When it comes to reality shows, it seems there’s no depth networks won’t plumb in order to find “good,” compulsively watchable content. That certainly seems to be the case with their new reality show Labor of Love. The series, which started on Thursday, May 21, sees 15 men competing for the chance not to find love, but to impregnate 41-year-old Kristy Katzmann.
The show is hosted by Kristin Davis. You may remember her as Charlotte on Sex and the City, and the fact that she’s hosting this series is bizarrely perfect given the character’s obsession with pregnancy in the show. Labor of Love will see contestants “skip the dating and go straight to baby-making” and Fox has drafted Davis in to be there for it all (well, not all of it, I hope).
“It’s a mating show, not a dating show.” As Guardian TV columnist Stuart Heritage explained Fox’s Labor of Love, it’s “a dating show where the prize is a real-life flesh-and-blood baby. The entire show exists to help one woman choose a candidate to impregnate her. It’s a mating show, not a dating show. Love, as we’re told, is optional.” Sounds like… fun?
Admittedly, the concept is a little out there. There’s nothing too weird about Katzmann’s story at first glance. She’s a professionally successful woman who’s unfortunately come up short in the relationship department and she wants to have kids before she can’t anymore. However, this is where things get weird. Instead of just, you know, going to a sperm bank or something, she’s teamed up with Fox to make being her child’s father a competition on Labor of Love. It all feels just a little icky…
The dudes involved in Labor of Love are kinda weird too. I don’t know where Fox found these guys, but the 15 contestants are certainly a mixed bag. A few seem genuinely into the process and even into Katzmann herself. However, others are clearly just there because they think reality TV is a chance to launch their careers/gain fame and they also want to take advantage of the free drinks. I have a bad feeling about how this is going to end up…
Even the guys’ parents appear on the show. What makes Labor of Love even weirder is that throughout the show, their parents turn up at various times to try and talk their sons up to Katzmann and the viewers. Why any parent would want for their son to donate sperm to a woman after winning a nationalized TV show is beyond me, but whatever.
Katzmann thinks Labor of Love will be “relatable” for a lot of women, and clearly Fox agreed. As she explained in an interview with Fox News, “I had just turned 40 at the time and I had just gotten out of a relationship. I was trying to navigate dating, knowing that I still wanted to start a family and that time was definitely not on my side. I think it’s a really incredible story that a lot of women will be able to relate to.”
She did have a few reservations, however… “One of my biggest fears going in was wondering if there are actually men out there who are ready for this,” Katzmann said. “And I think we really tested them off the bat by putting them through the whole sperm analysis pretty much moments after I met them.”
Dating 15 men at once isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As Katzmann admits, “It might sound like a total dream to date 15 incredible men at, once but it’s actually super overwhelming. I think it really requires you to stand in your own presence and really know what you want.” I bet!
Labor of Love airs on Fox on Thursday nights.
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