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

(215 Posts)
Bogeyface 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 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 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 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.

MadameCastafiore Tue 22-Jan-13 06:09:38

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.

Binkyridesagain Tue 22-Jan-13 07:41:02

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.

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