Few single people will ever date the way the contestants do on The Bachelor. Sure, that means no dramatic and stressful rose ceremony, but it also means no whirlwind tropical vacations with a person you’ve only spent a total of four hours alone with. Netflix’s Dating Around is therefore the anti Bachelor: The blind dates are about as real as one will ever get from reality TV, and the show really leans into the awkward conversation lulls, moments of real connection, and occasional inappropriate comment that causes an immediate date ceasefire. After much speculation (and some concern that it was cancelled prematurely by the streaming service) we now know that Dating Around is coming back for season 2 on Netflix. We can only hope the show’s sophomore season brings equal amounts of that all-too-real first date drama.
Each episode of Dating Around features one dater going on five blind dates. The dates — which occur at the same bar and restaurant — are edited together to make each of the around 30-minute long episodes. The first season of Dating Around took place in New York City and featured a diverse cast of daters who were all across the board in age, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
Season 2 of Dating Around has already been shot, according to Vulture, and will take place in New Orleans. It will appear on the streaming service later this year, though exactly when is a question mark.
“We love that show, and we love the fresh approach that the producers came up with when they first pitched us the concept,” Netflix unscripted chief Brandon Riegg told Vulture of the show’s renewal. “It was very buzzy and got a lot of great recognition and member love [on] social media.”
One of the most-discussed episodes of the series involved Gurki Basra, a 36-year-old jewelry buyer. Basra’s episode included a terrible date with Justin, a man who criticized Basra’s decision to get married after succumbing to pressure from her family. Basra called Justin out on the show and ended her date with him, leading to many cheers from Twitter. Ultimately, Basra chose not to go on a second date with any of her five options.
"Next time you go on a date with someone that has a different background to you, keep an open mind and be careful of what you say. Words have a lot of power, and you can hurt someone's feelings by making blatant statements," Basra told Refinery29 of her bad date with Justin. "I would also tell him to meet people that are different than him. Go explore and travel. See what’s out there, then make judgment calls."
Other dates on the reality series were far more pleasant and drama-free. While no one from Dating Around built a relationship that lasted after their first dates, many of the cast members still keep in touch. If any of these former Dating Around stars want to create a podcast together and build out “Dating Around Nation,” they have my full support.