Here's the best way for me to describe my current fascination with VH1's Tough Love Couples: You know how Discovery Channel always has these shows, like I Shouldn't Be Alive and I (Almost) Got Away With It? Well, this show is almost like that. Except that it should be called I Honestly Shouldn't Be in This Relationship. Or, for that matter, I Really Should Be Prevented From Reproducing Any Spawn.
Seriously, people, I cannot look away. This is everything I could ask for in a trashy reality show, with more questionable fashion choices than a Real Housewives franchise, more surgical enhancements than Patti Stanger's entire body, and enough hissing and clawing to fill up an entire weekend of programming on Animal Planet. Heck, this show has so much manufactured drama that it practically puts to shame every single primetime telenovela produced in the Philippines.
All that, and a host who's practically Mills Lane stuck in the doughy body of The Situation's slightly less troglodytic older cousin. (Sorry, Steve Ward, but I had to say it.)
In fact, I'd rather watch this than the fake-schmoopy "I have finally found my soooouuullll maaaate" business that we usually see on The Bachelor: not so much out of schaedenfreude as it is about showing the brutal business of making relationships work in the long run. It's not called Tough Love for nothing, after all, and even Steve admits that no amount of TV spin or matchmaking skills can help any of these people with Their Major Issues.
(Which reminds me - and don't play like you didn't think of it, either - don't you think that a great majority of reality-show relationship dramas would have no reason to exist if most of these girls stopped concentrating on getting/ keeping a man and started working on, you know, being a better person in general? I swear, most of my friends who are in happily committed relationships would not even get to where they are now if they didn't get that notion into their head first.)
It's just like what Candi Staton sang so many years before: "Young hearts, to yourself be true. Don't be no fool when love don't really love you."