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 is not the 1980s-era, Chuck Woolery-hosted version of Love Connection they may remember. This revamped version, hosted by Bravo's Andy Cohen, updates the familiar "he said/she said" dating show format by offering a cash prize, and featuring a more diverse cast of singles -- including interracial couples, elderly people, and members of the LGBTQ community. Lots of double entendre and innuendo make this guilty pleasure more appropriate for older teens, if they're interested in this kind of thing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live and producer of the Real Housewives franchise, serves as host in this updated version of the '80s-era dating show. A "single" is paired with three "matches", and goes on a date with each one. Unlike some dating shows, the dates are not filmed, although the participants do film brief "selfie videos" with their smartphones, commenting on how the date is going, which are then excerpted on the show. This can be embarrassing if they're not getting along or feeling an attraction. Andy and the "single" talk to each "match" in the studio afterward, and they talk about their first impressions of each other (they actually rate each other's attractiveness on a scale of 1-10) and what they liked or disliked about the date. After dissecting all three dates, the "single" chooses one "match" to take on a second, overnight date. The twist in this version of Love Connection is that the audience also votes on who they think the single should take out again. If they choose the same person the single did, the single wins $10,000. If they choose differently, the single can go with their heart and date the person they connected with (and forfeit the $10,000) or they can dismiss their initial choice, and take the audience's advice and the cash.
Is it any good?
The fact that this show has updated the dating pool to include a more diverse selection of singles simply isn't enough to elevate it from its cheesy roots. This newfangled Love Connection has a slick new set and an amiable host in Andy Cohen, but a lot of the contestants seem less interested in finding love and more interested in just hamming it up on TV. While there are some bawdy moments -- there are jokes about someone's "manhood" and being references to getting drunk and felt up -- this isn't an out-and-out sleazefest like, say, Blind Date or even The Bachelor. But that doesn't mean there's anything genuine about it either, making it a guilty pleasure at best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why someone would choose to go on a dating show like Love Connection. Does this seem like a good way to meet people? Would knowing the date would be discussed on TV change the way you behaved on the date?
How might it affect someone's self-esteem to have their looks rated in front of an audience? Does being rated in that way make things more awkward? Does this seem like a respectful way to convey an interest in someone, or like something people would do on a date in real life?
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