Understanding the difference between Love After Lockup and Life After Lockup

Life After Lockup is Love After Lockup’s first spin-off show, but knowing the watch-order can really help to differentiate between these two shows.

The Life after Lockup franchise certainly has a lot for its loyal fans to keep track of. But it turns out that between all of the different relationships, all of the varying prison sentences, and all of the drama that follows – the most confusing thing about this franchise is figuring out which episode you should watch next.

Love After Lockup vs. Life After Lockup

On paper, the original Love After Lockup show, which started it all back in 2018, follows the lives of convicts and their relationships with their significant others.

The Life After Lockup spin-off, on the other hand, chronicles what happened in these relationships after the original show first aired.

Your guide to the Love After Lockup franchise watch-order

Although knowing the difference between Love After Lockup and its spin-off series, Life After Lockup can help you to differentiate between the two shows, it can still sometimes be a bit tricky to figure out which order you should watch the episodes in.

And while there is generally some room for maneuvering between these two shows, the order in which they aired is as follows:

Watch-order Show Episodes
1 Love After Lockup season 1 “From Felon to Fiancé” to “Prison Cell to Wedding Bells”
2 Love After Lockup season 2 (Part 1) “The Virgin & the Trick” to “Prison Blues to Wedding Bells”
Life After Lockup season 1 (Part 1) “Prove Yourself” to “Broken Bonds”
Love After Lockup season 2 (Part 2) “Inmate or Soulmate?” to “Wedding Crashers & Cheaters”
Life After Lockup season 1 (Part 2) “Skeletons in the Closet” to “The Final Straw”
3 Love After Lockup season 3 (Part 1) “Stairway to Heaven” to “Love Don’t Cost a Ring”
Life After Lockup season 2 (Part 1) “Bat Out of Hell” to “Three’s a Crowd”
Love After Lockup season 3 (Part 2) “Put a Sweater on and Chill” to “99 Problems and an Ex is One”
Life After Lockup season 2 (Part 2) “M.I.A. Fiancée” to “Life, Death, or Prison”
Love After Lockup season 3 (Part 3) “Cheap Thrills & Big Dills” to “Secret Cell-Mates”
Life After Lockup season 2 (Part 3) “Is He a Trick?” to “Prison Promises”
4 Love After Lockup season 4 (Part 1) “Happily Ever After?” to “The Home Wrecker & The Nervous Wreck”
Life After Lockup season 3 (Part 1) “Can’t Stop Destiny” to “”Red Flags”
Love After Lockup season 4 (Part 2) “The Jeweler and the Thief” to “Wedding Rings & Secret Flings”
Life After Lockup season 3 (Part 2) “Habitual Offenders” to “I Do & I Don’t”
5 Love After Lockup season 5 (Part 1) “Born That Way” to “”Onion of Lies”
Life After Lockup season 4 (Part 1) “Love Is a Powerful Drug” to “Games of Chance”

How the Life After Lockup spin-off came about

By the time that Love After Lockup started airing its second season in 2018, the show’s ratings had already soared from an already-impressive 666,000 viewer average, to an over 1.74 million viewer average.

And, looking back, building on this success with a same-same but different spin-off was just the logical next step.

And of course Life After Lockup also gave the show’s producers and fans the chance to return to these couples’ stories and to check in with how some of their most beloved cast members ended up faring after the cameras stopped rolling in their original series.

How to differentiate between “Life” and “Love”

Love After Lockup and Life After Lockup may be markedly different on paper, but in reality, it is still quite easy to confuse these two shows.  In fact, it seems like the television and streaming sites make this mistake quite often.

If your Love After Lockup episode premiered before June 2019, you can rest easy knowing that it was definitely part of the original Love After Lockup.

But otherwise, the best way to determine whether you are watching the “Love” or the “Life” show is to take a peek at the opening credits.

The other Love After Lockup spin-off

If you thought that keeping Love After Lockup and the spin-off, Life After Lockup, straight was difficult, just wait until you start following the show’s second spin-off, Love After Lockup: Love During Lockup.

Love During Lockup takes a step back from the original show’s premise, and examines how these prison pen-pal relationships started out.

This show premiered after the third season of Love After Lockup and the second season of Life After Lockup in 2022, and has been growing just as sporadically as its predecessor ever since.