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 series is -- a spin-off of controversial dating show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila -- features similar over-the-top behavior, including swearing ("bitch," "ass," and lots of bleeps), lots of drinking, endless cat-fighting, and strong sexual innuendo. Plus, the female contestants participate in demeaning challenges like wrestling in spaghetti, and ethnic stereotypes are used to justify many inappropriate behaviors.
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What's the story?
In THAT'S AMORE!, 15 young women compete for a chance at love with rejected A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila contender Domenico Nesci. They vie for the young, goofy Italian's heart by shamelessly flirting and competing in crazy contests to win dates and demonstrate that they're worthy of becoming his true love. Each week, along with his American "brother" and fellow Tequila reject Ashley McNeely, Nesci decides who gets to keep trying to become the American love of his dreams.
Is it any good?
Not surprisingly, That's Amore! takes its cues from its parent series and includes lots of drinking, endless cat-fighting, and hypersexualized behavior. But the show moves beyond hedonism to exploitation by asking the women to participate in challenges that are designed to be demeaning -- like wrestling for meatballs in a giant pool of spaghetti. Meanwhile, Nesci does things like ask his potential dates probing questions about their breasts and smell their armpits while reveling in the fact that they're willing to go all out for him. Even more troubling is the show's use of ethnic stereotypes to sanction most of these over-the-top performances.
That's Amore! offers some voyeuristic guilty pleasure for adults who enjoy this sort of thing. But the excessive behavior, the stereotyping, and the disturbing message it sends about what you have to do to find love makes it pretty iffy for teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people go on TV reality dating shows. Are they genuinely trying to win the hearts of people they've just met, or are they just trying to get their15 minutes of fame? Families can also discuss stereotyping. What are the different ways that television uses stereotypes for entertainment purposes? Should stereotypes ever be used to justify a behavior, even if it's supposedly "in good fun"?
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