The Courtship: One For the Money, Two For the Fame

This false attempt at Regency style courting, had nothing to do with finding true love.

Maryam Ismail
8 min readMay 31, 2022


Image source:

The cosplay dating reality show, The Courtship, was an interesting take on the political economy of relationships. It pretended to be about love, but in the end, the guy with the most money making potential was designated as The One.

However, this was the only part this show got right.

The Set-up

Ms. Nicole Remy, along with her parents, best friend and siblings, all make up the court, who are supposed to guide her to find Mr. Right among a total of 19 suitors, of which she chats and dances with and spends and hour or two here and there. Everything seemed so crunched for time, that it’s a miracle she caught all of their names. In one interview, she said she used flashcards to keep up. Her court on the other hand, on screen seemed to give very little input, other than a nod of approval or disapproval. And the best friend, pretty much stayed out of it, except when she got hit on by one of the suitors.

Love Me Knot

During Regency era, money was the main contributing factor when considering marriage. Love was just and incidental. If it was there, great, if not, then, oh well. Better to live in a castle with a spouse you can lose in the west wing than starving in a shack with someone who you think you are in love with. Let’s keep it real, because everyone knows, money talks better than anybody. While the Courtship was supposed to be about finding love and security, but this reality was that this was nothing but a farce.

A Reality Show Using the Regency Era as a Prop

Image source:

It was supposed to be like the hit series, Bridgeton, with dating on top, however it was not. With its fake diamond and even faker suitors.

The creators took something that was supposed to be thoughtful and elegant and turned into pure vulgarity.

Popularly known as trash TV, reality dating shows are pure entertainment. Those such as the Bachelor and that ilk, which, in total transparency, I have never watched, but I have heard enough about them to not even try.

I was tricked by the trailer into watching the show because it promised to be old fashioned courtship, and stunning regency fashions, but ya’ll, they lied.

First of all, most of the participants had no clue about the era. The dresses, were awful and cheap looking and the patched on plastic flowers were not helping. They didn’t even understand the weather- that wet and humid British country side, was not kind to Black hair, but even the weave wasn’t holding up. At times girl looked like she had been playing tag on the playground-all her curls had fallen out. The dudes’ on the other hand, their hair was so on point, it looked bullet proof.

Also, there was very little regency etiquette or manners other than calling each other by their last name, which they drop by the last few episodes, which made it a little confusing. Things such as not being with a man unchaperoned, direct parental/guardian influence, keeping their hands to themselves, writing letters, and seeing each other interact in a group, or adding another woman who also could compete for the suitors’ attention might have keep the environment more civilized.

Image source:

Age of Innocence

First of all, the kind of love that Ms, Remy, the diamond was looking for only happens in the regency and places where people are innocent and have nearly no experience with the opposite sex. In case such as these, a side eye can have one swooning. So, this was not that.

Also, seeking a life partner in the 18–19th century was a slow burn of meeting over time and learning about how a person interacts with different people in different settings. Take Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, Ms. Bennet, spent two weeks in the same house with Mr. Darcy in group setting, reading and discussing issues and ideas. Layer on, she along with her aunt, visit his estate, met his sister, and learns about his character from his servants. It was through these experiences, that these two people found out they were right for each other. She practically travels all of the south of England learning about him.

But none of this happened in the Courtship-where after a drink of wine, not lemonade, mind you, in addition to three sentences, they start swapping spit.

Male Buffet

This was nothing, but male buffet; in which the diamond, Ms. Remy, was able to dip and nibble at the various flavors of masculine delights. Since this was my first time watching such shows, I found it hard to stomach. I have said it before that I am not into public displays of affection and kissing in front not only a group of strange men, but one’s parents? During the Regency era, this would pretty much have a lady banished to the house of ill repute and fallen women.

Even more crass was how the men in the show sat around talking about what they did with her and what they planned to do. This made it seem more like a hunting game then a courtship.

But the fact that she was pretty much testing the limits of both catching mononucleosis and Covid at the same time, and with one particular dude, std’s. Man, totally gross.

Like I said, I was trying to be in it for the fashion, but even that was lacking. However, the men’s vests were pretty nice, but they wore the same trousers and jackets almost every day of the season, or so it seemed.

No Talent Show

Fame for no talent, this what this was really about. After the fan favorite got kicked out people were calling for a him to have his own spin off, but to do what? Then, I again, I was the fool who sat there and watched, but I am done forever. I will never watch such a show ever again.

Oh, back to the participants. Nicole Remy and her family aka her court with best friend included, for the most part stood on the sidelines while she got deep throated by dudes she had never met before. Man, if I was her mama, I woulda had a shark sized swatter out and put all of that to an end. It was so bad, that I think most of the guys were using as a tactic to avoid hard questions, because whenever she started demanding details, they started slobbering all over her. And she let them do it.

Spoiler Alert

If you look on Twitter everyone is upset that she chose the wrong guy. This may have been scripted. And if it wasn’t, the one reason, she might have picked his is because he was supposed to be a real estate broker and in New York City at that, so there were dollar signs into play here. Despite the fist full of red flags, Mr. D, was throwing up, even the family was rooting for him. Mr. Remy, Nicole’s father, is also a real estate man, so perhaps they were betting on a coast to coast business connection and massive amounts of money to be made.

Mr. Judge, the popular favorite didn’t stand a chance. His sincere overtures of love and wanting a family, fell on deaf ears. Ms. Remy, a software engineer with also a degree in architecture, was not going to carry a wrestling coach from small town Missouri. So, she sent this gorgeous modern day, Huck Finn home and picked the Italian stallion, from Staten Island, New York.

Race Card

They tried not to mention race in the show, but after the elimination of one clearly racist, cheating low life, Mr. Muscle, who pretty much said he was not into Black women, the issue still didn’t arise again, except once. The show did have other Black men, but here was another dynamic, only one of them actually had a profession, which made him the last brother standing, until she gave him the boot. I think, the fact he had a baby mama in his backstory, led to his downfall.
But this is where the tables turn, because it was obvious that the contestants, many of whom were White, there just to walk on the Black side. And they were enjoying the ride as long as their quarter lasted. However, when it came to taking girl handing out the free samples, home, they were happy to pass. As for all of those crocodile tears, are concerned. All I got to say is, “Chile, please.”

Still, as I watch this nearly all White cast, fawn over this woman, I was thinking, really? I couldn’t help but feel Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, vibes from him. “You slept with a Black guy? Gross!” goes the line from the film. I am not accusing Mr. D of racism, but remember that Mariah Carey is another the outer boroughs, Long Island, and after reading her book, I learned that she is no doubt scarred for life from her experience with racism while living there.

The Courtship wreaked of too much auction block, where a bunch of men, were trying to see if their milk could break down Remy’s coco-puffs. There are just too many historical images that I can pull up after watching this show. I don’t mean to diss a sister, but really, in these trying times, we have to be careful what we put our energy into.

I am not the one person let down by the show. It’s ratings were so low, it got switched three times, between three different networks in mid-play. So, it probably won’t be back for another season. I know I won’t be either.

Thanks to my buddy JS Adam for the edits.



Maryam Ismail

Mom. Journalist. Pizza maker New School for Social Research Alum, MA in Sociology and Historical Studies.