- You find £100,000 in cash in a bag on an empty street in the middle of the day. Do you:
- a) Hand the money over to the police
- b) Take £50,000 of the cash for yourself and give the rest to charity
- c) Keep £70,000 of the cash for yourself and hand the remaining money to the police station
- d) Keep all of the cash for yourself and never tell anyone
Introducing Chance – a new psychological thriller. Starring? Your morals.
I have long been a fan of questions which invoke a certain ethical standpoint; it’s fun to put pressure on minds unaccustomed to anything outside their immediate reality. I also enjoy putting myself through a level of emotional turmoil considering what I really would do if faced with an ethical dilemma. But what if your dating life was determined by a set of questions of such nature?
To celebrate the launch of Chance, a new psychological thriller starring Hugh Laurie, Universal Channel conducted an online quiz of questions of the above example. The idea was to match individuals according to their sense of moral rather than hobbies, looks, background etc. Many people value honesty highly in a relationship, so starting off on a note of an honest match of your moral ground is as good a starting point as any, wouldn’t you say?
Of the 450 people taking part in the survey, 63.6% answered that they would do the right thing and take the money to the police. If approached by a hot stranger on a night out, 33% said they’d exchange phone numbers and potentially see the person again. Aren’t we a deliciously devious bunch of daters!?
When asked what dating is like in London, you’re likely to get a response in the vein of “people are assholes”. Sure, they are. But what are morals anyway? A conditioned pattern of response to experience and social norms. So, what came first; the asshole or the chance to be one? What with all the apps around to facilitate multitasking and sneaky behavior, we create our own opportunity. And opportunity makes the asshole…
Were you to take this quiz, would you answer truthfully? Or do you know that your corrupt mind needs someone better to balance out your evil, thus forging your answers to attract a “good” partner would make sense? Embezzle money? Not me, not never! Or, at least I’ll be damned if my holy partner does…
Chance, which is based on Kem Nunn’s bestselling novel, sees Hugh Laurie play a middle-aged neuro-psychiatrist who gets pulled into a dangerous game of seduction and loose morals. His life is turned upside down when he meets a mysterious woman with a hefty helping of problems, but… but she so hot though! Classic noir stuff, reimagined. Exploring the idea of how far we’re willing to go to get what we want, or what we think we need, never gets old. Eat the apple. Pet the snake. The thrills of life. Impertinent not to honor them, is it not?
I once found myself aboard a yacht in the company of the most morally ambiguous people in the world – that’s no exaggeration, mind you. I asked one “famous” playboy a simple question. Would he rather eat a living rat or wear a helmet every day for a year? He tried to answer by kissing me but alas, I was adamant. You fool! Do you not understand that I need to know the answer, or I could never consider anything beyond a chaste handjob!?
The moral dilemma was too much for the celebrity in question; he got real sore about it. I continued to probe. After a tense silence, he started shouting: I will literally pay you $1000 if you shut the fuck up! I can’t take these questions anymore! Just shut the fuck up!
Wow – I think I had that boy vexed!? Should I have nodded and kept schtum and taken the money? Anyway – I digress.
Of the 450 people taking part in the quiz, twenty couples were matched together based on their answers. On the 20th of June, they were introduced to each other over a big blind dating event hosted by Universal Channel. I’d love to know how many of them went for a second date! According to behavioral psychologist and dating expert Jo Hemmings, they would have had a good headstart in the game of love. She said: “Your morals matter more than people might think when it comes to finding a well-suited love match, certainly over and above shared interests in life, like enjoying the same movies, food or music. If your fundamental values don’t match, then you may well be in for an uncomfortable relationship journey. It is important to know from a potential partner that your moral compass is aligned when looking to find a soul mate.”
So, friends. Do you still trust the directions of your moral compass? Do you follow the cardinal points to which it may lead you, for better or worst? Or are you guided by a North Star whose light shines brighter upon a goal of greater personal gain to you?
And me? I like to cross-pollinate the good and the bad. Because even the dark side of the moon sees light, every once in a while.
Chance is on every Tuesday evening on Universal Channel from 9pm, and is available on catch-up through BT, Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk