Tough Love: Miami



Matchmaker spin-off promotes mixed messages about women.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series sends sexist messages about what women need to do in order to find a partner. But it does offer positive advice about dating, being confident, and acting appropriately both online and in real life.

Positive role models

Steven Ward wants to help, but he's arrogant about his abilities. Some of the cast members have serious self-esteem and body-image issues. Women insult Ward and other women behind their backs, and some act outrageously out of anger or a desire for attention.


The cast occasionally argues, but the animosity is often geared toward Ward.


Some references to having sex; also flirtatious touching and kissing. The women wear bikinis, thongs, fishnet stockings, and other provocative clothing. One cast member is a go-go dancer; another dated a married man for many years. Inappropriate online postings include pictures of cast members partially naked (although all nudity is blurred) and engaged in some sexually provocative behavior. Sexting is also discussed.


Frequent use of words like "damn," "bitch," "douche bag," and "crap", as well as bleeped curses like "s--t," "f--k," and "d--k." Occasional lewd gestures are blurred.


The series promotes the Tough Love dating app, "Fun Sexy Cool," in between show segments. Jewelry from Jason Jewelers is featured. References to Barbie. The use of Facebook  and Google is discussed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent drinking (hard liquor, wine, champagne). One cast person was previously arrested on a DUI and hasn't touched a drink since.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this matchmaking reality series spin-off mixes sexist messages about the rules that women should follow in the dating world with more positive messages about self-confidence and self-respect. Expect similar levels of catty behavior as in other reality shows, plus lots of strong language ("bitch, "crap," plus bleeped "f--k" and "s--t"), drinking, and sexual innuendo. The series also serves as a promotional vehicle for the featured matchmaker and his services.

Kids say

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What's the story?

TOUGH LOVE: MIAMI, a spin-off of the original Tough Love matchmaking series, features matchmaker Steve Ward and his mom, Joann, as they lead a group of eight women through a 10-week "boot camp" designed to help them navigate the intense Miami dating scene. The participants are put through a variety of test dates and other challenges designed to help them understand how the male mind works and improve the way they carry themselves when looking for Mr. Right. During group meetings, Ward shares feedback from their dates and dispenses his blunt opinions in hopes of helping them find a long-lasting and healthy romantic relationship.

Is it any good?


Ward, who proclaims himself to be these women's "beacon of hope" when it comes to fixing their dating life, manages to offer some positive advice about a woman's need to have self-respect and a willingness to respect others in order to be more appealing. He also points out the difference between being self-confident and being arrogant and the danger of putting inappropriate content online.

Unfortunately, some of these lessons confuse being empowered in the dating world with adherence to sexist standards for the way that women should behave in society. Ward's shameless self-promotion makes his advice a little hard to take seriously, too. Some folks may find something helpful here, but ultimately it's a series that mostly offers lots of typical reality show drama.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about reality shows. What are some of the elements of a standard reality show? Why do they so often involve women sharing a house together? Have you seen any reality shows that do things differently?

  • Has the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, and other digital resources changed the way that people meet and date? What are the consequences of engaging in online behavior like sexting when trying to find and/or build a meaningful relationship with someone?

TV details

Cast:Joann Ward, Steven Ward
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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  • 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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Parent Written byflipflops2012 October 23, 2011

Strongly Inappropriate.

Watching dumb reality shows is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. However, Tough Love: Miami is definitely not a show for children and should not be watched in the presence of children. The show doesn't include much violence, except for a little, silly cat fighting that would be expected to happen in a house full of girls living together. But the show does become quite innapropriate when it comes to its sex, language, and alcohol/smoking content. Some of the girls do dress inappropriately, and are often showed in revealing, skanky outfits. There also tends to be some kissing and affection towards guys that the girls have only just met. There is nudity, but it is all blurred. Certain bad words are bleeped out, but others aren't. There is also frequent inappropriate behaviors shown and referenced such as drinking and/or smoking. In my opinion, it is strongly inappropriate for most young audiences. I would consider allowing an older teenager to watch the show, as long as they showed maturity and were not easily influenced.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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