As a television watching feminist, I was shocked when I found out Steve Ward was asked back to do another season of his dating show, Tough Love. After all, the first season was full of all kinds of problematic messages about women and dating. At least as the season went on, his dating advice became challenged more and more. But by the second season, this dynamic has evaporated and the women on the show generally do not challenge Steve on his edicts. Season two also brings a new pet challenge in for Steve - reforming a sex worker.
"Terrible boyfriend? We can fix him. Complete tools transformed into knights in shining armor." These are the promises of the opening credits of Tool Academy, VH1’s latest trash-tastic series in which women drag their truly terrible boyfriends through a relationship boot camp in hopes of turning them into nice guys. The tools agreed to come on the show thinking it was called Mr. Awesome, a competition to determine "the biggest Alpha male in America." After they learned the show’s real premise, they all stayed on in hopes of proving themselves to their girlfriends...and winning $100,000 for being the best boyfriend.
If you’re wondering what makes a tool a tool, it appears to be a combination of made-up names (Celebrity, M.E.G.A., Matsuflex, etc.), excessive hair gel, and behavior that’s just…well, look if you dare.
(Note: The videos in this post contain ads. Blame it on VH1.)