New rule: Don't judge a book by its cover, but feel free to judge a date by their bedroom.
The latest addition to TV's ever expanding catalogue of millennial dating ventures is BBC Three's Hot Property – the show that invites you into someone's house to have a nose around before committing to an IRL date. Full disclosure, though. The fateful date takes place in the home of the person you've been snooping on. There's no Dinner Date-style excursion to the local Harvester for a two-course set menu. Hot Property keeps things very, very intimate.
Presented, guided and laughed at by internet star Yung Filly, young hopefuls from across the UK are first presented with four obscure photos from inside the bedrooms of anonymous potential dates. At this stage, Filly will show you a snapshot of everything from football boots and preserved debris from the Berlin Wall, to DJ decks and what I can only assume to be a confused-looking butt plug. Each suitor is then nicknamed for ease (Ms Kick About, Mr Historian, Mr DJ and Mrs Butt Plug, for example) and our eager contestant is tasked with ditching one of them before proceeding to the next stage: the bedroom invasion.
Now, how would you feel about a stranger, a familiar face from the internet and a camera operator going through your bedroom drawers? Because there's no time to be shy about it. There is nothing you can hide that won't be found. They will pull out your dusty dildo, your new and (ew) used condom collection, and the stash of other women's underwear you've apparently decided to hold on to (seriously).
If you like to store a little baggy of your own hair – pubic or otherwise – Filly will find it. If you've got a personalised photo book that was made by your ex, in which they proclaim their undying love for you, we're going to have a little read of it. If you have an adult-size leash and collar hanging in your wardrobe, my friend, it's going to be tried on for the camera. Audiences, don't be alarmed or confused, though. The series is not just about airing a stranger's literal dirty laundry to have a good laugh (and cringe) at their expense. The idea is to get an idea of what sort of person you might be letting into your life. Absentmindedly swiping left and right might fill your Sunday evenings, but there's no real comparison between what you can get from someone's curated Tinder profile and what you learn rummaging beneath their bed. Here, televised discoveries include a tin of sardines and a deep clean kit. Microfibre dusting glove and everything.
How else would a person look deep within the soul of someone they've never looked in the eye, you ask? By meeting their friends and family, obviously. After the bedroom snooping, the searching singleton is asked to sack off yet another suitor based on what they've unearthed behind closed doors, leaving them with a choice of two brave dates. It's here that Hot Property gets a bit Take Me Out. In comes someone's mum, best friend, cousin or ex-partner to fill you in on what their beloved person is really like before you decide who to meet IRL. Home truth bombs are dropped – Ayo from episode one is told point blank that she wouldn't be quite right for one of the anonymous contenders, while Liam comes face to face with the author of that romantic photo book we mentioned earlier – and difficult-ish decisions are made.
Next comes the meeting with whoever has been lucky enough to survive all three elimination rounds. Finally face to face with their blind date, our contestant has a moment to see if any sparks fly outside the bedroom. Needless to say, it isn't always love at first sight. Filly waits in the wings to burst in on their strangely intimate encounters, often in costume, to rescue (or jeopardise) the chat. And when the first date is about wrapped up, we're treated to the familiar end-credit format of finding out whether the matched couple's interaction went any further than the dry chicken dinner on their mum's sofa (this happens in episode one, too). Keep an eye out for the contestants who later opted to get in touch with one of the overlooked suitors from the bedroom round.
I'm sure you've gathered that you're not about to settle in for a series of matches made in heaven. But how often does that actually happen on TV? Hot Property is a little crude, raw enough for you to feel like you're rummaging through a stranger's wardrobe, too, and a very loud laugh. The big lols predominantly come from host Filly, whose reaction to some of the more, erm, unsavoury discoveries in people's bedrooms could serve as a separate mini-series in itself. It's abrupt. It's full of moments that'll leave you mouthing an elongated "noooooo" in disbelief. And it'll make you question how much you really want to know about what your partner gets up to in the privacy of their own bedroom.
Hot Property is on BBC iPlayer from 21st May and will air on BBC One at 10.35pm