Dates Series 1 (Channel 4) Review “David & Mia”

Dates, the new half-hour drama from UK’s Channel 4, has been launched as part of the channel’s ‘Mating Season’, and takes a look at a series of first dates between people who have met over the internet.

With the world of dating in the state that it is, it’s such a good idea that you wonder why it hasn’t been attempted before and, judging by this first episode, it absolutely works. Coming from Skins creator Bryan Elsley, I never expected any less.

Starring Will Mellor and Oona Chaplin as two polar opposites meeting for their first date, it’s a mess of conceited untruths, perceptive first impressions and the grand tradition of walking out on a date that wasn’t going the way you had hoped.

David is waiting at his table for a full half an hour before he discovers that the attractive woman sitting at the bar is actually his date and, greeting her standoffishness with indignation rather than upset, she’s compelled to stay and hear more.

She’s an attractive serial dater who sleeps with footballers and assumes men are liars before they even open their mouths, while he is someone who’s been signed up to the website for six months but who is only going on his first date.

Over the course of their meal, we get to the bottom of their stories and are left with no straight answers as to whether the two belong together or not. He sees through her facade and offers her a straight-forward demeanour she’s clearly unused to, but Mia responds with fear rather than openness.

In short, it’s a lot like real-life dating, with the baggage and hang-ups that real people approach the dating scene with. We’re invited to make our own minds up, just along for someone else’s evening out with no hard decisions to make at the end.

We don’t even get to see how things turn out, with Mia’s invite into her cab left open and ambiguous. It’s an ending that solidifies the sense of promise for Dates, and should make sure everyone tunes in for second and third helpings across this week.

What did you think of the episode? Did David get in the cab or not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.