OWN’s ‘Ready to Love’ is a reality TV series that follows successful African American professionals in their 30s and 40s as they embark upon a journey to seek true love and lasting relationships. Throwing light on the male perspective, it chronicles the dating journeys of these individuals as they form connections. Hosted by Thomas Miles AKA Nephew Tommy, the show gives an in-depth insight into men’s experiences and points of view when it comes to courtship.
The unexpected pairings and the high-voltage drama keep the viewers hooked as they witness their favorite couples make or break it. The relatability of the cast members is often appreciated, but it often makes one wonder if the connections portrayed are really as real as they claim. Let’s delve deeper to find out more about how real or scripted ‘Ready to Love’ is.
Is Ready to Love Scripted?
‘Ready to Love’ is presented as an unscripted dating reality TV series but has sometimes raised a question of being not entirely authentic. In fact, a cast member from season 3 – Denice Smith – expressed her concern about scenes being deliberately edited by the production team on a radio interview with Black Press Radio. She stated that while season 3 of the show depicts her and castmate Khalfani as the ultimate connection since the beginning, it was actually Anthony, AKA Tony Stubbs, with whom Denice connected first. However, that is not portrayed clearly in season 3, as per her account.
Moreover, the show is mostly from a male perspective and cast members are eliminated based on whether they can make a connection or not. This can possibly pit them against each other and they may exaggerate or refine their actions to avoid elimination. For instance, viewers see season 3 cast members Wynter Patterson and Anthony Stubbs form a serious connection, but the couple broke it off soon after the season ended. Wynter stated in an interview that the relationship fizzled out because they had communication issues and lifestyle differences.
Such facets make fans debate about the authenticity of relationships that get formed on the show. Addressing the doubts about the connections depicted being staged for TV, executive producer Will Packer stated in an interview with Essence how he pitched the concept of an “unscripted show” to Oprah Winfrey. He mentioned that the show focuses on real adults from different walks of life and that several cast members found genuine romantic connections.
Packer explained, “You don’t have to just show Black people as perfect super human beings. That’s not true and that’s not realistic, but you also can’t just show them as completely imperfect, unintelligent, and shiftless. You got to have a balance. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I just try to show real depictions of African American life.” Talking about the bonds formed on the show, the producer further added, “..And we have people from the show that have actually found love and stayed together, and some folks that met when the cameras were on, got together when the cameras were off.”
In addition, the cast members are actual persons between the age of 30 to 50 who bring their true stories and experiences to the show, thus adding a realistic flavor to it. Thus, considering all the given factors, it can be safe to say that ‘Ready to Love’ mostly follows an unscripted format, but some elements might be tweaked for a more suitable presentation. The cast members do form genuine connections on the show, but it depends on their real-life compatibility whether they make it or break it after the cameras are off.