It’s a structure that would set a precedent for the next decade on MTV and popular syndicated dating series like , a reality show that followed a first date plus commentary from each of the daters’ best friends.

The best friends would follow the date from a van, the first time a vehicle would be introduced to the MTV dating show formula, something most likely copied from another syndicated dating show, had the single girl or guy essentially date the different contestants’ homes, allowing them to go through drawers, look under beds, and use a ultraviolet wands to identify suspicious bed stains.

At the end of the episode the audience would vote on who was not at fault for the break-up and award them a vacation prize.

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The show was a big hit and helped push the network further towards reality programing ubiquity. ) hosted this dating competition show that attempted to honor MTV’s music roots.

It was also the beginning of another experiment: just how much could MTV script shows they labeled “reality? Contestants worked with Cabrera, a heartthrob musician at the time, to write a hit song for a hot girl they are both trying to win a date with.

Even in these early reality days, MTV understood that people would do and say anything to get on TV—and on is also notable for featuring gay and lesbian contestants, a rarity at the time, but something they would continue on almost all of their future dating shows.

This courtroom-style show focused on the break-up, not the courtship, of a couple, with the guy and the girl each getting a “lawyer” to help them argue their case.

hard already whetted the network’s appetite for hot young singles getting it on and audiences were ready for more.

What followed would become an MTV signature: scripted dating shows that favored hot (often shirtless, fit and on Spring Break) 20-somethings look for the someone to screw, not marry.

After the date, the contestant would dismiss one single and go on a date with the other.

Despite its romantic framing, the show focused more on the competition aspects of “winning” (being chosen for the date) much more than a romantic match and often simplified its contestants into a series of flirtatious bullet points.

The contestant with the song that impressed the girl most won the date.