When it comes to reality TV shows, I’m weird. I really can’t finish a single episode of Survivor or Jersey Shores or Hell’s Kitchen without itching to grab the remote to change the channel, and then there shows that are so addictive I feel like watching the entire season in one sitting … like The Bachelorette or Beauty and the Geek (the Australian one).
Recently, Married at First Sight has definitely been in the second category. I saw the commercials of it and my brother explained the concept of the experiment to me and I thought – damn, this thing will not go well … I have to watch the first episode of this.
How does this show work? Four experts: a sexologist, a spiritualist, a psychologist and a sociologist are put to the task of taking a group of singles and testing them in their various fields of expertise. They must then find among them possible pairings that rank high in compatibility. I personally admire – and am at the same time skeptical of – the contestants who decide to put their names into this experiment. From what I heard, this show was pushed back in airing time because it was so hard for them to find participants – and for very obvious reasons.
The hardest part is that these participants are agreeing to marry an absolute stranger for a month (at least) before they must decide whether to stay together with them or to get a divorce. The participants, in fact, do not even know anything about the other person, their names or what they look likes or their families – absolutely nought – when they walk down that aisle.
The logic behind such an experiment, according to the TV show, is to see whether, in such a high stakes and highly committed situation, whether couples will act differently and put in a different amount of effort than what they would if they were just told to date.
Yes, on the surface it looks just like an arranged marriage – actually, even worse, because at least your parents are agreeing on an arranged marriage and you can see who you are marrying beforehand and know their name. These couples are literally going in blind. They will be living together, sharing their lives, their friend and their families – and worse still, if it doesn’t work out, it’s not as easy to just break up, divorce is a long and taxing endeavour and it has a lot more serious implications.
The couples that are eventually put together in this show (as seen in the photo above from left to right) are Monet and Vaughn, Jamie and Doug, and Cortney and Jason.
I won’t spoil anything here, I won’t say who stayed together and who didn’t, but I will say my immediate impressions off the bat: Personally I thought that Monet and Vaughn were potentially compatible, Monet was the bubbly sort and Vaughn looked like the type who could possibly support her and keep her calm if she ever got anxious. I thought Jamie would probably first hate the idea of Doug but eventually realise that he is a really sweet guy and they would get together. Lastly I thought Cortney and Jason were cute together, but I thought that there love would only reach a superficial level where they would only be attracted to each other’s outer appearances and that, being very young, they would argue a lot and not make it towards the end. Those were my first impressions when they walked down the aisle.
Obviously, for those who have watched the entire season and have seen how it played out, it is apparent that I got some parts of that right and others completely wrong. For one I’m completely Team Cortney and Jason. Honestly I’d be happy if I were half the wife Cortney tried so darn hard to be.
Another thing I definitely got wrong was that I expected this social experiment to be incredibly superficial. I expected a lot of drama (there was, but not the kind I expected and not a lot) and a lot of arguments. Basically I expected something Big Brother-esque. But that was not how the television show turned out at all and those who are entirely skeptical of this kind of a show should at least give the first episode a try.
If anything, it’s a very constructive assessment of what one can or may expect from marriage and how much effort one must put into it. It also goes through the various considerations one must have when it comes to accommodating another person into one’s life.
You can guarantee that I’ll be watching the spinoff show Married At First Sight: The First Year as well as Season Two of Married at First Sight when they come out!
Lastly, if this is not your kind of thing, that’s okay. To each their own reality (TV show). 😀
Till next time,