While Ready To Love shows some growth this season, early on, as time goes on, all the old issues that have plagued this show rear their heads.
|Genre(s)||Romance, Reality-TV, Competition|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Mixing things up this season of Ready To Love, rather than start with an overwhelming 20 people, the show starts off with 14, split by gender lines, with new singles added each week. Leading to, by the time we reach episode 12, two bonafide couples and one set who made it to the end partly due to the number of people who self-eliminated.
Things To Note
What Could Happen Next
- What We Wish Would Happen Next: Tommy getting a co-host or replaced
- Potentially a redemption season featuring people who didn’t find love on the show. It’s been six seasons, so I feel like we’re at that point
- The show likely staying in the south to keep costs low. I’d imagine one of the Carolinas, Alabama, or Mississippi being next. Maybe even Florida.
They Tried To Mix Things Up
After 5 casts and seemingly recognizing it can be overwhelming trying to impress 10 people while competing with 9 others, the show had it where people staggered their way in. As shown with Donovan and Carmen, this wasn’t the worst idea. Yes, most who got staggered in were eliminated early on since you only really get that initial pop, and then you’re old news. But we appreciate the recognition that the process isn’t perfect, needs fine-tuning, and there could be better ways to get the job of having people meet their match done.
If You Come For The Drama, You Get It
With that said, while Ready To Love is about finding love, let’s not pretend for some it is Ready To Date or ready to promote themselves. From people who have gotten into acting or seemingly have become influencers once the show is over, Ready To Love knows has to find characters who look at this as an opportunity to be on television. Now, I would say this season didn’t have that as much as we saw in the past, but it nonetheless had drama that pushed you to wonder if someone wanted a Reality TV career.
From shady confessionals from Carmen and DaKiya, Joi’s comments in the reunion special, Laverne having spats with multiple women and even the men during deliberation, and Tina disrespecting Tommy? While things started off cute and mature, everyone was showing who they are and setting aside their representative by the end.
Let me preface this by saying, we don’t think Tommy is a bad person or comedian or that we don’t recognize or respect how his tenure as a married man could bring something to the show. The problem is, I don’t think Tommy is properly equipped for what is asked of him. Yes, the idea of Ready To Love is that everyone is grown and sexy and ready to get into something which is long-term. But that’s the thing, it’s an idea that isn’t often reality.
As shown, a lot of the singles, even those who have talked about going or being in therapy, aren’t ready for an experience like this, and I don’t think Tommy makes it easier on them. He more so guides them through the show than guides them towards being able to love someone else. Those are two different things! As shown throughout the series, his job is to get at least three couples by the time the reunion show is over, and I would say that has come in conflict with recognizing the individual needs and issues of cast members.
But even if he switched things up to being more of a dating and relationship mentor, I don’t think it would be enough with the format of this show. They need someone whose qualifications isn’t just having a multi-decade marriage for, as noted on Black Love, all the advice in the world ain’t worth a damn if that person doesn’t love as you do. So between a licensed professional or someone with a doctorate in communications, relationships, and psychology, this show either needs to replace Tommy or recognize they need more than he can give.
So Much Innuendo
While people being touchy-feely and flirty isn’t new, increasingly, it seems boundaries aren’t being established. Now, you could say that, with everyone 30+, they should know better. However, part of why many are on this show is because they don’t know better. What they’ve been doing hasn’t worked, and now with them having the attention of multiple people and their ego inflated? In my mind, it shows another failing of the show team by not setting down expectations.
I would even say, not to harp on Tommy, for it is also on the producers and people who work on the scene, but as you have seen throughout the seasons, Tommy is real selective on when he decides to get confrontational. Generally speaking, he veers towards stirring the pot or just being a jovial presence. Which is fine if he was a contestant, but as a host? The consistent presence on this show? It furthers the need to have someone who takes a more hands-on approach and truly hold everyone equally accountable. Mainly so these people aren’t just thrown in with the assumption they are ready to date and potentially love but are actually given tools and insight on what hasn’t worked so far to have success.
That is, as opposed to winging it and ending up in situations like Eric where he got way too comfortable way too soon and, luckily for him, DaKiya didn’t escalate it beyond what we saw. If not, as shown throughout Sabrina’s process, between her and the men, there not being the communication skills needed to avoid conflict that ultimately cannot be seen as productive.
On The Fence
Old Problems With Transparency & Openness Remain
One of the main issues that have long plagued Ready To Love is the concept of who is in anyone’s top. It has to be forced out of people, and with the show usually running for ten weeks, even towards the end, making a decision is seen as difficult. But, this season had a truth or dare segment, started by Laverne, which made it clear who was someone’s top to all present. Later on, we got the same thing in the form of a brunch, which led to public conversations about where people were and how they felt.
Those group conversations, where people are pushed to be open about how they feel, need to happen more often. Having a bunch of dates, then deliberating who has to go, it doesn’t work. Also, it causes drama since all it takes is one person leaking information from a deliberation or the surprise of someone’s top having an interest in someone else. So we can only hope for group check-ins and it being made more clear throughout the process who likes who is done going forward.
Parts Of The Process That Are Still Kept
While meeting someone’s friends makes sense, meeting exes and meeting the family still seems a bit much. As Sabrina noted, and we’ve seen as an issue many times, by the time most get to the point where the show wants everyone to meet the family, they haven’t narrowed it down to one person. Things are still complicated, with no strong sign that the meeting the family scenario will drastically alter things.
Then, with meeting the exes, like Clifton said, what can they provide beyond an example of how to lose this person? If anything, those episodes dedicated to meeting the parents or exes should be when they meet a couples counselor. Because, as Tina noted, and Sabrina as well, this whole journey is so intense and overwhelming that being forced to have it be so serious that parents get involved after 2 – 4 months of knowing someone? It’s a bit much for the average person.
Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)
Though we hate to admit it, Ready To Love is a guilty pleasure kind of show. It doesn’t really fulfill its desire to show you can find love after 30, 40, 50 even. More often than not, it is discouraging for it furthers all the reasons you could have about being anxious about dating again. If it isn’t people who care more about playing the field than finding the one, it is about people who may have financial responsibilities, which makes them appear grown, but maturity-wise? They’re still very much stuck in high school.
Hence the mixed label. If you come to Ready To Love and see it as Ready To Date and are looking to see 30+-year-olds get into some drama, this is for you. However, if you are looking to swoon, get butterflies, and get to see people who would encourage you to get back out there and make an effort? This is not the show for you.
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