A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show embraces manipulation, lying, and superficial relationships.
Positive Role Models
Each of the contestants seem to be overly concerned with themselves and almost always have a drink in hand.
The cast is very diverse in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Multiple gay participants discuss what it was like coming out to their families. Shangela, a drag queen, hosts the first season's reunion special. In season two, each contestant's pronouns are listed and one of the participants identifies as non-binary.
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Violence & Scariness
Contestants sometimes argue. There are a few instances of contestants kissing other contestants without gaining their consent and making them uncomfortable.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men are shown often without shirts and women wear thong swimsuits. The narrator makes jokes with sexual innuendos, e.g., referring to stripping and asking if she can eat one of the contestants. Thruples are referenced. In the first season, there is regular kissing and contestants are shown lying next to each other talking or sleeping in bed, but there is no allusion to sex. In subsequent seasons, the contestants make out often and sexual activity is alluded to under the covers and behind closed doors.
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Language includes a lot of sexual innuendos. Words like "bitch", "sh-t", and "f--ck" occur often.
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Products & Purchases
Some of the contestants talk about the importance of being able to afford a lavish lifestyle and having luxury items such as a Lamborghini or Rolls Royce.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking is prevalent in every episode and the narrator jokes about alcohol often.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 12 Dates of Christmas is a reality dating show suited for mature audiences. The narrator jokes often about sex and drinking, and contestants are drinking in almost every scene. Men are often shown with their shirts off, and women wear thong swimsuits. Sex and contestants' physical attritubtes are referred to often and there is a lot of physical affection including hand holding, kissing, and making out. There are a few instances of contestants kissing another contestant without gaining consent. Thruples are referenced. In the first season, contestants are shown lying next to each other talking or sleeping in bed, but there is no allusion to sex. In subsequent seasons, sexual activity is alluded to under the covers and behind closed doors. Contestants lie, argue, curse and cry. Words like "bitch", "s--t", and "f--ck" occur often.
Is It Any Good?
Though it tweaks the dating show formula, this series delivers exactly what you'd expect: manufactured relationships, manipulation, insincere conflict, and plenty of drinking and sexual content. The cast of 12 Dates of Christmas is large and diverse, and the opportunity for a variety of people to connect is a refreshing change from The Bachelor franchise model, in which dozens of contenders compete for the favor of one coveted person. The setting, nothing short of a winter wonderland, is a feast for the eyes and things are kept fresh by the lingering threat/promise of a new person to date showing up. What makes the series stand out most is the wry narration from Natasha Rothwell. By being in on the joke with her, the viewer isn't asked to fully buy-in to the silly premise that love can be found via a competition. Despite that delightful element, however, the show still can't stop itself from leaning into unconvincing drama around whether the couples will stay together long-term. Fans of shows like 90 Day Fiance and Love Is Blind will find plenty to enjoy here, but non-reality TV lovers won't be swayed.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.