Will you date me if I have fur and fangs? 'Sexy Beasts' finds out

What happens when picky singles are turned into movie monsters before heading out on a date? Personality is the focal point, not freaky features, in the upcoming "Sexy Beasts" dating show.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
3 min read

Some men really are dogs on the first date. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The dating world is hard, especially when people get judged by their looks before they even say hello. That's exactly the kind of habit the new " Sexy Beasts" dating show hopes to challenge as it drastically changes attractive singles into movie-quality creatures including dogs, fish, frogs, lizards, pigs, witches, aliens and mice.

"It's dating in disguise," the A&E show says. The participants must go on a date in their respective costumes, masks and monster makeup to ascertain if they have chemistry before they get to see the real deal. After the date, they get to remove the SFX makeup and meet again to see if the spark is still there. The show is based on a BBC show of the same name in which Brit bachelors and bachelorettes are made into monsters to test their potential for love, or at least lust.

The A&E version of "Sexy Beasts" has some interesting episodes in store, including the first one called "Jonathan the Prudish Puppet," which airs on Valentine's Day, February 14. In it, a conservative Midwest bachelor is turned into a puppet, while his three lady dates are turned into a lizard, a mouse and a "tenacious geek."

Side note: Since when is "geek" a horrifying costume? Unless of course the show is referring to the original term geek, which was a carnival freak who bit the heads off of live chickens. But sadly, it's mostly likely a "Revenge of the Nerds" stereotype that would make even mega-nerd Urkel from "Family Matters" cringe.

The second episode, "Dan the Amphibious Man," also airs on Valentine's Day. Here we see Dan transformed into a frog, while his bachelorette dates are made to look like a devil, a she-lion and a "type-A senior citizen" -- whatever that means.

The third episode, which also airs on Valentine's Day according to the A&E website, is called "Crystal the Frisky Feline." Here, a bohemian bachelorette is changed into a cat. Her three men are turned into a "suave newborn baby," a "nerdy troll" and a "pro-wrestling tree." No, we don't get it either.

Finally, also airing on Valentine's Day, is the fourth episode titled "Noelle the Witchy Woman." Selective single Noelle is transformed into a witch, while her three potential male mates are turned into an alien, a pig and a "clairvoyant dog." Not sure how special-effects costuming makes this guy a clairvoyant canine rather than a run-of-the-mill mutt, but we may have to turn in just to find out.

When you look like a witch, does it break the ice to make jokes about hexes? Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

With all the dating shows airing now, it's rather refreshing to see one really take the plunge into full absurdity. It's almost like "Beauty and the Beast" for completely shallow people who use Tinder for all their love connections.

While most of us will be watching just to see the "Face Off"-style transformations from human dude to fish guy with gills, it will be interesting to see if these singles can have fun on a date without knowing what the other truly looks like. Will the fur, fins, fangs and freaky facial features distract them from having a real conversation, or will they be dancing and dining like the rest of us even though they look like bad extras from "Nightbreed"?

The fact that the show debuts on Valentine's Day could either be charming or just rub it in to us bachelors and bachelorettes stuck home on this single-shaming holiday. Here's hoping the show isn't superficial, but simply sweet.