For better or worse, TV One is married to the idea of original programming. Even though a large percentage of its viewers are only here for syndicated black sitcoms and dramas like Martin, Living Single, and A Different World, the little-black-network-that- could keeps tacking cracks at comedy (the unwatchable Love That Girl was the first result), competition series (the latest is the culinary race, My Momma Can Throw Down), and reality shows. Their most recent foray into the latter is Love Addiction, a show that profiles seemingly doomed couples and the friends that stage “love interventions” in a last ditch effort to preserve their dignity and mental health.
However staged the relationships themselves might be (viewers have pointed out that they’ve spotted some of these paramours in various other reality shows), the “intervention” segments and intercut commentary from relationship counselors and psychologists (Dr. Alduan Tartt, Hasani Pettiford, and Dr. Thema Bryant-Harris) do offer useful insights about the various reasons certain kinds of relationships crash and burn.
The couples featured on Love Addiction are usually on the drastically mismatched side. Take last night’s couple, for instance. “Gershwin” aka “Blackbird,” an over-the-hill, oddly dressed, emotionally detached musician and Daisy, a bubbly, effervescent, deeply wounded singer live together, even though Gershwin refuses to acknowledge that he and Daisy are a couple. Her friends try to convince her to kick his squirrely carcass to the curb, but she patently refuses–even after a teary one-on-one breakthrough with Dr. Thema.
Their case was glaringly obvious: dude was not at all interested in committing and was clearly using her to fulfill all his basic needs.
But one of the premises of the show is that it’s much easier to identify and quickly solve other folks’ problems, while ignoring or denying your own. The other main premise is that when you’re “caught up,” common sense disappears.
Because many unmarried couples don’t invest in relationship counseling, Love Addiction could prove to be a worthwhile watch. You can never have too many reminders to treat yourself and others with fairness, affection, and respect–or to high-tail it out of there if you aren’t getting enough of any of those things.
Here are a few of Dr. Thema’s bits of relationship wisdom:
1. ”My mother used to tell me everyone has baggage but make sure you end up with someone who just has a carry-on.”
Have you tuned in to Love Addiction? Do you have a most memorable episode or couple? Have you ever gone to relationship counseling and, if so, did it save your relationship or convince you to end it? Have you ever been in a “love-addicted” situation?