So, You Married a Stranger? Inside Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight”
Reality television is my guilty pleasure. Ironically, I use these staged dramas as an escape from my day-to-day. One of my favorites is a show that chronicles pre-arranged marriages playing out before the cameras. Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight” gives viewers a peek into the new nuptials for six newlyweds.
One week they were strangers. The next week, they were walking down the aisle saying, “I do”. The couples are chosen from a casting call of hopefuls. They fill out a questionnaire, are interviewed by experts and tv producers, then the top six are chosen based on compatibility. The final three couples agree to arranged marriages that play out on camera.
The show, now in its 7th season, has become widely popular. Viewers get to meet families and friends of the couples, in addition to seeing the couples struggle through deciding where to live, who pays what bills, and discussing conflicts with relationship experts.
At the end of eight weeks, the couples have to decide if their bond is strong enough for them to stay together for the long term.
Let’s meet the couples:
Amber and Dave
Amber (36) and Dave (37) may have a mutual friend in common. But, not in a good way. It turns out that Amber has dated one of Dave’s buddies from the gym. In fact, he remembers the guy talking about her in the past. Dave is bothered, but Amber says it’s not a big deal. The couple also clashes over religion and views of male-female roles in the marriage. We’ll just have to wait and see how they navigate these hurdles.
Mia and Tristan
Mia and Tristan (both 29) hit a snag early on in their relationship, causing them to miss their honeymoon altogether. As they embarked on their trip, Mia was whisked away by authorities. We see Tristan pacing and looking worried in the airport and eventually going to a local hotel room. Then a producer comes in and informs him about his fiance’s arrest. He is given an out and decides he wants to stand by Mia. She tells him the stalking allegations which came from an ex-boyfriend were totally false. However, when she admits to the charges several episodes later, Tristan’s loyalty comes into question. Her excuse being, she wanted to put the situation behind her. Tristan later admits to the experts that he loves her. And, he has to rely on his strong spiritual beliefs. Fans are outraged, but Lifetime producers say they didn’t know about the charges in advance of the taping.
Bobby and Danielle
Animal lovers, Bobby (27) and Danielle (30) decided to live at his house because he had more rooms for each of their dogs. Bobby is really into Danielle and the whole marriage. Once their dogs instantly get along, he feels it's a match made in heaven. But Danielle’s 15-grand in credit card debt seemed to ruffle Bobby’s feathers. He even mentioned that he didn’t want to spend his savings paying off someone else’s debt…even if that someone is his new wife. She is now on the hook to stick to a pretty tight budget moving forward. We’ll see what pressure this adds to the relationship.
So how do these extreme love connections turn out? We’ll have to wait and see. But, no season has ended with all three couples staying together so far. The show airs Tuesday nights on Lifetime.