Love After Lockup does follow the lives of real couples, but there are a few things about the show that are not exactly as real as they seem.
Reality television shows often blur the lines between truth and fiction, which can make it very difficult to determine whether what you are watching is real or fake.
After all, are the people on shows like Love After Lockup and their families real? They probably are. But are the fights, the problems and the drama always real? Probably not.
And since no reality television show will ever own up to faking some of its elements for the cameras, the only thing left to do is to examine what about the show lines up, and what does not.
How fake is the Love After Lockup franchise?
The unconventional relationships between the former convicts and their significant others on We TV’s hit guilty-pleasure Love After Lockup franchise are downright unstable and messy.
But if you have watched the show, chances are you have found yourself wondering whether all of the almost-unbelievable storylines that this franchise peddles are truly as real as they seem.
Unfortunately, and much like the relationships that we have seen on the show over the last few years – the answer to this question is complicated.
The Love After Lockup franchise
You can never have too much of a good thing, or at least that is what the higher-ups at Love After Lockup seem to believe.
And it did not take long for the Love After Lockup creator and the founder of Sharp Entertainment, Matt Sharp, to green-light several spin-off shows for the franchise as follows:
|Life After Lockup
|This show follows different couples featured on the original show as they navigate new stages of their relationship.
|Season 4 (as of February 2023)
|Love During Lockup
|This show follows convicts and their significant others during the very first moments of their relationships.
|Season 5 (as of July 2023)
Though, because all of the shows in the Love After Lockup franchise have the same people in common behind the scenes and the shows share a similar flare for the dramatic, it may be fair to assume that they also share similar policies around making “movie magic.”
The cutting room floor problem
Reality television shows have the difficult job of condensing hours’ worth of filmed footage into just a few tantalizing minutes of television.
And while the Love After Lockup franchise may not actively fabricate or script its interaction – there is no denying that crucial bits of information have gotten left on the cutting room floor in the past few years.
In fact, Sarah Simmons, from the second and third season of the show, revealed in an interview with ScreenRant that she is “extremely close” with Michael’s father in real-life, and yet, their relationship is never mentioned or shown on the show in any way.
Fans have also taken to social media sites like Reddit to point out various Love After Lockup editing mistakes that they have noticed throughout the show (did you spot any of these mistakes while watching the show?).
The Love After Lockup couples are cherry-picked
While one of the things that usually draws fans to the Love After Lockup franchise is the fact that the show showcases the lives of real convict and significant other relationships, it is noteworthy that the show is very particular about which couples get chosen for each season.
Mary Dalla Nora, who appeared in the very first season of Love After Lockup back in 2018, actually aired her grievances with the show’s cherry-picking tendencies on X in 2019, when news of the Life After Lockup spin-off first broke.
According to Mary, the fact that she was not chosen to return for this spin-off was undeniable proof that the Love After Lockup franchise did not want a “real couple” that actually made it and “are only here for drama, drug addicts and toothless losers.”
The paid actor conundrum
If you have been a Love After Lockup fan for a long time, you may know that the show has been accused of hiring actors for strategic roles in the past.
There have even been rumors that Sarah Simmons’ other love interest, Malcolm, promoted himself as an actor on Facebook before appearing on the show.
But even if these shows do not go out of their way to hire amateur actors, the Love After Lockup franchise does still pay its talent for their roles on the show – and this remuneration may come with pressure to play into what the producers want, as it does with most reality television programs currently on television.