Game of love

Game of Love: The Perception of the Preteen Audience on the Filipino Courtship presented in the Reality-TV Dating Show Take Me Out


This study aims to determine the preteen audience’s perception on the Filipino courtship presented in the reality-TV dating show Take Me Out. The show is a localized version of Fremantle’s popular dating program which is said to be the very first studio-based dating show in the Philippines where a mystery guy makes an impression to 30 girls for four rounds, and gets to date the girl with the light left turned on by the end of the show.

To fulfil its objectives, the researcher utilized textual analysis to describe the show based on the mechanics, the male searchers, the female searchees, and the dynamics of the interaction of the participants of the show. It was completed in order to describe Filipino courtship behavior presented in Take Me Out. Two sets of focus group discussions were conducted to determine the preteen audience’s perception of the media messages and images presented in the reality-dating show. All focus group discussion participants, aged 10-12, were from the Lipa and Batangas City. The first group consisted of preteens from public schools and the other was comprised of children from private schools.

The Encoding/Decoding Theory was employed as the study’s main framework. The theory states that the producers manipulate the media content and they encode their preferred meaning on media messages, while the audience on the other hand decode these messages based on their social values, own experiences, and individual points of view. The theory of Postcolonialism was also used in the study. The theory considers that the Western ideology and culture are carried on to the developing countries through the media. However, it also recognizes that the once colonized people already have control on what ideas to resist and what ideas to conform to, and they do not merely approve of subordination to the dominant cultures.

It was found out that the Filipino courtship presented in Take Me Out are aligned with stages of a normal and actual courtship process as illustrated by the male and the female participants in the four rounds of the studio-based dating show. Moreover, the preteen audience generally perceived these stages positively and confirmed the evident aspects of courtship which influenced the behavior and interaction of the participants in the program. Nevertheless, the preteen audience opposed the forthright behavior of the females towards the males.

The researcher concluded that Take Me Out reflected the courtship witnessed in the Philippine society and it mirrored the perspective of the preteen audience on Filipino courtship. All the observations and remarks posted by the audience were rooted on their personal background, social values, and individual experiences. Furthermore, the large part of the media messages encoded by the local producers was decoded the same way by the preteen audience members.

Bautista, J. A. (2011). Game of love: The Perception of the Preteen Audience on the Filipino courtship presented in the Reality-TV dating show Take Me Out. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman at Quezon City.

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Subject Index : Dating shows (Television Programs)--Philippines