A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this hyper-sexualized reality dating series -- in which both men and women compete for the affections of Internet celebrity Tila Tequila -- openly discusses bisexuality and lesbianism. It pits lesbians against straight men and exploits both gender and homophobic stereotypes. Cast members fight, drink (a lot), and swear (the strongest words are bleeped), and there's very strong sexual innuendo. All of that makes this show pretty iffy for anyone except adults who are able to recognize it as an intentionally over-the-top guilty pleasure.
What's the story?
In the reality dating competition series A SHOT AT LOVE WITH TILA TEQUILA, both men and women compete for the affections of Playboy model/cyber celebrity Tila Tequila (real name Tila Nguyen). Tequila, who is bisexual, invites a group of heterosexual men and lesbian woman to live in her house so she can get to know them better and decide whether her true love is a man or a woman. The houseguests must endure one another's presence while trying to secure Tequila's love. Each week, those who don't impress her are asked to leave; the last one standing wins the key to her heart.
Is it any good?
The cast indulges in plenty of the kind of behavior we've come to expect thanks to similar reality shows like I Love New York and The Real World -- including excessive drinking, endless arguing, and all-around hedonism. But A Shot at Love takes it all to the extreme, from over-the-top partying to exploitative, vulgar sexual behavior. Behind it all is the flirtatious Tequila, who uses her trademark sex appeal to both arouse and antagonize her would-be lovers.
The show is groundbreaking in that it openly features bisexual dating and relationships. Unfortunately, it presents them in a circus-like atmosphere that makes them seem freakish and vulgar. It openly pits heterosexual men against lesbians, creating a tension based primarily on ignorant gender and homophobic stereotypes and contributing to social anxiety related to differences in sexual orientation. A Shot at Love is a hyper-sexualized, voyeuristic experience for adults who enjoy the guilty pleasure of indulging in these kinds of shows. But it isn't a great choice for teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online fame. How do sites like My Space create celebrities? What exactly do these "cyber celebs" become famous for? Families can discuss how the media addresses different sexual orientations. How does the media affect how society views sexuality? What stereotypes do TV shows and movies play up? Which ones do they counter?