Terrifying Dates Never Seemed So Dull
The cable network I.D. Investigation Discovery has nailed down a fun formula for making murder entertaining. Murder isn't entertaining. But the way I.D. shows tell stories of murder is more than fun. It's addictive. Dark, but addictive.
On most of its shows, a smoky-voiced narrator quietly tells a story as actors recreate the scene, with the plot reaching its peak just as you know what's going to happen. Still, you hope the victim can somehow avoid their fate.
The beauty of the storytelling is that the actor who's about to get their head pummeled is, well, an actor. The actual murder is in a sense removed. So, what's left is the story and the way I.D. tells it.
All of which falls apart, for the most part, on Dates From Hell (I.D., 10pm), despite having all those elements - narrator, story and actors recreating some scenes.
But in Dates you've also got the real people because, well, they survive their bad dates.
Like on tonight's premiere, where a woman is visiting Italy. The night before she returns to the United States, she makes a rather bad decision. In the middle of the night, she goes to see an artist in his sixth-floor apartment. She leaves behind a friend - and safety.
Suffice to say she ends up on a small ledge outside his apartment building 60 feet in the air. She has to traverse seven buildings to get away from him.
While the story is incredible, Dates relies too heavily on real people to tell those stories. Sometimes, listening to real people isn't nearly as captivating as listening to a good story told by a good storyteller.