More to Love

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
More to Love TV Poster Image
Plus-sized dating competition favors weight, not waifs.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters frequently use phrases like "It's who you are inside" and "Love doesn't have a shape or size," which drive home the show's central message of acceptance based on a person's character rather than their appearance. And the bachelor says he'll weigh a woman by "how she carries herself and who she is as a person." But he sends some mixed signals when he fawns over the prettiest contestants and says "they're all so beautiful; they're exactly what I'm looking for." And the fact that each contestant's weight is displayed alongside her age, occupation, etc., doesn't exactly back up the "weight doesn't matter" message. Plus, the fact that the show only includes plus-size women somewhat reinforces the idea that people of a particular body type are only attractive to people with the same body type.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most contestants are good-hearted with true intentions -- and those who fall short are typically kicked to the curb. Many are open with their emotions, too, and share heartbreaking stories about past rejections linked to their struggles with weight. There is some cattiness among the contestants, and some are portrayed as being somewhat desperate to find love.

Violence
Sex

Some cleavage-bearing tops, flirting, and kissing among people who've only known each other for a few hours. But all in all, it's pretty tame. One contestant's claim that "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach -- and his pants" is about as spicy as things get.

Language

Some audible use of terms like "bitch," plus words like "hottie," "crap," and "sexy." Stronger choices (like "f--k") are bleeped. Characters also mention having "junk in the trunk."

Consumerism

A Phat Farm logo is briefly visible in one scene.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking sometimes leads to overindulgence, but adult characters typically stay in control.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, all in all, this series is a lot tamer than other reality dating competitions when it comes to language and sex. But there might still be a few awkward family-viewing moments when contestants kiss or say something sexually suggestive, which does happen from time to time. In terms of messages and role models, the slant is overwhelmingly positive -- it's all about accepting people for who they are inside. But the show also sends some mixed signals about weight, health, and happiness, which might be tough for younger viewers to reconcile.

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What's the story?

In MORE TO LOVE, plus-size supermodel Emme plays host as 20 full-figured women compete for the affections of one "husky hunk," a successful real estate investor who's looking for love among a sea of strangers. Dreamed up by the creator of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the series employs now-familiar elimination techniques designed to whittle the pool down to a manageable number. But in the end, only one woman can keep her "promise ring" -- and win the bachelor's heart.

Is it any good?

If you're already a fan of shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, you might want to give More to Love a try. After all, it's basically the same show with curvier contestants. Opulent mansion? Check. Overly dramatic outdoor lighting? Check. Catty women? Check. Prospective dates pulling up in limousines, embarrassing conversations about romance, and awkward PDA? Check, check, and check.

Based on the guilty-pleasure popularity of reality dating shows  -- with women especially -- More to Love might find an audience. (And who knows? It might even spawn a spin-off with a plus-sized bachelorette.) But aside from its sometimes-overbearing focus on weight, it doesn't really add anything new to the genre. It means well, but it loses points for things like posting how much participants weigh alongside their name, age, and occupation. After all, if who we are inside is what's truly important, why is that necessary?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the contestants on this show differ from those you see on other reality competitions and elsewhere on television. Why do most of the women we consider "beautiful" tend to be thinner than the average female?

  • Is the show sending girls positive messages about body image, or is it sending mixed signals? Do all of the contestants seem truly comfortable with their bodies? Is it possible to be plus-sized and healthy?

  • Would the show be substantively different if the person looking for love was a plus-sized woman instead of a plus-sized man? Why do you think the producers launched the series around a man instead of a woman?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 28, 2009
  • Cast: Emme
  • Network: Fox
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG

For kids who love reality TV

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