Love After Lockup: Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Show

Love After Lockup proves that relationships are complicated no matter the circumstances, but they get really tricky when one party is incarcerated. As Buzzfeed reported at the time, the WE TV show went viral practically overnight. The first season, which debut in 2018 and comprised just seven episodes, was the fastest-growing new reality show on cable that year. As WE TV president Marc Juris enthused, the ratings increased significantly from week to week thanks to major fan engagement.    

Love After Lockup comes to us courtesy of the same geniuses behind TLC's mega-hit 90 Day Fiancé. The show features couples who met on prison dating websites, with their stories kicking off right as the imprisoned party is due to be released and ready to start their new life. It utilizes certain key elements of prison-based reality shows like 60 Days In and romance-focused shows such as 90 Day Fiancé and Married at First Sight. Naturally, all the ingredients are there for a super addictive binge-watch.

Love After Lockup is about love first, prison second

Although Love After Lockup has an irresistible hook, casting participants was difficult, with Juris telling Reality Blurred that, because release dates can change at a moment's notice, production is much harder to organize. However, Juris argued that this affords the show an added element of authenticity. Cast members were sourced through online groups with a focus on those "who've changed, who've learned, so we could see their transformation as well." Naturally, serial killers were not considered for the show.

As Juris explained in an interview with The New York Times, Love After Lockup isn't meant to be exploitative. As he explained, "Sometimes you do something stupid and you get a bad break. But that doesn't mean you're not a good person and you don't deserve love." To that end, spinoff show Love After Lockup: Life After Lockup follows fan favorite couples as they continue their relationships further down the line.

The stories don't always have happy endings

Cast-members' fees aren't publicly known but, according to a contract obtained by Starcasm, the stars of Love After Lockup receive $2,000 each per episode along with an extra $250 per day for every special, reunion, and follow-up episode they film. Unfortunately, the show isn't a salve for everything going wrong in its participants' lives. As Soap Dirt reported, several stars ended up back in prison after appearing on the show. Plus Soap Dirt also reported the featured couples don't always end up together either, as was the case with Clint and Tracie, for example.

Thankfully, those who do come out the other side use their expertise to help others. As Variety advised, Juris turned to the stars of Love After Lockup for their tips on staying sane while stuck indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This chimes with the general objective of the show, which aims to be inspirational, rather than judgmental.