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5 Minutes in an Elevator anyone? Love Shaft!

May 21, 2012

Does anyone remember the fabled dating game of days gone by of five minutes in an elevator? Without easy access to an elevator, it’s not an easy one to play at teenage parties but we managed alright with “let’s lock those two in the pantry for a bit and see what happens,” even though it usually ended with unlocking said pantry to find the imprisoned couple scoffing the host’s parents’ fancy biscuits. Now, E4 have put another fresh spin on this ingenious dating concept. Love Shaft, the entertainment channel’s new dating show, aired its first episode tonight at 7.30pm. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can pick it up on 4OD whenever tickles your pickle.

Now it’s finally aired, I’m allowed to say what I thought of it without spoiling the fun. I actually got to watch this over the weekend as an advance preview courtesy of the host channel. The premise of the show is that there is someone in the elevator – either a girl or a guy – and gradually they make their way up to the penthouse bar, full of their friends and family, with their chosen date. “But how do they choose that date?!” I hear you cry. Well, as the lift ascends to the penthouse, it makes a few stops along the way. At each stop, there is a lovely example of the opposite sex, ready to woo as quickly as possible and win themself a ride in the lift. The guy or girl originally in the lift has to choose whether to leave them there or take them along. If they already have a date in the lift when it stops, then they have to choose whether to give their current date the boot in favour of the newbie or to stick to their guns and take their previous choice all the way to the top. While riding the love shaft (yes, I’m aware of what I did there…), the lift presents the couple with ice-breaking tasks, like choosing celebrity guests for a dinner party or cracking out some crazy disco dance moves. The singleton in charge (the one doing the choosing) is equipped with 3 lifelines a bit like in Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Emergency Stop, for if they want to spend a little more time with their date, Emergency Telephone, so they can call their friends and family in the penthouse if they’re faced with a really tough choice at lift stop time, and Emergency Door Slam, which allows them to slam the door on both their suitors and proceed to the next stop dateless. A risky move, but useful to have just in case. But does it end there? Oh, no. Once the happy couple make it to the top and the penthouse bar, the chosen guy or girl gets the choice – to go on the date as planned or gamble it all on the chance to win a cash prize that they can spend however they like (and not necessarily on a date with the person who brought them up there!). Well, this week the dude very nicely chose the date so we’re yet to see what happens when someone chooses to gamble but it’s bound to happen. And all this in half an hour. Phew. It’s much more simple in practice, I promise.

From the euphemistic title of the show down to “Lift”‘s appalling one-liners, this show is hilarious. If you ignore that the “contestants” are genuinely and seriously looking for a date (or supposedly, anyway), then this show is pure comedy gold. I don’t mean any disrespect to them, obviously, but the contestants on the show are almost caricatures of real life personalities – the WAG, the Italian Stallion, the student… it goes on. People, just “being themselves” are often more amusing than anything you could really script and taking this and running with it in Love Shaft is just brilliantly funny. If the teaser of next week’s show is anything to go by for humour levels, I will definitely be tuning in!

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