to address the fact that people with LD and disabilities are just 'one of us'.

checkmates Sat 11-Jan-14 12:06:49

I have watched the programme in the past Not entirely comfortable But will give it another go

BrawToken Sat 11-Jan-14 12:09:01

'Capacity' is the most infuriating and over used word I hear these days herethereandeverywhere! That and 'appropriate'. I would rather assume someone is able to make choices and be proved wrong (obviously there are some exceptions) and that if someone thinks they are being 'appropriate' (again with some obvious exceptions) then so be it. And I don't give a shit if the scowling old lady (it's always an older lady!) on the bus disagrees!

perlona Sat 11-Jan-14 12:39:06

I like the show. The name starts as the 'undateables' before dropping the 'un', it wasn't declaring them 'undateable' but that they saw themselves that way due to facing a lot of prejudice and were now allowing themselves to be 'dateable' by putting themselves out there.

I thought the show was filmed sensitively but honestly as well. I really think that the type of sick fucks who would mock any person on the show for their differences will also be mocking every disabled person who crosses their paths in public. Rather than hiding disabled people to 'protect' them from ignorant shits, deal with the ignorant shits. They're the problem.

If people were responding to a show about racial or religious minorities with offensive hate speech, the police would be investigating, society does not tolerate racism, it should be equally intolerant of disablism.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 14:20:09

I have just read through some of the posts on here, the prejudice and stereotypes within those posts astounds me. These individuals were able to give their consent and wanted to rake oars in a programme about dating when you gave a disability. They are not children to be hidden away and 'protected' from the big bad world, how patronising! Apparently they chose the title, which the un is dropped to read 'date able'. It's designed to be thought provoking and elicit discussion. If you found their behaviour uncomfortable to see, and should not be shown on TV, that's your problem nit theirs, they are entitled as anybody else to date and wasn't to make a programme about it!

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 14:20:48

Take part I meant

sunshinemmum Sat 11-Jan-14 14:54:47

'It's designed to be thought provoking and elicit discussion.'

Is it is it really? I switched off what I saw of the first show, because I felt that it was exploitative. Yes of course people with disabilities have every right to date, but I know that my son who has autism would not understand the wider exposure and public scrutiny that taking part in a fly in the wall style documentary, would have for him socially.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 15:39:58

Yes it is sunshine, so far this recent series has been sensitively and thoughtfully made. Obviously the contestants do, and it is there decision to take part in the programme

stillenacht Sat 11-Jan-14 15:54:59

Have just watched the first episode on 4OD and absolutely loved Daniel. My son has low functioning autism but is beginning to speak and I hope one day he will function at the same level as Daniel. Watched it in tears of hope smile

sunshinemmum Sat 11-Jan-14 17:18:37

That is comforting, I still wouldn't watch, as we have been targeted in pretty awful ways over the years, with regard to disability hatred, but hopefully these people will get adequate support after the series airs.

nkf Sat 11-Jan-14 20:25:26

I think they have chosen a lovely bunch of people. I think some viewers probably are horrible and sneery when they watch it. I don't know anyone who is, but I'm cynical enough to believe some people might regard it as a freak show. The people on there are usually very thoughtful and optimistic. I don't like the show much but then I don't really like that sort of show.

ForalltheSaints Sat 11-Jan-14 20:39:45

I have not watched it, as I wonder to what extent you can consider the participants can consent to appearing in the way most of us could.

CCTVmum Sat 11-Jan-14 20:58:20

I was shocked the female athlete was on their as she is so attractive and fab personality! I would not call her undateable?

I though Daniel did better than most NT men do on first dates! It was lovely to see his eyes light up when he saw his date! Although I understand these dating sites have to be monitored or policed more due to vuln persons but I think all dating sites need excellant policing!

I feel happy their is a well managed site like this for my DS when older rather than risk taking POF or DD etc

It is good it has raised the issue that everyone has needs and wants and everyone is entitled to have their needs and wishes met.

pigletmania Sat 11-Jan-14 21:50:32

That's awful sunshine. The recent show seemed very positive, you cannt control viewers reactions when watching the programme, some will take te pissas they are nasty indvdas, bt most will be positive.

