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The announcement that The Bachelor will see an overs spin-off could lead to a heartwarming diversion from a tired format. Catty, desperate woman.
Reality dating shows often test contestants' strength, bravery or confidence.
In a quest for love, they run through obstacle courses, scream through bungee-jumps and get up onstage to tell stories, make jokes or model. Rarely do these challenges include fertility tests. But "Labor of Love," a new reality show on Fox, isn't your typical dating show.
On its premiere episode last month, the show's producer and host Kristin Davis invited the 15 male contestants to climb into a trailer and emerge with a sperm sample, which would be analyzed to determine whether these men could give the leading lady, Kristy Katzmann, one very important thing she's looking for: a baby. The men did not, in fact, run away.
They submitted their samples, and Alan, a year-old writer from South Africa, was crowned the most fertile.
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Katzmann isn't just looking for a sperm donor. She wants it all: a loving husband who wants to have children.
She's realistic, too - if she doesn't fall in love on this reality show, she's open to being a platonic co-parent with one of her contestants, or passing over all of them and becoming a single mother. Unlike other reality dating shows ahem "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" that often treat one's 30s as nearly too late to fall in love and start a family - and ending up alone at the end of such a journey as a failure - "Labor of Love" is straightforward about the fact that many people are pairing off and having children later in life.
At age 41, Katzmann isn't cast as a sad woman, desperate to settle down.
She's portrayed as a woman who knows what she wants. And if she doesn't find it at the end of a reality TV show, she'll make it happen on her own. Katzmann went "The Bachelor" route once before.
She was a contestant on Brad Womack's season, making it to Week 5, when Womack eliminated her, saying she was "mature and composed," and perhaps "too refined" for him. Well, now Katzmann has found a more refined way to look for love on television.
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Though, yes, the show Older still a bit silly and lighthearted. Davis, 55, knows what it's like to build a family on your own - she's unmarried and adopted two children. Davis notes that she and her friends would privately discuss the dating that they show children and didn't have them yet, but "it seemed like there wasn't necessarily the freedom to talk about it in a larger cultural sense.
Davis reveals that, during filming, she would often retreat to the garage where producers could watch the show's raw footage roll in real time, just to get a sense of what the male contestants, ages 36 to 46, were saying about how their lives had gone and what they still wanted to accomplish. She added that she was "impressed and illuminated" to hear how deeply the men yearned to have families, conversations they might not generally have in front of women.
All my co-workers have all these weekend plans about kids, and what they're going to do, and they invite me along and I'm like the uncle, which is fine for a while.
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But after a while, I feel sad and embarrassed,' " Davis recalls. That's our culture in a lot of ways, and I feel for them that they're holding all this in.
Might "Labor of Love" change viewers' notions of single men and women in their 40s? I do feel like the things that we're exposed to in entertainment can shift our point of view or open something up that we hadn't thought about.
Unlike "The Bachelor," which is hyper-focused on getting the lead engaged by the end of the season, Davis says she isn't attached to a specific outcome for Katzmann. And whatever way that works out for her is whatever way that works out.
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You have choices. I'm there to represent that.
Katzmann won't offer spoilers about how the season ends, but she will say that she's happy. At the end of each episode, there is no rose ceremony. Instead, Davis and Katzmann sit down and talk about who Katzmann will keep around and who she'll let go.
Then Katzmann tells each man she's sending home why she doesn't think they're a good fit. Similarly, she hopes dating during a pandemic will help singles have more honest conversations with one another and root out the flakiness of dating culture.
‘labor of love’ breaks dating-show formula by taking a woman older than 40 seriously
More Information 'Labor of Love'. Lisa Bonos.
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