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Netflix’s 'Dated and Related' a cringe-fest? Top 10 controversial dating shows that put the ‘aw’ in awkward!

The streaming giant's new dating show shocks with siblings, but this isn't the only controversial show to rock the reality TV universe
Netflix's Dated and Related is set to release on 2 September 2022 (Netflix)
Netflix's Dated and Related is set to release on 2 September 2022 (Netflix)

Netflix is all set to launch its brand new dating series ‘Dated and Related’ with a bunch of singles looking for love. But here’s the catch - each contestant is joined by their sibling who, indeed, is also searching for true love! Um, awkward!

This crazy-yet-super-captivating show has received mixed reactions after its trailer launch. Well, if their idea was to make everyone uncomfortable, it worked. People took to Twitter to express their reaction. Someone commented, “At first when I read Dated & Related I felt ill.” Another user pitched in, “Anyone else immediately think they were promoting incest…a rethink on the series name is needed ASAP.”


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Clearly, the shock factor was pretty high, as someone also commented that they think the person who came up with the title needs to leave their job. "The idea is weird enough alone, although I’m not sure who came up with the name, that deserves a P45 I reckon,” a user commented.

While, ‘Dated and Related’, set to release on Friday, September 2, on Netflix, may be a lead contender in the most-controversial-dating-show-ever race, historically speaking, it has heavy competition. Here are the top 10 most controversial dating shows of all time:

1. ‘Naked Attraction’ (Channel 4, 2016)

Naked Attraction (Channel 4)
Naked Attraction had people choose their partner on the basis of nudity (Channel 4)

What’s more uncomfortable - watching people judge each other in their birthday suits OR watching a contestant pop a semi in the middle of the show? This rather innovative dating show shocked the world when the contestants had to pick their partners on instincts purely based on stark nudity before going on a first date.

2. ‘Temptation Island’ (USA Network, 2019)

Temptation Island (USA Network)
Temptation Island gave couples the option to experiment with the single life (USA Network)

This so-called social experiment has four couples put their love to the test by embracing the "single life."  Set in Maui, they take a break from each other and live in separate houses with steaming sexy single "housemates." The couples either leave together, with their island "tempters" or they go home alone. The drama unfurls, no matter the outcome!

3. ‘FBoy Island’ (HBO Max Original, 2021)

FBoy (IMDb)
FBoy on HBO saw three women having to choose between the 'nice' guys and the not so nice ones (IMDb)

Set in a tropical island, three women are joined by 24 men: 12 self-proclaimed "nice guys" who are looking for love, and 12 self-proclaimed "FBoys" who are here to have fun. And together, compete for love but also for hard, cold cash.

4. ‘Joe Millionaire’ (Fox, 2003)

Joe Millionaire (IMDb)
Joe Millionaire was definitely an unforgettable show, that was how awful it was (IMDb)

This is a show that Evan Marriott is apologizing for even today! Expanding on the format of ‘The Bachelor’, this show pitted beautiful contestants against each other for the love (and riches) of an average Joe. However, the catch was that they were manipulated to believe Joe had an above average bank account. Which… in the end of the show was revealed to be not true.

5. ‘Boy Meets Boy’ (Bravo, 2003)

Boy Meets Boy (IMDb)
Boy Meets Boy was the earliest show based on a gay version of of 'The Bachelor' (IMDb)

Long before our beloved ‘Finding Prince Charming’, Bravo has its very own gay ‘The Bachelor.’ Though the shock element of this show wasn’t blatant queerness, rather the lack of it. ‘Boy Meets Boy’ has a cruel reality, unbeknownst to the contestants who were seeking true love, many of the suitors we heterosexual men posing as gay to bag the big prize money.

6. ‘Parental Control’ (MTV, 2006)

Parental Control (MTV)
Parental Control had parents choosing their children's suitors (MTV)

A rather PG-13 version of 'Dated and Related'. The show allowed parents, who hated their kid’s significant others, to choose two new love interests for them (every coservative parents’ dream!). The choices are to either date the ones’ their parents chose, continue with their SO or reject everyone altogether. Almost always, the contestants choose their significant other. However, the family-drama is unhinged!

7. ‘Date My Mom’ (MTV, 2004)

Date My Mom (IMDb)
Date My Mom (IMDb)

Another dating show with a plot close to ‘Dated and Related’ is Date My Mom. Here a contestant meets three moms who try to convince them to date her child. They never meet their actual potential dates, and make a decision based solely on their "mom-dates." Hmm. Healthy.

8. ‘I Wanna Marry 'Harry' (Fox, 2014)

I Wanna Marry
'I Wanna Marry Harry' saw contestants fighting over a Prince Harry lokkalike (IMDb)

While the market is full of deceitful dating competition shows, Fox's ‘I Wanna Marry 'Harry' takes it to another level. No, the show isn’t about Harry Potter or Styles. Or even the British Prince. Um, well actually, it is about a British Prince dupe. It stars a guy with a slight resemblance to Prince Harry. We can say it’s definitely pushing the limits of credulity.

9. ‘Mr. Personality’ (Fox, 2003)

Designer Monica Lewinsky attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.
Monica Lewisky hosted Fox's 'Mr. Personality' (Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain)

One word: weird. Fox’s dating show, hosted by Monica Lewisky, had a woman surrounded by 20 men in metallic face masks, with a smile forever plastered on their faces. To sum it up, this show was downright creepy. And yeah, weird.

10. ‘Average Joe’ (NBC, 2003)

Average Joe (NBC)
Average Joe (NBC)

The show pitted a bunch of nitwits to compete for the love of a beautiful young woman. However, the oceans of shallowness deepen when at the end of every season, the woman has to choose between an average Joe and a conventionally attractive man. In literally every season, the woman ends up with the latter.