Andrew Mercado on TV: Date nights, nudity and Ramsay St wedding bells

Next week it’s Australian TV’s first (legal) gay wedding when David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson) get hitched.

Is bigger better when a dating show comes back for its third incantation? Ten had a brief romp with Taken Out in 2008, China turned it into If You Are The One (seen here on SBS) and now Seven has supersized it with Take Me Out, featuring the biggest cast and set yet.

On the new Take Me Out, host Joel Creasey corrals a conga line of 30 girls who gyrate to music and want to go away with some dude to… the Gold Coast. Two hours a week of this is a lot. And if nobody watched Dance Boss (which looks like it was filmed on the same set), who is going to watch a show with more squealing and even worse dancing?

Take Me Out did remind me though of Man O Man, Seven’s infamous Saturday night hit from 1994 in which Speedo-clad blokes were pushed into a pool. Today’s contestants are also willing to get their gear off at the drop of a hat, so why doesn’t someone have the balls to do an Aussie version of Naked Attraction, the Channel 4 dating show with full frontal nudity?

SBS Viceland starts a new French drama next week called Nude. Set in 2026, Europe has taken advantage of global warming to pass a law that insists everyone must be naked all the time. The opening episodes are patchy, with a cop waking up from a coma to discover the change, but in a crowded marketplace that title alone should get attention.

Even Neighbours got away with a bit of nudity this week, but next week it’s Australian TV’s first (legal) gay wedding when David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson) get hitched. There is some comedy gold from Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and wedding celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe (Magda Szubanski) and the joy from everyone involved in this episode is almost palpable.

But even getting Magda Szubanski, one of the most popular women on Australian TV, and making TV history wasn’t enough to get onto the cover of TV Week, which went instead with another Home and Away Ultimate Fan Guide. And it’s only the first of three! Granted, making TV history isn’t really Home and Away’s thing but, if times ever turn tough, Summer Bay could always become a nude beach.

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