Genre: Reality TV
TV Rating: NR
Other Choices: MADE, If You Really Knew Me, The Voice
Common Sense Says: Three women seek love on sweet, wholesome reality show.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that 3 is a rather classy entry in the reality dating show category, which isn't saying much, but at least there's no hot tub, hooking up, cursing, or hair-pulling, like in some other shows in this category. The three single women looking for love are shown as intelligent and sincere, and their dates with eligible bachelors are wholesome stuff: hang-gliding, go-karting, and cookouts. Nonetheless, parents may still be troubled by the idea that picking your partner from a pool of strangers is a good thing.
- Families can talk about what kind of person would be willing to go on dates, and even to kiss those dates, in front of cameras. Why would a person want to appear on a dating show? Would you ever be on a show like 3?
- Can you tell the way the producers of 3 want you to feel about certain bachelors by the music played when they're on screen? Try listening to the music playing underneath what's being said. What do you think the makers of 3 want you to feel with each selection?
- How would being on camera change how you acted on a date? Do you think you could be natural and real enough on camera to make a real connection with someone else?
What's the story?
Three women go looking for love on reality dating show 3: recent widow and mother of two small kids Rachel, 34; fashion maven April, 29; and 22-year-old Libby, a faithful Baptist and model. The three women begin the show as a panel meeting a pool of eligible bachelors from different parts of the country. When one or more of the women feels a connection with a particular bachelor, she puts him on her dating list and travels to his city to go on a date with him, which is shown onscreen and sandwiched by interviews with each woman explaining how she felt on the date. If she still feels a connection after the first date, she goes on subsequent dates with him, ratcheting up the level of intimacy -- i.e. introducing dates to family and friends, and spending an entire day together. Eventually, each woman hopes to winnow away the no-gos and end up with a partner by show's end.
Is it any good?
Reality dating shows aren't known for their classiness, so it's refreshing to see an entry in which the participants seem genuine and sincere rather than on the hunt for fame or cheap thrills. The women of 3 come off as individuals, not bimbos, and they're not mocked by the camera or put in compromising positions. That said, it's always going to be weird hearing people on television talking about looking for a genuine connection -- you mean, the kind you have when there aren't millions of people watching?Nonetheless, if reality dating is your thing, you could do worse. Both the male and female singles are presented as real people you can relate to. Between wholesome beach cookouts or hang-gliding sessions, the couples talk about their hopes and dreams as the romantic music swells; afterward, the women drive away and reflect on the dates or sit down in staged girlfriend gossip sessions to discuss the contenders. It all might grab the heartstrings even more if it didn't seem so calculated to do so, with all the romantic lighting and romcom musical cues. Teens might be manipulated by the sweet movie-like imagery; parents may want to have a little chat about how most people really meet the people they ended up marrying. It's not on a reality show, that's for sure.
The Good Stuff
Messages: The singles featured on 3 seem to have a realistic view of televised dating and aren't looking for a fairy-tale ending with a marriage or proposal like other TV dating shows. Attributes like being serious about your work and close to your family are praised.
Role Models: Both the female and male singles on 3 are presented as whole people with friends and families (featured on the show), jobs, and lives. Nonetheless, it's a questionable practice to look for true love with cameras present.
What to watch out for
Violence Not an issue
Sex: This is a dating show, with the flirtation and romantic entanglements that implies. However, the dates don't end in a hot tub or in bed; there's some kissing and hand-holding, but little more.
Language: Infrequently, those on the show may say things like "This sucks!"
Consumerism: Logos from the local restaurants the couples visit on their dates are occasionally flashed on screen.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Dates may take place at bars and often feature the couple drinking wine or cocktails, though no one gets drunk or sloppy.