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I Wanna Marry Harry
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 I Wanna Marry Harry is a dating reality show in the vein of The Bachelor, with lots of bad behavior and deception. Expect regular cursing ("bitch," "crap"; curses bleeped with mouths blurred) and drinking. Women are shown in sexy underwear and skimpy bathing suits. The show's messages about dating, relationships, and honesty are iffy.
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What's the story?
I WANNA MARRY HARRY is a reality series starring a group of women who have traveled to England to meet their Prince Charming -- and a young man pretending to be him. It stars Matt Hicks, a 23-year-old ordinary British guy with limited funds who just happens to look a lot like His Royal Highness Prince Harry, fourth in line to the British throne. After learning more about the prince and taking aristocracy lessons, Hicks moves into an English castle and is presented to 12 twentysomething American women competing for the affections of the man they've come to believe is Prince Harry. For eight weeks the Prince Harry look-alike goes on a variety of dates to get to know the women. Throughout it all he must also pick and choose the women he wants to spend time with and the women he wants to leave the castle. At the end of the series, Matt hopes that the woman he chooses will love him for who he really is once the hoax is revealed.
Is it any good?
As with most reality series of this type, much of the focus is on the contestants, who engage in catty, competitive, and outright obnoxious behavior to secure the affections of a man they've just met. But this show is as much about Matt Hicks, who is working hard to pretend to be a wealthy member of royalty, while simultaneously hoping that someone will like him for the average young man he really is.
The show is painful to watch, especially when the women are so easily duped, despite the fact that Hicks never really admits to being His Royal Highness. Meanwhile, Hicks' desire to find true love by being dishonest just seems silly. It doesn't send very positive messages about dating, relationships, or honesty, and it certainly succeeds in making American women appear foolish.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reality shows. Do you think the women (or men) who participate in these dating reality competitions really believe they will find true and lasting love? Why do people agree to be on them when the risk of looking foolish or being publicly rejected is a possibility?
Much is said about the way American women behave on this show. Are these characterizations based on their behavior in the moment, or are they based on stereotypes? Do you think the way the cast behaves contributions to these generalizations or diffuses them?