Lucas Cruikshank is a Youtuber who you may remember as ‘Fred’. Among his usual theme of content, he made some videos where he reacted to cringey gay dating shows from the early 2000s.
Have you ever dated 3 men but one is straight, one is taken and one is gay? How about dating someone’s mom before dating them or searching through a potential boyfriend’s room to see if you’d be a good match?
MTV certainly was creative in the early 2000s. Admittedly, these were not gay dating shows but they had gay specials once in a while. All of these programs had similar forced, embarrassing acting and tag lines. No part of the show feels remotely real but they are normal people who were fed lines by producers to say to the camera.
A contestant on Room Raiders stated in his introduction that, ‘Being gay is fun. It’s fabulous; we get good hair, good clothes, good guys, good music—what else can you ask for?’, while unnervingly break dancing in a park. What he said may be true but it was odd to put his thoughts over a clip of him break dancing outside…
Suddenly, the 3 contestants are taken from their houses and put in a white van by a mystery, masked ‘intruder’ who assures them that they’re on Room Raiders. Not creepy at all. When their rooms were raided by the potential date, he found naked selfies on a computer, put a navy army hat on before saying, ‘I love semen’, shamed a potential date for owning a handbag and for wearing makeup(how different the 00s were).
When the break dancing dater was eliminated, he left the room with a bitchy comment, ‘Kinda funny, you’re only a 4 too’. This is a reoccurring motif of these cheesy MTV dating shows.
Next was about contestants in a big camper bus going on a first date with a stranger. However the longer the date lasts, the more money they receive. Some opening tag lines from the daters were, ‘I’m Alex. I’m 18 and this guy won’t say ‘Next!’ when he sees my package’ and ‘I’m Carlos. I’m 20 and beware boys—my ass is fabulous’.
Interesting to say the least. Another dater described himself as ‘looking corruptible’. Whatever that truly means…
The first date only lasted 13 seconds because his handshake was too limp! The acting in this show is SO awkward. It’s hard to watch but it fills the niche of guilty pleasure.
When a dater was ‘nexted’, he called the potential boyfriend a ‘hairy bitch’. Ouch! Gay 2005 insults, or what the producers perceived as ‘gay insults’, really do carry a certain sass.
The grand winner took the $43 dollars instead of becoming the main guys boyfriend. Tragic! A Youtube comment described Next as Grindr in real life.
In Date My Mom, the potential boyfriend had to date 3 moms to determine which one of their sons would be the perfect boyfriend. The main talent, Sam, was the most over-the-top and erratic out of all these dating shows listed.
He never seemed to speak at a normal volume. Instead he SHOUTED in almost every confessional. Our first introduction to a mom/son team was the mother excitedly exclaiming that she’s ‘working her ass to get HIM some ass!’
They were confident about winning since they were ‘hotter than Paris Hilton’s sex tape!’ Oh, this is beautifully 2005 at it’s core. Sadly, the mom told her date that her son is needy so I’m not sure if she did a good job at selling him. As a side note, it’s weird to type ‘selling him’.
The third mom/son duo discussed tactics before the date. This is when the son encouraged his mom to tell the date about his prince albert piercing…Luckily, his mom did not know what that was and I hope she never has to.
The winner, his mom and finally, his new boyfriend ran off into the distance holding hands. I wonder if The Bachelor was inspired by this show.
The show Gay, Straight, or Taken was 3 men trying really hard to prove that they’re not gay, for 30 minutes. If a guy was too touchy with the central women, he was ‘trying too hard’ and she became suspicious.
The men were forced to do ballet and when Nick had to catch the male instructor, his hand somehow landed on the ballerino’s private area! Of course this led everyone to speculation.
In 2005, doing ballet was still considered an extremely ‘gay’ sport because as soon as a dater admitted he did ballet, the woman thought he was gay. That is until he brushed a hair out of her face. Any dater with a hair product, moisturizer or slightly elaborate grooming product was shamed in front of everyone!
She failed to find the straight, single man in the finale but he didn’t seem too offended at being mistaken for gay.