LABOR OF LOVE Is Pro-Father and Pro-Family, But at What Cost?
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
FOX’s new reality show LABOR OF LOVE may be pro-father and pro-family, but at what cost?
The premise of the show is a 41-year-old woman named Kristy is ready to have a baby. Though she’s prepared to start the baby journey on her own, she wants to find a man who can be the father of her child. Kristy says she was briefly married before, but now that she’s divorced, she did not want to take the “conventional” path again to start a family.
Multiple men are vying for Kristy’s affection and the chance to be the father of her child. The show’s challenges put the men through some of the basic struggles of fatherhood to see how they would react. Kristy can then determine if the man would make a good father for her children.
Thus far, only the first episode has aired.
Compared to other dating reality shows, the contestants are intentionally seeking relationships so they can have a marriage and family. Each of the men shares why being a father is important and how they want to parent their future child. Some contestants call out the other men for being drunk or displaying behaviors that are unacceptable for a father.
However, this show is such a mess that the pro-father, pro-family elements are not enough to redeem the execution. In the first episode, men were asked to give a sample of their sperm to determine if they could produce children, and host Kristin Davis (SEX IN THE CITY) asks the contestants if they’ve masturbated in the last week.
This moment so painful that Davis said, “I thought I was going to die!” and she was “scared” of viewers seeing the collection on screen.
Yet, minutes later, the show reiterates that each of the men has a strong desire to be a father and say they can’t wait to start a family.
LABOR OF LOVE has a strong romantic worldview with contestants following their hearts to pursue their familial dreams. There are very few profanities or obscenities, but there is some upper male nudity. Contestants drink alcohol but condemn drunkenness. Based on the pilot, LABOR OF LOVE is clearly building to sexual content, and masturbation is discussed. Kristy also wears some revealing outfits.
While family and fatherhood are extolled, the unconventional path to family and lack of marriage discussions merit extreme caution for viewers.
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