Jilted?

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Jilted? TV Poster Image
"I do" ultimatums bring iffy lessons about marriage.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The show's "choose me or lose me" philosophy reduces a wedding to a gimmicky stunt that's trumped-up by the bride. The groom isn't involved in the decision-making process at all...except whether to say "I do" or "I don't."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The fact that the bride and groom would agree to participate in the process at all makes them pretty poor role models. Some couples seem more thoughtful than others, and a few actually question whether they're doing the right thing or not, but their motivations for getting married on a show like this are suspect.

Violence
Sex

Some couples imply that they've lived together (and slept together) for years before their pending nuptials.

Language

Occasional use of words like "pissed."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking at bachelorette parties, etc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's some low-level swearing ("pissed" is typically as bad as it gets) along with a little social drinking and sexual innuendo to look out for. But the worst part of this wedding-themed reality series is the wildly iffy message it sends to kids about marriage and pressuring others to say "I do." In addition, the show seems to support the premise that a wedding stemming from a gimmicky ultimatum is as meaningful as one that evolves from genuine forethought.

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What's the story?

In the reality series JILTED?, desperate girlfriends give their bewildered boyfriends a wedding ultimatum: Either marry them at the end of one week, or risk losing them forever. While the potential groom mulls it over, the bride-to-be forges ahead with the wedding planning, meeting with caterers, picking out her dress, and even going out with her girlfriends to celebrate with a full-fledged bachelorette party. But on the day of the wedding, she'll be walking down the aisle without knowing whether her groom will say "I do" -- or "I don't."

Is it any good?

As far as horrible ideas for a reality show go, Jilted? is definitely up there -- or down there, as the case may be. Because marriage success rates are already so dismal, why not throw another couple into an over-produced wedding "situation" they can't possibly emerge from unscathed? At best, doomed grooms will agree to the equivalent of getting married at gunpoint. At worst, jilted brides will be humiliated on national television. Based on that, a happy ending seems...unlikely.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about weddings and the factors that make real marriages successful. Why do some marriages work when others fail? Are there specific things partners can do to increase the odds that their relationships will last?

  • How does the presence of cameras (and the fact that the show apparently pays for the wedding) affect the actions of the bride and groom? Would the participants make the same choices if they weren't being featured on an all-expenses-paid television show?

  • How genuine do the couples seem to you? Why would a couple agree to participate in a show like this one? What do they get out of the experience?

TV details

  • Premiere date: November 21, 2010
  • Network: WE
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG

For kids who love family reality shows

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