Long before The Bachelor, dating game shows were a simpler affair. From The Dating Game to Love Connection to MTV’s Singled Out, TV has always been a home to ridiculous “speed dating” shows. Now FOX is reigniting the genre with a pair of incredibly fun and silly series.

With Take Me Out hosted by George Lopez (Thursdays at 8pm) and the Cat Deeley-hosted The Choice (Thursdays at 9pm), FOX is home to two hours of obvious sexual innuendos and a scent of desperation so intense it will kill your houseplants.

But that’s why we watch these kinds of shows. People only watched The Newlywed Game to hear the strangest place couples ever made whoopee. And now we have shows like The Choice, where male celebrities like Jersey Shore‘s DJ Pauly D try to score a date by pulling their Love Handles.

Take Me Out

The first of FOX’s dating shows is an international import. A group of single women (the Flirty 30, just one of the many, many rhymes featured throughout the show) each stand behind a podium as a man is brought out. The women then choose if they want him or not, and if not, they turn off their light. After the first impression there are two more rounds where the ladies learn more about the men to help them decide.

The most unintentionally hilarious part of Take Me Out is how excruciatingly bad George Lopez’s sex puns are. While introducing each man he uses a culinary innuendo in the form of “let the BLANK see the BLANK” (for instance, “let the clams see the chowder”). It’s so forced, as are his constant reminders that winning couples will go to the “legendary” Take Me Out Resort. Does it really count as legendary if no one has ever heard of it?

Still, there’s enough ridiculous fun from the contestants (one dim-witted Barbie clone annoyingly tells us the names of her three “kitty cats”) to the painfully unappealing men (Warning: There is a silver man-thong). Like a bag of pork rinds, Take Me Out isn’t good for you, but sometimes you just have to have it.

The Choice

The superior dating show, in concept if not execution, is this obvious Voice parody where four male celebrities sit in spinning chairs and must pick three women to date based solely on the what they say. Clearly this is fascinating because it shows you how men think, because you can pinpoint the exact word a woman uses that causes a man to turn his chair by pulling his Love Handle. Or, in some cases, a woman doesn’t need to say anything to get the men to turn around.

The premiere features singer Romeo, Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom, soap opera star Jason Cook and Jersey Shore‘s DJ Pauly D. That’s an eclectic group, and it might also create interest in some of them (Cook in particular is incredibly charming). Half of the fun of The Choice is finding out who women choose so that you can basically rank the appeal of the four men.

The only real problem with The Choice is the complete and utter lack of rules. In the second round, the men get just 15 seconds to ask questions of the three women on their team, but neither the men nor the women know who’s supposed to be asking the questions. With some of them, they both ask a question as soon as the man turns around, and by the time they figure out who’s supposed to talk first, 15 seconds are over.

Still, Cat Deeley is as good at hosting a TV show as anyone and with future stars like Jersey Shore‘s The Situation, Joe Jonas and Dean Cain, it’s impossible not to want to watch.

So sit back and relax, because for two enjoyably ridiculous hours, FOX is reminding viewers of the heydays of dating shows. If you’ve ever loved Love Connection, Next, Room Raiders, The Dating Game or any similar game shows, then Take Me Out and The Choice will certainly satisfy.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.