Rock of Love with Bret Michaels

 
Poisonous behavior reinforces sexist stereotypes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show teaches the lesson that it's OK to be mean to other people in order to win a competition, reinforces stereotypes about women as sexual objects, and downplays women's intellect. It offers a confusing message to younger viewers, who might wonder why these women are disrespecting themselves in such a public forum.

Positive role models

There's no one to admire here -- the women are willing to do and say anything for camera time and Michaels' attention, and Michaels himself is hardly the poster boy for a committed, loving relationship.

Violence

Cat fights with mild physical contact. Angry confrontations and hurled insults.

Sex

Most women wear revealing clothing and bare a lot of cleavage. At least one woman bares her breasts onscreen, though they're blurred out. One gives Michaels a lap dance, and her underwear is momentarily visible. Discussion of "cold showers," "beat[ing] my penis to a pulp," and wanting to "f--k Bret Michaels." Also scenes of women leading Michaels upstairs toward bedrooms. Pole dancing.

Language

Constant stream of profanity, with the strongest words (like "f--k," which is used frequently) bleeped. Words like "ass," "crap" and "hell" aren't bleeped. Lots of sexually oriented language like "slut," "whore," "bitch," etc.

Consumerism

Promotes Michaels and his band.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol use is rampant. Some women get so drunk that they can barely hold their heads up and can't form coherent sentences. One rule announced by the security guard is "no puking in the pool." Jokes about being alcoholics. Some smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality show follows the formula of many Bachelor-type series, but takes it to a raunchy level. The women competing for the top spot as rocker Bret Michaels' girlfriend are, for the most part, infantile, catty, and promiscuous. Most have large, prominently displayed breasts (in at least one instance, said breasts are visible, though blurred, onscreen), and most rely primarily on their bodies to attract Michaels (in one scene, a woman straddles him, hikes up her skirt, and grinds against his pelvis). Most of the women get extremely drunk, and some are unable to form comprehensible sentences. Michaels lavishes praise on the women for their looks, while paying lip service to brains and personality. While some women seem friendly toward one another, most are meanly competitive, insulting one another and even engaging in minor physical battles.

What's the story?

Bret Michaels, famous for being the lead singer of the 1980s big-hair band Poison ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn"), takes center stage as a guy looking for love. That's where a bevy of scantily clad, overly made-up contestants come into the picture. These women -- many of whom are young enough to be Michaels' daughters -- compete with one another for his attention by baring their breasts, prattling in baby talk, getting completely wasted, and sometimes performing drunken lap dances while being pummeled with insults of the "slut" variety. They also compete against one another in challenges that are supposedly designed to find the right match for Michaels: They're judged on their ability to deal with aggressive groupies, enjoy extreme sports, and support the rocker's musical expression.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you liked the voyeuristic car crash that was The Flavor of Love, but prefer glam rock to hip hop, ROCK OF LOVE WITH BRET MICHAELS has your name written all over it. Michaels, whose one-on-one interviews intermingle with footage of time spent with the women, seems relatively down to earth. But his appreciation for a woman who's clearly drunk beyond comprehension -- he says, with a wink, that they could "find a way to communicate" -- is hardly role-model behavior.

This crass example of what people will do for time in the spotlight isn't a good pick for teens -- or, frankly, for just about anyone ... unless the guilty-pleasure aspect of it all makes the idea of watching the women (and Michaels) embarrass themselves for your viewing pleasure irresistible.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the series' formula. Why do you think this type of reality show is popular? Why do people watch them? Is it just as a guilty pleasure, or is there more here than meets the eye?

  • How does the show (and others like it) feed into stereotypes about men,

  • women, and relationships?

  • Why do you think the women wanted to be on

  • this show? What can you deduce about them from their behavior? Would

  • you think the same thing about men acting this way?

TV details

Cast:Bret Michaels
Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Rock of Love with Bret Michaels was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byDanielOwns November 2, 2009
age 14+
 

14+ Can Be bad at time

Love this Show not that bad appart for My concerns
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Educator Written bytm124 September 28, 2009
age 17+
 
Girls do physical fighting, also verbal. Female Butts are seen, and girls sometimes hook out of their clothes. Words like H**ker, B*tch (BLEEPED),Wh*re (BLEEPED), F*ck (BLEEPED), Sh*t, which is unbleeped. Brandi spits on Destiny in one episode.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

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