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 show's female contestants perform challenges and go on dates with Flavor Flav (rapper and star of The Surreal Life and Strange Love), who will, by the end of the series, choose one to be his girlfriend. In their attempt to win his heart, the women degrade themselves and put each other down. Although teens will want to watch (it's like train-wreck TV -- you can't look away), much of this cartoonish, intentionally over-the-top show's content is wildly inappropriate for kids, and it definitely promotes an unhealthy view of male/female relationships.
What's the story?
In THE FLAVOR OF LOVE, former Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav puts 20 women vying for his love through a series of challenges before whittling the group down to those who'd be a suitable girlfriend. (Keep in mind that most people have an entirely different definition of what "suitable" is than Flav does.) The women live together in Los Angeles in a house called the "phat crib." They have full access to Flav day and night, and multiple women often end up sleeping in his bed. Flav relies on the help of his chauffeur and bodyguard, Big Rick; his mother; and his ex-girlfriend, Brigitte Nielsen, to administer the challenges and help weed out the women who only want to take advantage of his money and fame. At the end of each episode, one woman is axed from the competition. The ladies always try to find out which of their competitors are in the game for Flav, and which ones just want to be on TV.
Is it any good?
Not only does The Flavor of Love paint a demeaning picture of male/female relationships and women in general, it also presents the mostly African-American contestants in an embarrassing light (none of them objects to being asked to cook a stereotypically "black" dish in the episode mentioned above, etc.). What's more, the women's sexually charged comments lend a seedy feel to an already smarmy show. There's really nothing redeeming about this show, which demeans everyone involved and seems to take pride in broadcasting crass, tasteless behavior.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about self-respect. When someone puts you down, what's the best way to react? Why is it important to have boundaries in a romantic relationship? Do teenage girls think they'd ever compete in a series like this? Why or why not? Why do you think the women want to be with Flav in the first place?