Reality television has always been a bit of a mixed bag, and you never really know what you’re going to get when you start a new show.
This might be extra true in the case of Labor of Love, a new series on Fox that has a pretty peculiar goal. Fifteen men will compete to claim the ultimate prize: impregnating 41-year-old Kristy Katzmann.
If you’re a little confused, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Sex and the City alum Kristin Davis hosts the show, and she explains that the winning man and Kristy will “skip the dating and go straight to baby-making.” Because this works out really well in the real world, right?
Or, as journalist Stuart Heritage sums it up quite nicely, “Labor of Love is a dating show where the prize is a real life flesh-and-blood baby. The entire show exists to help one woman choose a candidate to impregnate her. It’s a mating show, not a dating show. Love, as we’re told, is optional.”
Labor of Love actually begins tonight, May 21, on Fox. Much has been made of the show in the days preceding the initial episode, and for good reason. The premise is definitely unique. Here’s what we know: Kristy is recently divorced, and does very well for herself professionally. However, she’s never had kids, and obviously she wants to.
Fifteen men, which Variety says “include a couple people who appear engaged with her and the process, and several more who vaguely want to be on TV, get free drinks, and see where the camera time takes them”, are living in a home together and will take turns courting Kristy in hopes of landing the ultimate prize: a baby.
And that’s not all: the show also loops in the parents of each of the men, who make their own attempt at selling both Kristy and the audience on their sons. Daniel D’Addario notes that “appearances by the competitors’ own parents explaining how good these men would be at fatherhood are more notable for the simple curiosity factor than for any sort of real imparting of information.”
Kristy recently sat down for an interview with Fox, and explained that she was interested in the show because she felt like her biological clock was ticking. “I had just turned 40 at the time and I had just gotten out of a relationship. I was trying to navigate dating, knowing that I still wanted to start a family and that time was definitely not on my side. I think it’s a really incredible story that a lot of women will be able to relate to.”
She also shared that she was really worried that there wouldn’t be men out there who would be into the show’s premise. “One of my biggest fears going in was wondering if there are actually men out there who are ready for this. And I think we really tested them off the bat by putting them through the whole sperm analysis pretty much moments after I met them.”
And if anyone out there is thinking it sounds amazing to date 15 men at once, Kristy says you should think again. “Also, it might sound like a total dream to date 15 incredible men at, once but it’s actually super overwhelming. I think it really requires you to stand in your own presence and really know what you want.”
But even though it was a lot of work, she still prioritized really developing relationships with each of the men. She says that sending them home was the hardest part. “I think one of the things that’s special [in this show] is every time I sent a guy home, I had a real conversation with him. There’s this whole ghosting culture happening with dating right now and I think it’s because people don’t want to have these conversations because they’re hard. I had real relationships with these men.”
Kristy has also been sharing bits and pieces about the show on her Instagram page. She recently wrote, “This week… a powerful journey that I know SO many of you will relate to begins. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will keep you guessing right up until the very end. What are you willing to put on the line to make your biggest dreams come true? How vulnerable can you truly be? Can you stay true to yourself in the middle of the storm? Do you know how strong you really are? Are you open to a new and totally different story? Can you be comfortable being uncomfortable… in front of the world?”
She added, “Do you have an open mind? Can you stand in your own power? Can you trust yourself, no matter what? What will it take for you to become your own hero? Find out when @laboroflovefox premiers this Thursday on @foxtv ”
Labor of Love premieres tonight on Fox, and will air at 8pm central time. Kristy updated her account today, writing that “Today’s the big day! Awkward moment? Or just plain AWESOME!? Find out why @iamkristindavis and I are facing off with the men when @laboroflovefox premiers tonight on Fox 9/8c. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!!!”