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 reality dating show -- which follows former The Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Jo De La Rosa as she tries to find romance after breaking up with ex-fiancé Slade Smiley -- includes some sexist comments and other iffy language ("crap," "douche bag"). There's also lots of sexual innuendo (including seeing Jo in her scanty underwear) and alcohol consumption. And Slade exhibits some jealous and often controlling behavior as potential dates compete for Jo's affection.
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What's the story?
Reality series DATE MY EX: JO AND SLADE follows Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Jo De La Rosa as -- after relocating to Los Angeles and embarking on a music career -- she begins her search to share her new life with someone special. Each week, four hopeful men get a chance to take her out on a date in hopes of being selected to move on to the next round. After dating dozens of guys, Jo will have a chance to choose one special prospect from the group of finalists. The twist? All of the potential suitors must move in with Jo's jealous, rather possessive ex-fiancé, Slade Smiley, to convince him that they can make her happy, too.
Is it any good?
While the show does focus on actual dating competition, its real "draw" is the continued dysfunctional relationship between the former Real Housewives lovers. Although Slade (who's also Jo's business partner) claims to have Jo's best interests at heart, he demonstrates some jealous behavior, going as far as attempting to sabotage potential love connections. Meanwhile, Jo appears to be incapable of breaking completely away from him and spends a lot of time worrying about his ability to cope with her renewed interest in dating.
Not surprisingly, the series contains some problematic -- and sexist -- messages. While Jo says that she enjoys her new, more independent existence, these claims are offset by her willingness to allow her ex-boyfriend to exercise some control over her romantic life. It also prompts some contestants to objectify Jo as s possession that has already "belonged" to Slade (one contestant says that Slade has "peed on the tree and marked his turf," while another claims that Slade is "auctioning her off"). All of this may make for voyeuristically entertaining television for mature audiences, but it's definitely not for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media portrays dating and relationships. Do you think dating shows create unrealistic expectations of how people are supposed to look, act, and feel to find someone special? Families can also discuss why people risk potential public rejection (or even humiliation) to appear on dating shows. Do you think participants really believe that they can find true love? Or do they have other motives?
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