They’re showing the hit BBC3 series Undercover Princes at the moment in the US, first shown over here in the UK exactly three years ago in January 2009. It seems to be a bit of a hit in the US already as it’s warranted an AV club review. I loved it when it was on. It was hilarious. Especially Prince Remegius of Jaffna who wanted to go by a different name but was desperate to find a woman in Brighton who was from the ‘aristocracy’. Undercover Princesses shown in July 2010 wasn’t as funny, but then it did teach me that the best way to meet someone is apparently to hang around the mushroom section of a big supermarket – that surely wasn’t contrived?!
BBC3 always show programmes about dating and weddings. There’s their big hit, Don’t Tell the Bride, and they’ve just finished a season on sex. Now they’ve got a new series called Strictly Soulmates. It’s got nothing to do with dancing. In fact, the title doesn’t really explain the show properly at all. It’s a reality documentary type programme that in each episode follows three individuals of a particular religion over the space of about 6 months as they look for love. That’s all. That’s the hook. It doesn’t sound particularly interesting – the religion aspect just narrows down their search, but other than that it’s just about some single twenty-somethings navigating the dating scene.
The first episode followed various Christians – all born-again Christians in fact. The one guy, Richard Kays, always referred to himself and signed his name as Richard Kays (not just Richard). He’s a bit of a TV personality perhaps explaining his need to repeat his name all the time. His first date questions included: “Can you cook?” Because there are still some twenty-first century men out there who think that women might actually want to be their housewives. It also followed Katy, a youth pastor from the Manchester area, who was convinced that God would find her her partner, but that he would always come second to Jesus in her life. She met her dream guy, a Californian, at some Christian camp; he was more godly than she was – grace before lunch in a cafe, carries his Bible around with him, and no kissing before marriage. They also talked about the wave for side-hugs as full-frontal hugs are a bit too intimate. Seriously.
The second episode, shown this week, followed three Hindus. One 29-year old from Wales called Hasmita who had to marry someone from a certain village in West India – and by the end of the programme, reader, she married him. Another was a 25-year old girl called Jalpa who was set up on various dates. And then there was a 22-year old called Amardeep who decided he had better start looking for someone now as he wanted to be married by 25.
So normally I wouldn’t review this kind of programme but the programme makers were obviously having a laugh at Amardeep and so I wanted to share. Using the ‘Sherlock’ device of writing texts up on the screen, they showed Amardeep attempting to write a text to a girl he met on a singles’ night.
He sends the text and then:
So far, so amusing. Amar then goes on a speed-dating event and messages various girls. He gets a message from one of them asking him if he actually remembers her and to describe something about their date to prove he does:
So, still quite amusing. And some good narration from Scott Mills. But it’s not over yet. Amar goes to a temple gathering and meets a girl. He takes her number and they arrange to meet the next day.
A pretty funny programme in the end, perhaps unintentionally as there wasn’t this kind of humour in the first one about the Christians. There are two more episodes left – on Jews and Muslims. We’ll see if they take the mick out of them in the same way or not.