At first glance, Fox's new dating show Labor of Love seems to be a show about an outdated premise of a woman needing a man to start a family. However, that’s far from the message of this dating experiment. Since they waited later in life to have children, lead Kristy Katzmann, 41, and her suitors all share their concerns about their “biological clock” and wanting to quickly start a family. Plus, the show highlights that there isn’t one way to become a parent. Kristy says “If I don’t meet the right person, I am prepared to become a mom on my own” earlier on and this truth is repeated each episode.
Despite the interesting choice to have promos show the men hooked up to a machine that simulates childbirth, Labor of Love is actually just a normal dating show that just so happens to have an older lead. Since Kristy has already been through the dating scene, she doesn’t make excuses for any of the men. She knows what she wants and if she sees a red flag then she directly addresses it with a guy and likely sends him home. Also, to be clear, Kristy isn’t actually having a baby with any of the contestants on the show. Not yet, anway.
Honestly, Labor of Love, hosted by Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis, is very similar to The Bachelorette with some elements of other 2000s and 2010 dispersed throughout. (There are also random, comedic interviews from Kristy’s parents and each of the contestants’ family members.) The rules are pretty simple. There are drills, a shared living situation, dates, and eliminations. Each element of the show focuses on the idea of truly being ready to get married and start a family because at the end Kristy will “choose one man to become the father of her child.” Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect each episode.
How "Drills" Work On Labor Of Love
Each episode, the men participate in “drills” that test how prepared they are to start a family. They also help Kristy learn what type of family the men plan to raise and if her expectations match their hopes for the future. The drill in the series premiere is by far the most cringeworthy but it was likely thrown in to get people hooked on the show. It involves all the men boarding a mobile collection center to make sure they are fertile.
When she is first introduced, Kristy shares that she has frozen her eggs and she is shown talking to her fertility doctor, Dr. Kaplan, about her biological clock. Her doctor later returns for the first drill to explain to the guys that men have biological clocks, too. Each of the men learn how many “active swimmers” they have before a winner is announced. (The drills are similar to the competitive group dates on The Bachelorette.)
The winners don’t technically receive anything but how well each man performs in the drill gives Kristy some more insight about their potential as a husband and father. For some of the drills, a certain set of rules might be explained to the men ( the producers are shown giving instructions) while Kristy shares the real intent of the challenge with the audience. In the first few episodes, the drills involve a hilarious encounter with a bear and IQ tests.
Where Labor Of Love Contestants Live
Labor of Love was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia and mostly takes place on a large property with two homes, one for Kristy and another for the men just a few feet away. The men sleep in twin, bunk beds and are shown goofing off and arguing with each other. Kristy joins the men at their house to invite them on dates or to hold group activities.
Since they are literally just a driveway from each other, some men take advantage of the opportunity to visit Kristy by cooking her meals or just dropping by to spend extra time with her. The line “Mind if I steal you for a bit?” (courtesy of The Bachelor) makes a few appearances on this show.
Are There Dates On Labor Of Love?
The dates don’t arrive until the second episode because the premiere is spent introducing the audience to Kristy and her 15 potential husbands. In episode 2, the men receive a message on a television screen (similar to Tyra Mail on America’s Next Top Model) from Kristy that asks the men on a date. This is also how she communicates with them when they need to get ready for a drill.
She asks two men on a date per episode. The dates can range from public dates at basketball games, to overnight dates, or cooking dates at Kristy’s house. Unlike The Bachelorette, Kristy and her date actually eat on camera! There aren’t any guarantees that a man who was asked on the date is safe for the week. He can still be eliminated at the end of the episode if the date wasn’t what Kristy expected. Also, it is funny to watch the men snoop and look out the window whenever Kristy returns from a date.
Who Gets Eliminated On Labor Of Love?
During the eliminations, all the guys sit around their TV while host Davis and Kristy go over her suitors on an iPad-like device and make selections. If Kristy drags a man’s profile picture to the “let’s keep dating” section of the screen, then he will stay another week. If he is left in the “we need to talk” box, then she will let him know if he impressed her that week or if she is sending him home. When she selects each man, his profile page pops up on the screen, similar to The Circle. The men see her actions in real time as she moves their pictures across the screen. Kristy then locks her decision which the men also get to watch.
The rest of the elimination process is similar to the one-season, dating show gem Catching Kelce that aired on E!. Kristy speaks to all the men she placed in the “we need to talk” section face to face in their house to tell them what they have done well or poorly that week. They don’t know whether the meeting is positive or negative until they talk to her. The safe men wait in another room of the house and they find out who is staying when they walk through the door.
Kristy either chooses to eliminate people saying “I don’t see us starting a family together,” or she compliments them and tells them she would like to keep dating. The eliminated men grab their suitcases, leave immediately, and their profile drops to the “denied dads” section on the screen.
Okay, But Does Kristy Actually Have A Baby After Labor Of Love?
So, to sum things up, Labor of Love doesn’t involve any type of pregnancy. It’s just a classic dating show with a bunch of 30-and-40-year-olds who participate in wacky drills, go on romantic dates, and then possibly go home.
Kristy and (most of) the contestants are solely focused on finding a lifelong partner, but there is plenty of drama thrown in the mix. If you’re a fan of reality TV, you will definitely enjoy this show — the "labor" premise is mostly about intentions, not the actual content. Thank god.