Wednesday, January 01, 2003








A new television channel has caught my attention in recent weeks (channel 688). TDC2 (The Dating Channel 2) offers a window on the world of gay video dating. It's a little too easy to make fun of the profiles, many of whom were filmed in pubs or events like Pride, and as a result, tend to be a bit drunk or out of it. Like passport photos - nobody really comes off very well from them - it is very difficult to have a camera pointed at you and talk in a natural way about yourself without coming across as a self-absorbed, deluded character out of an Alan Bennet monologue. And taken together, the videos represent a world of which I have no experience - a world where your ideal date would be a trip to Pizza Hut, where musical tastes run the gamut from Celine Dion to Steps (but not classical), where it's acceptable to say you like "pubbing and clubbing", where your favourite colour actually matters, where you are allowed to say phrases like "largin' it", "total nutter" and "follow your dream" and where you must always only like younger and fitter men than yourself. It makes oddly addictive viewing, although for all the wrong reasons.

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