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“L” is for the way you look at me. And “O”… you know must how the rest of the Nat King Cole song goes. Love, as a subject, has been one of the most talked about things since Adam and Eve. It’s helped so many people reap their fortunes through industries that take advantage of our being in love or the ability to associate with the emotion. From books to songs, love has made its home in many people’s hearts over the centuries.
But not everyone has been lucky enough to find true love. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we have all had a brush with the other side of love. The more brutal side they rarely talk about in Valentine’s Day cards. It has caused so much heartache a number of physicians have cashed in on the depressed, but some would-be patients have slipped through their medical fingers only to bring business to the coroner. But that doesn’t stop some people from trying repeatedly to find their perfect partner.
Which is why you should check out the fourth season of Tough Love, a reality show that helps a group of people return to the dating scene.
Steve Ward, the show’s host, is also a matchmaker who looks into his clients’ love lives and offers solutions on how they can improve themselves and be desirable again. The clients, always women, are taken into a sort of boot-camp where Ward tries to drill into their heads how to secure themselves a man. It is like the flip-side of Mel Gibson’s movie What Women Want, only there is no script.
The series has done so well that it’s reached five seasons since its 2009 inception.
Being the son of the renowned matchmaker Joann Ward, Steve is taking over the family business to give some crushed women hope for a better future in love. However, his approach is not one for the faint-hearted as he can be very blunt towards his “students”, hence the title of the show. His brutality makes for great viewing because you are constantly waiting for the next thing he is going to say.
He looks at their dating habits and offers advice on how to transform themselves into better people. He also gives the women hilarious titles such as Miss Gold Digger and Miss Body Issues and the titles stick like glue throughout the season.
The brutal manner in which he identifies their flaws and attempts to change them has some of the ladies leaving the show early because of their frustration.
But love gurus may argue that this show is nothing but another TV rip-off. Admittedly, people can learn new behaviour, but the question will always be: Can they stay loyal to those newfound ways?
Let’s say even if the ladies hold it down until they actually get their man, their true colours will show sooner or later and break-ups will be inevitable. You can learn to walk or to sing, but one thing you can’t be taught, is to feel and respond in a particular way. That’s only for the Academy Award hopefuls.
• Tough Love premieres on Sony Max (DStv channel 128) at 10pm on Sunday.