Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this VH1 reality series is a bit tamer than a lot of other dating competitions on TV, it's still not a great choice for older teens. As far as language goes, some of the female contestants scream at each other, using bleeped swearing ("f--k" and "s--t") and audible insults like "tramp" and "bitch." And, particularly in the beginning, women are portrayed as sexual objects and are valued mostly for their bodies. There's also some kissing, along with skimpy outfits and suggestive talk, and alcohol plays a big role in some girls' partying.
What's the story?
In OCHOCINCO: THE ULTIMATE CATCH, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (whose real name was Chad Johnson before he legally changed it in 2008 to match his jersey number, 85) is trying to find true love. And since he loves the number 85 anyway, he's starting with a pool of that many women and quickly whittling it down to just 16 -- who then get to live together in a mansion and compete for his affections. Only one lucky contestant, however, will win the final prize: a diamond-encrusted platinum ring that bears his favorite number.
Is it any good?
Ochocinco might indeed be looking for love. But, much like his former NFL star friend Terrell "T.O." Owens (of The T.O. Show) and fellow VH1 reality dating star Ray J (For the Love of Ray J), he's looking for love in all the wrong places. Most TV dating competitions are laughable in their likelihood of resulting in serious matches. But this one really dials up the gimmick factor with objectifying challenges and a borderline-offensive structure that literally pits women against each other in an NCAA-style bracket.
The worst part is the way the female contestants are treated right before the initial "cut" is made: They're all stuffed into cut-off football jerseys and tiny shorts and made to do jiggly jumping jacks while chanting Ocho's name. (This allows Ocho to cut about one-quarter of the pool based on looks alone, mumuring, "You been cut, baby girl," in each of their ears.) Later on, they're asked to tackle a "hugging sled" and show off their backsides while Ocho and his friend ogle them, and another dozen or so are asked to hit the showers. Less than 10 minutes into the show, about half the girls are gone ... and he hasn't even talked to them yet.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the female contestants were judged in the first round. Why were the first dozen or so women sent away? Why were they deemed less desirable than the others?
Do you think Ochocinco is looking for "real" love with true intentions? And, if so, is a reality dating show really the best way to do it? Why might he have agreed to star in a show like this? What does he get out of it?
What messages is the show sending about dating and competition, particularly among women? Do shows like this one encourage women to get along? Why do we find them entertaining?