PeriodFeatures Sat 11-Jan-14 23:05:44

It's real feel-good telly. I love it. It's like dinnerdate without the bullshit. There is something refreshing about people's vulnerabilities being out in the open. It's honest and real.

ILots of people struggle to relate to each other. There was that dating programme where viewers could phone in and date people whilst being filmed at that pop-up restaurant? That could be said to be voyeristic too. I think that when disability and vulnerability make us uncomfortable, it is our problem. It isn't exploitative unless individuals are being exploited. I don't think they are.

Spero Sun 12-Jan-14 09:50:14

I agree with piglet mania, and I see that i did in 2013 as well!

Sad that disabled people wanting to find love is seen by some people as 'disgusting' and a 'freak show'.

Yes, Channel 4 may well be playing on that angle; I note with sadness how they fucked up Wife Swap over the years. But these people have agreed and consented to be on the show. They want to share their stories.

I really wonder why some able bodied people feel such deep unease about this. It is probably because most of them have no daily contact with disabled peopled. I am probably the only disabled person most of my abled bodied friends know, apart from elderly relatives who are disabled by age related conditions.

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 10:22:29

Exactly spero, it does sound like mostly the problem lies with other non disabled people, not having contact with people who do have disabilities. It's almost putting them in a childlike pigeonhole, they are need to be protected and hidden. Yes there are those who have disabilities who do need to be protected, and who aren't not have the capacity to understand and give consent to being on tv, no they probably would not be in the show. So far all the people in the show seem like they have the capacity to understand and give consent

MrsMiniver Sun 12-Jan-14 10:43:03

I watched it with DD (14) and we were both touched by its humanity and it didn't come across as exploitative at all. It presented the protagonists as warm and lovely people, which isn't the case with most reality TV shows is it? I felt nothing but respect for them and learnt something along the way. Not sure about the title either, but that's a minor point.

Spero Sun 12-Jan-14 12:03:24

I have had this argument quite a few times on this forum but I am always struck by the refusal of some abled bodied people to want to even consider the issue of disabled people and sexuality.

For e.g. if I had a pound every time an abled bodied person had expressed surprise when I said it is harder to find a relationship when you are physically disabled, I would have nearly £30.

If however I had a pound for every time an abled bodied person had expressed disgust at my disability, in person and on line, I would probably have been able to buy my current house outright.

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 12:59:08

Gosh I know spero some people infantalise disability and are aghast that they have sex! Yes actually, and they date, shock horror, and even worse they want to be in a tv programme about it! Would those people say that programmes such as Dinner Date or others like it, are exploiting and voyeuristic! Yes channel 4 do make some car crash tv, but they ave also made informative and interesting programmes too.

Owllady Sun 12-Jan-14 14:56:10

Sorry if i have come accross as treating the contestants like children, i didnt mean to. I tend to though because it could be my child you know, i didnt mean it patronising
My dd has sld amongst other things, i am not under any delusions that she may have sex with one of her peers and enjoy it

Owllady Sun 12-Jan-14 14:58:05

Think delusion might be the wrong word! I am in a very noisy room. I mean i expect it to happen, it would be no surprise
With one of HER peers
Ie. Someone she is equal with/to

pigletmania Sun 12-Jan-14 15:40:31

Owlady I wasent specifically aiming at you just the general gist of some of the posts. The participants of the programme in question seem able to giv their informed consent, I am sure Daniels parentsvwould have talked him through everything before he agreed

nkf Sun 12-Jan-14 15:54:30

I think people often have no idea of the effect being on a TV show will have on their lives. Or what a TV crew can do when they film or the editor can do later. How even the choice of music or the style of the credits can affect how you are presented. Not understanding that has nothing to do with disability or intelligence. As far as I'm aware, none of the participiants of the Undateables have complained about their treatment whereas I understand some of the people on Benefits St have.

As to whether it's voyeuristic or exploitative, I think you can watch it with those sentiments in mind or you can see something else. I don't think it was made to be exploitative. It seems calm and thoughtful and respectful to me. But how it's viewed with vary from person to person.

TheSmallClanger Sun 12-Jan-14 16:48:27

I watched this for the first time this week. The only nagging doubt I had was about Daniel, and whether any pressure was put on he or the girl he saw (sorry, can't remember her name).

Mary was fab, wasn't she?

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