In my previous review of The Undateables I praised the programme for shining a light on those with disabilities, who are just looking for love without ever looking down on them. However in this final episode the one thing that really bothered me was the patronising voice-over which kept reminding us that the trio had never been on dates and never had serious partners, as well as telling us of their conditions constantly. Though I do understand that reminding people of what’s going on is important, in the case of The Undateables I felt it was a little heavy-handed and also I never relaxed just watching the dates as they were constantly interrupted by the narration.
Apart from that though this was another pleasing episode, which was also refreshing in that three subjects were all in their twenties which is generally the age when most people go on a number of blind dates. The date was truly blind for 27 year old Down’s Syndrome sufferer Sam who signed up to dating agency Stars in the Sky, who deal exclusively with disabled clients, as they don’t let the prospective partners see pictures of each other prior to the date. Sam is a cheery lad who never seems to complain about his lot in life and has an active social life as well as a strong bond with his widower father. His ace in the hole in terms of his dating profile, is that he has done some bit part work on the T.V. including a role in Eastenders, which seems to impress the ladies from Stars in the Sky. He describes his ideal woman as having some sort of hair colour, curves, a nice body and a personality before telling us that he’d like to date Jesse Wallace – with whom he may have a chance with now that she’s single.
Soap stars would have to wait as Sam anticipated his date with youth charity worker Jolene, which took place at London Zoo and seemed to be going well with her commenting that no boy had ever made her laugh that much but at the same time she had to fork out for his meal, as he went to the date with no money. After forgetting to ask her out soon after, he plucked up the courage to call her and they met again near to the White Cliffs of Dover. In a rather sweet scene, Sam finally asked Jolene if she’d be his girlfriend, to which her answer was to burst out laughing. It was possibly not the response he desired. After she calmed down, she accepted and as we saw their relationship seemed to be going from strength to strength with Sam claiming that wedding bells would be on the horizon in the near future.
Stars in the Sky also played a part in the love life of another of tonight’s subjects, Kali a 20 year old who has William’s Syndrome a learning difficulty which means she has a pixie-like face and in addition gets extremely talkative when she meets a new person, so first dates are often a tricky business. At a Stars in the Sky dance she meets 25 year old Jimmy with whom she hits it off instantly as we see them dancing together all night they arrange a second dinner date. Cali does go talkative straight away but when she realises that Jimmy is looking for something more long term, she gets a lot calmer and tries to brush him off gently. It seems that though Cali didn’t find love she now knows what she’s looking for in the future which I certainly saw as a positive.
Finally there was Haydn who had a facial disfigurement known as Crouzon Syndrome, which is essentially a malformation of his skull and was something that had caused him to lose confidence. It was especially hard for the 24 year old skateboarder as his twin brother, who wasn’t born with the condition, was a hit with the ladies and had had a string of steady girlfriends. To me at least it seemed that Haydn’s insecurities stemmed from his time at school, where girls would ask him out as a dare. He signs up to dating agency Searchmate, through which he meets 22 year old Charlotte from Stoke who has travelled to London to meet Haydn and once again they seem to hit it off despite his hearing failing him during their trip on the London Eye. To me they seemed to have the most chemistry out of the three pairs, with Charlotte preparing to travel down again to meet Haydn, which is some obligation seeing as the train fares are pretty steep, but like Kali he decided there was no spark there but he’d gained the confidence he needed.
What I liked about The Undateables is that not all of the dates end with a traditional happy-ever-after, with our trio all finding love instantly, as that’s not what life is like. While Sam and Jolene really found each other, it seemed that both Kali and Haydn mostly wanted to prove to themselves that they could actually go on a date. As well as my criticism about the voice-over track, I would really like to have seen if any progress had been made on the love front for all of those involved tonight. From what I saw of The Undateables, it was an interesting show, sensitively handled and with subjects who you got emotionally invested in. Having said that I don’t think that there is any need to do another series as I feel that the point about everybody deserving to be loved has been made and after seeing the success rate of some of these dating agencies, I think I’d better rush off and get in on the action!
Have you been watching The Undateables? If so what are you thoughts on this episode and the series as a whole? Leave your comments below.