Other than detective drama, there may be no hotter genre of television programs right now than the dating show. And this new breed is a far leap from The Dating Game.

On Blind Date, cameras follow a couple on their first date while the producers make sharp criticisms. On Elimidate, a dater goes out on the town with a pack of potentials and dumps them one by one. Meet My Folks lets parents choose a weekend fling for their kid, and Extreme Dating brings a person's ex-boyfriends or girlfriends along on a first date. There are several others airing now and networks are currently producing a handful more.

As the shows have become increasingly outrageous (and popular), a new sub-genre has developed: the marriage show. Tonight is the finale of the first season of The Bachelorette, in which one woman selects her perfect mate from 25 hopefuls.

Christianity Today put together a group of Christian singles to discuss this shift in dating shows and how Christians can evaluate them.

LaTonya Taylor, 23, Campus Life assistant editor, recently wrote "Love As Seen on TV" for the Christian teens magazine.

Camerin Courtney, 31, senior associate editor for Today's Christian Woman, wrote the book Table for One: The Savvy Girl's Guide to Singleness (Fleming H. Revell). She also edits CT's online Singles Channel.

Max Hsu, 33, is the founder of the rock band Superchic[k], which often sings about purity, self-worth, and dating.

Todd Hertz, 26, online assistant editor for CT, moderated the panel.

What is the dating show scene right now?



LaTonya: The number of dating shows and their popularity right now indicates that we've applied our microwave and fast food culture to relationships. We want to date a large number of people and to be allowed to whittle them ...

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