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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 The Choice is a dating reality show rife with sexual innuendo, sexy banter, and women in tight, revealing clothing. Female contestants describe their attributes lasciviously to cheering crowds, sometimes doing a few lewd dance moves to illustrate the point. Male contestants deliver come-ons to the women that some viewers may view as disrespectful or demeaning. Some contestants end up being rejected entirely, which can be uncomfortable to watch. There's also a lot of talk of "partying," which many will interpret as "drinking."
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What's the story?
Dating game show THE CHOICE is something of a spin-off of The Voice -- only this time, bachelors and bachelorettes are competing to win dates with opposite-sex celebrities (Joe Jonas, Dean Cain, Carmen Electra, and more). In the show's first round, the celebrity singles sit in The Voice-like spinning chairs with their backs to the stage, while contestants come out one by one and describe themselves. If the celebrities like what they hear, they pull the "love handle" and pick the contestant for a date by turning around. Once each celebrity has picked three potential dates, they weed out one in brief question-and-answer sessions. Host Cat Deeley asks each celebrity's final two a question, and the answer determines which contestant is chosen. Following the show, the celebrity single and his or her pick go on a "dream date," footage of which is shown on the next episode.
Is it any good?
The Choice is pretty confusing to watch, with contestants (usually women) coming and going at such a fast clip that it's hard to get to know them at all. Hey, she seems nice. Whoops, now she's gone. There's a frantic pace and a repetitiveness, particularly in the first round, when contestant after contestant emerges and describes herself for 30 seconds: "You should pick me, I have brains and booty!" says one, doing a little gyration. Seeing that a couple of times might be funny; watching at least 12 contestants in a row say roughly the same thing, not so much.
As is typical for a TV dating show, the banter is on an AXE commercial level: "I love to dance and sing, and I can move my body like Shakira," says one contestant, caressing her hips and derriere while the bachelors react to the crowd's shrieks with wolfish expressions. Teenagers and twentysomethings will probably love this show. Parents will mostly get a charge out of seeing celebrities slumming it, as well as half enjoy and half deplore the dirty-minded camera, which slowly pans up each female contestant, so you won't forget what The Choice is really about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why The Choice makes a point of not letting the potential daters see each other in the first round. What does that say about the way The Choice thinks people usually choose their dates? If the show is trying to make the point that physical appearance shouldn't matter, why are female contestants dressed in such revealing clothes?
Are the contestants who appear on The Choice really looking for love? If so, is The Choice really helping them find it? If the answer to both these questions is no, why do you think contestants are on the show, and what does The Choice get out of the bargain?
Do the sex jokes on The Choice make you uncomfortable? Why is the idea of contestants flirting with each other in front of TV cameras funny?
For kids who love reality shows
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