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Rock of Love with Bret Michaels
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 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?