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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In the Spotlight

This week, Channel One’s “Let’s Get Married” show moved into a prime-time television slot, allowing a far wider audience to mull as they eat their dinner over whether Sasha is right for Masha.

The dating show started last summer, during the “Year of the Family” drive to boost the birthrate. As its title suggests, it’s not a blind-date type show for teenagers. The participants are usually that much older, often divorced or widowed and have to endure a grilling from the hosts about their relationship history.

Despite this, the show is pretty entertaining. The best thing about it is the main host, actress Larisa Guzeyeva, who likes to bring the lonely hearts down to earth with a brutally frank appraisal of their chances.

“She needs a highflyer, and you’re obviously not a highflyer,” she told the crushed-looking male candidate on Monday after he dared to eye up a glossy blonde.

Guzeyeva is famous for her role as an ethereal maiden choosing between suitors in Nikita Mikhalkov’s 1984 film “Cruel Romance.” In that film, she based her choice on the Alpha Male’s white suit, singing ability and posse of dark-eyed gypsy musicians, which turned out to not be such a good idea.

In real life, Guzeyeva is more pragmatic. “Did he earn well? Did he let you spend his money freely?” she asked about one woman’s unsatisfactory ex.

The show concentrates on one lonely heart, either male or female, who is given a choice of three candidates, filtered through the show’s web site. The application procedure is pretty fiendish. You are asked questions about your income, housing, religion and worst of all: “Whose fault do you think it is that you’re single?”

Along with Guzeyeva, the show is hosted by a blonde astrologer, Vasilisa Volodina, and a professional matchmaker, Roza Syabitova, who twinkles over half-moon glasses. They all sit around a long wooden table, giving the blushing lonely hearts absolutely no privacy.

On Monday, the lonely heart was a scruffy-haired, 38-year-old ad agency director, who said he “dreamed of a son.” He looked uncomfortable in a gray suit and mauve shirt with the collars spread over his lapels.

The first woman to come on stage talked of her complicated relationship history, which was probably not helped by her insistence that “the man should ask you to marry him after 1 1/2 years.”

The next candidate, Kristina, talked of some happy relationships but recalled one boyfriend who visited her in the hospital but only brought her bottles of water. “He was a bit stingy,” she said.

Last up was a leggy blonde who looked a bit like Cameron Diaz. She did something in finance and generally didn’t seem the kind of woman who would need a dating show. But she said the men she worked with were too “rooted to the spot” and didn’t want to go out and have fun.

“Beautiful women often stay single because men are afraid of them,” Guzeyeva said. “She says she has received lots of proposals, but I’m afraid that not one of them was serious.”

She told the ad director that he wasn’t right for the blonde, and he humbly agreed.

“I’m not the man she needs.”

Guzeyeva and Volodina advised him to pick the quirkier Kristina, saying she would “give him back 10 times what he gave her.”

Matchmaker Syabitova disagreed. The men of Russia “won’t understand you” if you don’t pick the blonde, she told him.

At the end, he left the stage to make his choice. And, surprise, surprise, he came back with the blonde.