RMITV's dating show Campus Cupid is based on the concept of a blind dating show, but adds a twist: matching couples based on their music tastes, meme preferences, suburb location, and in the episode Campus Crush - university courses.
As personal appearances are out of the equation, personality traits take the reins when it comes to contestants' decision making on the show.
Creator Saskia Morrison-Thiagu decided on the concept after being “over the superficiality of dating shows”.
“I’ve always been curious about what happens when you take appearance out of the equation,” Ms Morrison-Thiagu said.
“I chose university courses because when coming up with the idea for the show, I was talking to a friend about the judgements we have about certain university courses.”
Ms Morrison-Thiagu is not alone in her thinking, with contestants in the most recent episode making their preferences clear.
Aside from course stereotypes, another element of the episode was why contestants chose their course.
Completing a degree because you were forced to, or are simply “in it for the money” was considered a turn off, with more interest lying with those who were studying because they were passionate about their course.
RMIT Professional Writing and Education student James Viola had been cut by cupid’s arrow on a previous episode, but the experience didn’t leave him jaded.
His friendly, quick-witted personality provided some comedic moments.
This episode had everything dedicated viewers of the show enjoy: awkward facial expressions, hilarious editing, wholesome connections, a rewarding free meal at the Oxford Scholar, and an overall nervous energy that anyone who has been on a blind date before has felt.
Having a conversation with someone without actually meeting them is always nerve wracking, but it's far more fun to watch than experience.
Throughout the varying COVID-19 restrictions, many first dates continue to take place virtually and connections are being made without physically meeting.
Filmed before the pandemic, the show is ahead of its time.
With a physical barrier placed between the date and contestants, no physical contact until after an extended amount of time apart, and no one in the high-risk age groups – surely Dr Norman Swan would approve?
“I think that getting to know someone without direct contact is something we may need to get used to and Campus Cupid does just that,” Ms Morrison-Thiagu said.
Campus Cupid puts this theory to the test, while being a grin-inducing pleasure to watch. Casting everyday students with everyday biases gives the show a charm that’s difficult to find on mainstream television.