My Mum, Your Dad - How does it compare to Love Island?
Davina McCall presents the new ITV1 dating reality series for the over-40s.
To paraphrase Davina McCall, if you took the concept of Love Island, reframed it for mid-lifers, stripped it of any cynicism, prize money and eliminations, swapped villa life for a sophisticated countryside retreat, added the searingly transparent tagline 'does my baggage suit your baggage?' and injected it with even more heart by enabling children to nominate their single parents to take part - then you're getting closer to the affecting, emotional experience that is My Mum, Your Dad.
The anticipated reality dating series catering for the over-40s - presented by mid-lifer and mother McCall, who recently found love again with new partner Michael Douglas - follows four mums and four dads as they're put forward by their grown-up sons and daughters to find love again. Or, for some, for the very first time.
As the show begins, it becomes clear that it's going to be the progeny in the driving seat of their parents' love lives - both literally and metaphorically - as the kids aren't just driving their mums and dads to the retreat.
The show's big twist soon reveals that it will be down to the children to secretly guide their parents on their dates in a nearby bunker, which features a surveillance room where they can watch their parents' every move - including their first dates.
Not all of the children are overjoyed at this news, but at least they can cover their faces with the sofa cushions if any lipsing is on the cards...
Note: There are no cameras in the bedrooms.
If the parents choose to couple up, their children will have to approve it.
It's also evident early on that there will be no fire-pit, no declarations of 'I've got a text', no 'Turkey teeth' or cheesy acoustic cover songs playing throughout.
Instead, the first episode is inflated by uplifting '80s and '90s power ballads, and we anticipate that these mums and dads are looking for the real deal - not a six-figure one with a fast-fashion brand.
The mums are: Monique, 50, a therapist who has been put forward by daughter Taiya, currently expecting her first child; Sharon, 53, a welfare officer, nominated by daughter Tia; Caroline, 51, a scan assistant at a baby clinic, selected by daughter Karli; and Natalie, 44, a relationship coach put forward by son Kaliel.
More like this
Monique brings a level of intensity to her dates with interrogation-style grilling, perhaps because she was unceremoniously dumped by a long term-partner by text. Sharon is going to be a tough nut to crack, having been cheated on numerous times in relationships, and to borrow a Love Island phrase, she's got her walls up - but will they ever come down?
Watch out, dads, because Caroline is fun, outgoing, vivacious and rocking a tongue piercing - and although she's been married twice, she has yet to find 'The One'. Natalie is a self-described "slow burner" who is cautious about dating again as she's been single for six years.
And allow us to introduce the dads: Paul, 47, owner of a decorating company put forward by daughter Mazey; Clayton, 57, a pastoral support officer, put forward by son Christian; Roger, 58, a postman nominated by daughter Jess; and Elliott, a football coach put forward by son Zachary.
Once the mums and dads are dropped off by their sons and daughters at the luxury retreat, they're given a glass of Prosecco as they mingle on the lawn.
The mums are then given the option of picking a dad for their date, which take place on the grounds of the country manor that Caroline likens to Bridgerton and Clayton hopes out loud is just as "racy".
Paul is shy, and we can see that his daughter Mazey would like him to be more self-assured. Clayton is our early favourite, telling his son that "sexual attraction is big" for him, joking about taking a bite like an ant out of his date, and forming some endearing bromances to buoy up some of his fellow dads.
Meanwhile, Elliott has never been married but is looking for a wife, and viewers will instantly be rooting for suave postman Roger, who lost his wife a year ago to cancer.
An example of the loving relationships between these family members is glimpsed when Roger recalls how he used to enjoy sitting back with a drink to watch the bond between his late wife and daughter Jess, and we defy anyone who doesn't become teary-eyed as he shares this intimate detail into their domestic life.
And all is forgiven when he later admits on his first date that he brushes his daughter's dog's teeth with his toothbrush...
Unlike Love Island's six-week run, My Mum, Your Dad is only airing for two weeks - with McCall explaining that there are workshops installed at the retreat which are designed to help people get to know one another on a deeper level.
As said and experienced by Roger, life is too short, and these mums and dads are more than ready to mingle.
Prepare for some new arrivals and Love Island one-liners. Sharon's type is - yes, you guessed it - tall, dark and handsome, and Clayton makes sure he makes eye contact with his date while clinking glasses to prevent "seven years' bad sex", a fear voiced among many a Love Islander over the years.
While the show is as addictive as Love Island - and it's possible that the well-dressed Roger, described by Davina McCall as a "style icon", could very well land a six-figure fashion deal when the show comes to end - My Mum, Your Dad is very much in a league of its own.
Episode one is life-affirming and aims to reminds us that the perspective, backstories and so-called baggage of older participants in the dating game can only enhance and strengthen their journey and experience - and ours as viewers - as they embark on finding love again.
Read more Reality TV:
- Married at First Sight UK 2023: Speculated release date, latest news and experts
- Love Island Games: Release date, cast, how to watch, host and news
Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.