Burning Love

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Burning Love TV Poster Image
Delicious parody of dating shows full of innuendo, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Satire is the name of the game here, not genuine emotion, but the show clearly makes fun of reality TV and the culture that surrounds it. The singles looking for love choose or reject each other on nonsensical reasons; a dad is roundly mocked for loving and mentioning his son too often.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many of the show's characters are venal, vicious, shallow, and ridiculous; look elsewhere for realistic characters to emulate. This is just for laughs.

Violence

Some cartoonish violence over absurdities such as two men scuffling over whether one of the men's names is really a girl's name.

Sex

Lots of flirting, some kissing, and plenty of innuendo, like when a woman pushes a man up against a wall to kiss him and then another man sandwiches the woman salaciously. We also see a bit of blurred nudity when one man decides to go to the bathroom near a campfire. Sexual innuendo includes a man saying he's slept with many of his cousins, and a man who says he's had sex with people who were unconscious.

Language

Bleeped cursing: "Oh f--k me!" exclaims a bachelorette when she sees a handsome man. There are also many veiled references to body parts, as when a bachelorette suggestively asks suitors to "hold her box" (while holding an actual box).

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Contestants frequently drink onscreen and some act drunk, slurring words, stumbling around. One contestant is ejected due to his drunkenness. A man discusses an emotional trauma while gulping down glasses of brown liquid.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Burning Love is a parody of dating shows like The Bachelor, and it's just as suggestive as what it mocks. Women on the show wear brief, bare outfits and there's a lot of discussion about contestants' looks. There's a good deal of flirting, kissing, and many sexual situations, like when a woman pins a man up against a wall and kisses him wetly while another man writhes against her from behind. Sexual innuendo is also frequent. Cast members drink constantly and sometimes act drunk, slurring words and bursting into tears. Viewers also see occasional blurred nudity, as when a man squats to use the bathroom in front of a crowd. There are bleeped curses on every episode, and unbleeped ones too: "I'm not into making gay s--t," a male contestant says when a female one asks him to make a puppet.

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What's the story?

Even if you've never watched dating shows like The Bachelor, BURNING LOVE's delirious takeoff of televised dating games will likely strike your funnybone. On the first season, virile hunky fireman Mark Orlando (Ken Marino) looks for love from a cast of female contestants; on the second, Julie Grisselwhite (June Diane Raphael) does the same with a bunch of gents. On each episode, contestants go on ridiculous dates such as making puppets and putting on a puppet show, guzzle booze, participate in one-on-one interviews with avuncular host Chris Harrison (Michael Ian Black), and hope that they'll make the cut and stick around next week.

Is it any good?

If you've watched Party Down, Wet Hot American Summer, The State, Veronica Mars or Children's Hospital, you will recognize many familiar faces on this absolutely hysterical series. The Burning Love cast apparently likes to work with the same people over and over and we're the happy beneficiaries who get to see much-beloved comedic actors like Paul Rudd, Adam Scott and Martin Starr working together again.

The subject being parodied -- televised dating competitions -- are ripe for mockery, and the Burning Love cast finds it, from hilariously dead-on contestant interviews with candles burning in the background to rejection ceremonies in which a woman kisses a South Asian man and says in surprise "You kiss normal! That's nice!" If you're not laughing at the many absurdities delivered by some of the funniest people alive, you must be either dead, or asleep. As for teens, if they enjoy poking fun at reality TV and can handle the edgy stuff, they'll find just as many laughs as parents.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Have you seen any of the shows that Burning Love is parodying, such as The Bachelor or The Bachelorette? Must you have watched these shows to appreciate Burning Love?

  • Watch The Bachelor and then watch Burning Love. How closely does Burning Love parody various aspects of The Bachelor, such as the candles burning during one-on-one interviews?

  • Why are dating shows so popular on television? Why do viewers enjoy watching singles find potential matches? What about this concept is appealing or interesting to viewers? Would it be as interesting if the contestants were unattractive?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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