“Over the series we’ve learnt that finding love can be hard” – never fear, NUTS is here to navigate the minefield of student love life for you. Looking for love? Convinced that you pass at least two potential soulmates on the walk to lectures, if only you’d get the chance to actually meet them? You are invited to follow the journey of unsuspecting singletons as Campus Cupids chronicles the successes and pitfalls of modern romance. In the form of dizzying 15 minute episodes aided with bubblegum pink and sparkly effects, Campus Cupids hardly manages to conceal its victimisation of selected single students. Part of the entertainment channel, it is certainly funny, mocking, cheesy, staged and usually cringe-worthy. This show should come with a warning: one brave bachelor almost gets Notebooked.
Longing to earn their stripes in the battlefield of love, four students have taken part in the hope of finding their… Campus Cupids. Except that any prospective love birds are shot down before they have a chance to fly; the dates are always sabotaged through the barely disguised earpiece, often to hilariously awkward effect. The gem of a line “Tell her she looks so sexy when she crunches” is probably not a chat-up line to repeat out of context – but fine when she’s eating cheese and bacon crisps.
The tagline ‘One single student, looking for love’ sums up this programme that is as fluffy as Cupid’s favourite cloud. The show takes the age-old formula of a blind date and transports it to new, contemporary student settings. Who knew the Portland building, Lenton and karaoke bar Chambers could be perfect locations for such romantic scenes? The premise is not dissimilar to its ITV counterpart, Take Me Out, in that it is based largely on first impressions – superficiality is almost its trademark. The montage of black and white flashback footage that appears every episode, particularly brilliantly used in conjunction with Westlife in episode 1, is absolutely priceless.
If the presenters really are hoping to find a match made in heaven, they could widen the range of their arrows. Ali and Lawrence are here to help – if you’re a friend/medic/of New Theatre fame. It feels a bit like it could easily be called Campus Cliques. But maybe there is a bigger moral message to be learnt from the programme – perhaps we should all start setting our friends up with our acquaintances and let the magic happen.
It would make good viewing to have a re-visit of the series’ couples, a ‘one month on’ section, returning to see if they have gone on any further dates. Regardless, there is a lot of mileage left in a show that has only the condition of needing single people. There’s always another broken heart around to giggle at…