“Flavor of Love” (2006- ) is an American television show on VH1. It features Flavor Flav, a has-been rapper, in his search for a woman who will truly love him – or something reasonably romantical. At the start of each season he has 20 women to choose from. Every week he kicks off one woman until only one is left standing.
Even though the show is completely tasteless it is like a bad car accident: you do not want to look but it is hard not to.
The show puts blacks in a bad light as brainless and ill-mannered (Flav and most of the women are black), yet it has been able to pull in as much as a third of all blacks watching television in its hour!
It is one of VH1′s most successful shows. Three other shows have come out of it: “I Love New York”, “Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School” and “I Love Money: Challenge Show”.
BET, the main black cable channel in America, has never had a weekly show this big. It too has put out tasteless shows in hopes of getting bigger audiences, but without any luck.
Flavor Flav picks 20 women from the hundreds who try out. He gives the chosen women nicknames, like New York, Hoopz, Bootz, Buckeey, Hotlanta and Deelishis. That becomes their names on the show.
A few of the women are truly beautiful, like Hoopz, but most are more body than beauty.
The women’s motives are questionable. Since Flav is ugly and old enough to be their father, we have to assume that either they are after his money (does he have any?) or, more likely, the chance to be on television and maybe become famous.
So Flav’s challenge becomes to find which woman, if any, has a true heart. Sometimes he calls in help from his mother or an old girlfriend.
Flavor Flav was a rapper in Public Enemy, a well-respected hip hop act from the late 1980s and early 1990s. He likes to wear a clock, Viking horns and call out his name: “FLAY vuh FLAVE!” And say, “Wow”.
Flav and the women live in a big house in California. It has two dinosaurs in front, each wearing a clock and Viking horns. Of course.
Like a minstrel show, “Flavor of Love” holds up certain stereotypes of blacks for laughs: Flav as a coon, New York as a Sapphire and so on.
It is called a reality show, meaning the lines are unscripted. But just how out of touch the show is became clear when New York’s mother came to visit. New York told her mother that she loooves Flav and wants to marry him. Her mother took one look at Flav and said the man was a clown: he is 48 years old and wears a large clock!