Online Dating Rituals of the American Male

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Online Dating Rituals of the American Male TV Poster Image
Entertaining dating reality show paints men in a poor light.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Men don't come off too well in this show, underscoring the idea that men are generally sexist and shallow.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Daters come from all walks of life. Some of them appear earnest in their intentions to find someone to build a long-term relationship with; others simply want to have fun. Many men appear sexist in their attitudes toward women. 

Violence

Occasionally men slap women on their bottoms during dates; this is unsolicited behavior.

Sex

Some men use online dating as a way to find sexual connections. Expect frequent sexual references, as well as crude references about women and people's genitals. Occasionally men inappropriately touch women during dates. Date conversations include stories about strippers, pimps, and other people. 

Language

"Hell," "crap," and "ass" are audible; curses such as "s--t" are bleeped. The term "wanker" is used. 

Consumerism

There are references to online dating sites such as Tinder, Match.com, and OkCupid, but no dating service is prominently featured. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking (wine, cocktails) is visible during dates; sometimes folks get drunk. Profile pictures sometimes show people drinking or acting drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Online Dating Rituals of the American Male includes lots of adult conversations about dating and women, some of which can be sexist and crude. There are lots of references to having sex, as well as some strong language ("hell," "crap," "ass," with curses bleeped). People drink during dates and sometimes get a little drunk. Guys sometimes touch their dates inappropriately (such as grabbing or slapping a woman's butt).

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What's the story?

ONLINE DATING RITUALS OF THE AMERICAN MALE follows men as they search for their ideal date with the help of the Internet. Each episode features two men looking on an online dating site for women they would like to meet, either to have a great fling or to begin developing a serious relationship. Cameras follow as they troll dating site profiles, communicate online with women, and meet them face to face. Their pre-dating grooming habits and rituals are highlighted, and statistics about online dating use, as well as a review of some of the online dating vernacular, is offered. It isn't always the most comfortable process, but it's all part of dating in the digital age.

Is it any good?

From playful online banter that sends sparks flying to face-to-face dates that go horribly wrong, Online Dating Rituals of the American Male highlights the ups and downs of online dating, from meeting people who look nothing like their profile pictures to getting rejected before even meeting a date. But the show's focus is mostly on how men navigate the online dating world and the thoughts they have about who they're looking for -- and why. 

There are a few romantic moments, but most of the dates range from being uncomfortable to almost painful to watch. Adding to this are some of the men's crude descriptions of the women they look at online and meet in person. But there are some humorous moments, especially when the men reflect on some of their more miserable dates -- sometimes while they're still on them. You may not get a lot of good dating tips here, but you'll definitely find some voyeuristic entertainment. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dating as it's portrayed on this show. How realistic is the behavior of these guys, do you think? What would the pitch meeting for this show sound like?

  • Do you think some of the men or "daters" featured here think about or behave the same way toward women when they're not on a reality show? Are the women being themselves when meeting them?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 9, 2014
  • Network: Bravo
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14

For kids who love reality TV

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