A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in dating competition show Ready For Love eligible bachelors choose mates from groups of women chosen and mentored by professional matchmakers. Teens may be drawn to some of the conversations about love, romantic dates, and other themes, but this show isn't really meant for them. It features lots of flirting, women in skimpy bikinis, passionate kissing, strong sexual innuendo, and intense arguments (with occasional bleeped cursing). Drinking is also visible. In-between all the drama, matchmakers offer their advice about how to best attract a mate, while promoting their books and businesses.
What's the story?
READY FOR LOVE is a reality dating competition designed to help eligible bachelors find their soul mates. After being handpicked by executive producer and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria, three professionally successful men are matched with four women chosen from thousand of Facebook applicants by three professional matchmakers, Amber Kelleher-Andrews, Tracy McMillan, and Matt Hussey. Cameras follow as the bachelors then spend time with the women to get to know them better and hopefully make a connection. Studio and at-home viewers also get to watch the women being mentored by the matchmakers, and participate in in-studio competitions against each other. The men get some tips, too. Each week they each must eliminate one of the women in front of a live audience. Once each of the men make their final choices, they, along with his winning lady, must decide where they will go from there.
Is it any good?
Hosted by Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Ready for Love boasts lots of flashing lights and dramatic stage gimmicks designed to appeal to live audiences. The conversations with the matchmakers, whose distinct matchmaking styles lead to different and often conflicting advice, also adds to the show's entertainment quality. But if you look beyond the fanfare, what you find are the typical trappings of a reality dating show, including lots of young, attractive, model-thin women who are competing for the love of a man they barely know, fantasy dates, and theatrical eliminations.
The women featured here are educated, professional, and don't necessarily define their self-worth by their ability to win the heart of the man they are vying for. But many of them appear desperate -- especially when they are arguing with each other or participating in challenges (like boxing matches) that pit them against other women in order to win some dating perks. As a result, healthy messages about self-esteem and personal relationships get lost in the fray.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dating shows. What makes them appealing? Do you think they offer a realistic look at what it takes to find a mate? If you look at the history of dating shows on TV, which ones were/are the most popular? Did/do people who appear on these shows successfully find long-lasting love matches? Are there any other benefits to appearing on these programs?
How many people do you think successfully use modern matchmaking and/or dating services? What's missing from these matchmaking processes? Do you think the advice being given on this show would be the same if the cameras were turned off?
For kids who love reality shows
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