Is there any game show more ’80s than Love Connection? Well before Tinder and dating sites, grown adults decided to risk public humiliation by going on a game show and hoping that where blind dates and personals ads had failed, Hollywood could succeed. And now it’s back, with Andy Cohen serving as the cupid in question.
If you’re not familiar, the show, which ran from 1983 to 1994, was basically video dating in public. The contestant in question would pick one of three suitors to go on a date with, based on their video profiles, and most of the show was about the contestants, their date, and how it went right or wrong. Amazingly, that meant for a while it was the third most popular syndicated game show, behind Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, and it ran for a solid decade, airing 2,120 episodes. The batting average isn’t great, admittedly: Just thirty or so marriages total, depending on who you ask. But hey, watching strangers bomb on stage is an enduring American tradition. Aside from a new host in Cohen, the show will also have same-sex couples going on dates, to modernize the formula a little bit.
Cohen in the mix is a particularly smart move. Love Connection lasted as long as it did because Chuck Woolery, the original host, turned out to be very good at bringing out the interesting personal aspects of everyday people. Cohen has much of the same talent, so this revival might feel much like the original. We’ll find out this summer.