×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tough Love

Boasting Drew Barrymore among its producers, "Tough Love" maps out the same terrain as Bravo's "The Millionaire Matchmaker" -- only here with a more appealing host/Dr. Phil wannabe in the form of Steven Ward putting eight women through matchmaking "boot camp."

With:
Hosts: Steven Ward, Joann Ward

Boasting Drew Barrymore among its producers, “Tough Love” maps out the same terrain as Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker” — only here with a more appealing host/Dr. Phil wannabe in the form of Steven Ward putting eight women through matchmaking “boot camp.” Boyishly handsome, Ward’s advice is mostly common sense (offering dating rules such as “Don’t be weird”), but his approach to schooling his charges does have its moments — the irony being that the show should possess solid appeal among women while mostly making these women, anyway, look like complete dolts.

After a recap that pretty much previews the entire series in 2½ minutes (I really wish reality TV would stop doing that), Ward quickly introduces and labels the gals with nicknames like “Miss Party Girl,” “Miss Fatal Attraction” and “Miss Ball Buster.” The participants are then put through the dating paces, with the principal wrinkle being that Ward interviews and tapes the men with whom they chat, delivering frank comments like “I’d love to do her; I’m not gonna date her” about the buxom ex-stripper among them.

Drama-wise, the women helpfully oblige by constantly squabbling with each other. Yet the main event here is listening to Ward chide them for looking for love in all the wrong places — or simply throwing petulant fits in the midst of seeking to attract a guy. “I need you to act more mature,” he tells “Miss Bridezilla,” a 20-something who’s determined to be hitched and cranking out babies by age 25.

The eight-episode series hardly breaks any new ground, but in these endeavors casting is half the battle. Combine Ward’s no-nonsense attitude (his mother and business partner, Joann, makes a fleeting appearance while being billed as co-host) with the clueless women and the fly-on-the-wall access to men’s reactions to them, and there’s enough here to keep the lovelorn interested — or at least feeling superior to those involved.

By the way, in addition to the seven executive producers cited above, VH1 adds four more of its own, which seems a little excessive. Perhaps a little “tough love” in the area of credit inflation needs to be practiced as well.

Popular on Variety

Tough Love

VH1, Sun., March 15, 10 p.m.

Production: Produced by High Noon Entertainment and Flower Films. Executive producers, Jim Berger, Pamela Healey, Nancy Juvonen, Drew Barrymore, Ember Truesdell, Chris Miller, Richard Hall; co-executive producer, Elizabeth Grizzle Voorhees; line producer, Rachel Dix; director, Rich Kim.

Crew: Senior story producer, Steve Pilot; camera, Laurent Basset; supervising casting producers, Jason Cornwell, Shannon McIntosh. Running Time: 60 MIN

Cast: Hosts: Steven Ward, Joann Ward

More TV

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured:

    'American Horror Story' Recap: Welcome to 'Camp Redwood'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the season premiere of “American Horror Story: 1984” entitled “Camp Redwood.” Welcome back to “American Horror Story,” which in its ninth season travels back in time to the 1970s and 1980s to play in the slasher genre. Only one episode into the season, it already [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Bob Iger Would Have Combined Disney With Apple if Steve Jobs Were Still Alive

    Disney and Apple are both launching their own streaming services come November, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says the two companies weren’t always on competing paths. In an excerpt from his autobiography published Wednesday in “Vanity Fair,” Iger revealed that Disney and Apple likely would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011. “I [...]

  • The Mentalist

    #NotWorthLess: 'I Was Great and Deserve to Be Paid the Same'

    Women writers, producers and assistants across Twitter turned the hashtag #NotWorthLess into a trend Wednesday, shining a light on issues of pay inequality in the entertainment business. Sparked by screenwriter Adele Lim’s recent decision to walk away from the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in protest of being paid less than her male co-writer, dozens of [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Reality Boss Talks Ratings Success, Diversity Backlash

    Last night, Peter Weber was unveiled, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the next Bachelor during the season finale of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Weber’s selection coincided with a season-high rating for “Paradise,” and caps a solid ratings summer for the “Bachelor” franchise. As ratings have been in decline across the board this summer, “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content