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Parents' Guide to

Meet My Folks

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Dump this reality show for objectifying women.

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Unbeknownst to their hosts, the guys are assigned pranks (spilling a drink on the father at dinner, for example) that are designed to upset the parents and create friction in the household. The contestants' pasts are also combed for dirty secrets about everything from bad hygiene to phone-sex addictions, all of which is revealed to the entire group for maximum embarrassment. Ex-girlfriends are invited to spill the beans on messy breakups and sexual habits, and the parents hook the guys up to lie-detector machines to better gauge their intentions. Throughout the process, the woman in question sits dutifully beside her parents, laughing with them at the guys' discomfort but otherwise remaining closed-lipped about her own impressions of the contestants. She's allowed one outing with each suitor, which often leads to kissing and physical closeness on screen but rarely plays into the parents' ultimate decision. The losers are eventually eliminated, leaving the one voted most suitable packing his bags for Hawaii and eyeing his beautiful prize ... who may or may not be pleased with Mom and Dad's choice.

There's so much wrong with this supposed "reality" series that it's difficult to know where to begin. As if placing a woman's affections at the heart of a contest in which she has no say isn't bad enough, there's also the upsetting nature of the parents' humiliating treatment of the guys. And the show promotes the idea that it's possible to gauge a person's trustworthiness -- enough to send your daughter away with him -- with a few silly challenges and one polygraph test. In the end, you're left wondering exactly which reality this show is based upon. While it's tempting to envision a world in which you can hand-pick your daughter's boyfriend, one would hope that the playing field would offer more than three contestants with questionable pasts and hopes for an all-expenses-paid vacation.

TV Details

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