Love in the City

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Love in the City TV Poster Image
Glam NYC reality series has sex jokes, sweet friendships.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Portrayals of upscale African-American women who aren't pitched as near-hysterical rivals to one another are relatively rare on television, and thus this show is welcome and positive. Nonetheless, Love in the City does contain some amped-up reality-show drama as well as drinking, gossiping, and sexual references.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The women featured on Love in the City each have professional interests, and some have high-profile careers. They talk a lot about being genuine and honest, as well as loyal to one's friends. They also undercut this loyalty with rude comments, made in solo interviews and in group settings.

Sex

Two of the women portrayed on the show are married (but may not stay that way); two are single. All of them talk a lot about sex, make sexual jokes, talk frankly about their boyfriends' body parts, and so on.

Language

"Damn" and "hell" are infrequent but not bleeped; the occasional "f--k" and "s--t" is bleeped.

Consumerism

Three of the four main characters have businesses that they promote on the show; we go to events for said businesses and their logos and internet pages are shown onscreen. We also see the names and logos of real businesses in the Harlem neighborhood in which Love in the City is set.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The female friends often meet for drinks. They enthusiastically down cocktails and talk about being drunk but no one stumbles or slurs. They may act loud and silly, however.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love in the City is a reality show about a foursome of female friends in New York City who compete and support each other simultaneously. The friends, all in their late thirties or early forties, are enthusiastic drinkers and many scenes are set in bars. Each of the show's four main characters also has a romantic life. Sex is referred to frequently and frankly, including jokes about body parts, hooking up, and baby daddies. Two of the women featured are married and at least one is having marital difficulties which are discussed onscreen. There is some cursing: "damn," "hell," and the occasional bleeped F-word. Each of the woman has a career, and their businesses are discussed and promoted onscreen.

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What's the story?

LOVE IN THE CITY follows a fabulous foursome of female friends, who bicker, kibbitz, and run their upscale businesses in New York City. Kiyah Wright, Bershan Shaw, Chenoa Maxwell, and Tiffany Jones are real-life friends who have known each other for over 10 years. Two of the women are married, two not; all of them have careers and personal lives, and histories with each other that are knotty and deep. Sometimes the women are the best of friends, toasting each other and their successes over a round of cocktails or lunch. And then at other times, the friends find themselves at odds with each other. But there's always plenty going on with this sparkling quartet as they try to balance life, work, and love.

Is it any good?

Would they have named it Love in the City if the viewer weren't meant to make the connection between this and Sex in the City? But though this is a show about four friends who lead glam lives and meet for lunch, the difference here is that these are real women, facing real problems. Well, sorta real: The wealth stratosphere these would-be Carries and Samanthas inhabit is so rareified that problems like who promoted whose international charitable trip on whose Facebook page, or who was and wasn't invited to the opening of the art gallery stand in for the problems lesser mortals may face.

Because it's about a cadre of career women-of-color in New York City, Love in the City also seems to beg comparison to Bravo's similarly themed Blood, Sweat, and Heels. And indeed, when the Love women are arguing and gossiping about each other, as they often do, the parallels are clear. But Love has a sweeter vibe than Blood: Though these women fight, as sisters do, they're also there for each other in the crunch, and spend as much time building each other up as knocking each other down. That's why, though this is more of a treat for adults and mature teens who can handle watching women mom's age drink and carouse, it's not a bad choice for those who like reality about lady friendships yet can't handle the insanely-juiced-up antics of a show like Mama Drama.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Love in the City is a realistic look at friends. Can a reality show ever portray a real friendship? Why or why not?

  • Do you think the title Love in the City was chosen to reflect back to another show? Ask your parents what they think. How are these two shows similar? How are they different?

  • How is the viewer supposed to feel towards the women on this show? Are we supposed to like them? To relate to them? To mock them? To fear them? How can you tell?

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