Friday, March 27, 2009

'Tough Love' an easy sell


I don't often recommend "reality" dating shows (I mean, I watch Bret Michaels' "Rock of Love," but I wouldn't tell any you to tune in), but VH1 is really on to something with its new series "Tough Love." So much so, I've found myself recommending it to friends, and I suggest you guys watch it, too.

The thing that makes this show stand out is that, like the book "He's Just Not That Into You," the male reaction is front and center. No matter what these chicks do, there's always a segment where the host, real-life matchmaker Steve Ward, lets them see what the men they interacted with really think, so they can learn from it. Hence the title.

It's funny and painful and a great idea. And it makes for entertaining and informative TV.



In the "Tough Love" boot camp, Steve works with ladies who represent archetypes of single women (here's the "cast" with Steve and his mom JoAnn in the middle; the duo runs Master Matchmakers in Philadelphia). There's the gold-digger, who will only date men with money and has never held a real job. There's the chick who likes to take on men with problems, so she can "fix" them. There's the former stripper with serious intimacy issues. There's the 25-year-old who has already planned her wedding and tells men on the first date that she wants to get married and have her first kid by age 29. There's Miss Picky, who wears a tiara and a wedding ring (because she's committed to herself -- no kidding) and has a loooooooong list of requirements for her perfect man. There's Miss Ball-Breaker, an aggressive, braggart of a woman who enjoys intimidating men. There's Miss Lone Ranger, a 38-year-old who's focused on her career for so long, she hasn't made time for a man. And then there's the "Fatal Attraction" chick who becomes way too attached, way too fast when she meets a suitable mate.

Like I said earlier, the best part is that the women get to find out what men think of them. In the first episode, they each had to stroll past three guys, and the guys told Steve what they thought of each woman. The women later got to see what the men said. Steve's point? Women are being judged by men all the time, everywhere they go, based on how they look. Also in that episode the women went to a mixer and later saw see footage of how they interacted with men and what the men thought of them. (One poor girl didn't make an impression on any of them -- they couldn't even remember who she was. Ouch.)

While these women are extreme, it's easy to see some of ourselves in them. While we might not pick our nose on the first date as the ball-breaker did, we might talk about our accomplishments a little too much in an effort to impress. And while we might not have a "tiara test" like Miss Picky, most of us probably have a mental checklist we consult as we try to decide if we want to see someone again.

Whether you're married or single, dating or taking a break, "Tough Love" is worth watching -- even better in a group, so you can discuss. New episodes air Sunday nights at 10 and repeat during the week.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree. The host of "Tough Love" --despite the fact that he looks relatively young -- seems very intelligent and really does seem to want the best for the women on the show. He presents a good mirror into what their real core issues are and how men react to how those issues are manifested. Now of course there are the usual reality show drama/drama queens but if you're a woman (and especially if like me you didn't really grow up with a father or brothers in the house), the show is a great way to get a (sensible!) man's perspective on how they interpret a woman's actions, intentions and overall presentation.

I M OPEN MINDED said...

Well, this supposed knoewlegede man really has it going on. All the advice he has given to the ladies has been stong and true. Like myself. I have no problem getting good, it is the one that matters that htat would flost your boat in an idealistec point of view. anyway.... trajic voiece spills...

Mr Tizpi said...

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[Sign off]