“Married at First Sight” taught me why you don’t get married at first sight

This post is going to be a little different than my usual. I’ll be reviewing the reality TV show “Married at First Sight,” in which matchmakers pair up complete strangers who meet each other for the first time at the altar. The show follows them from their wedding day, through the honeymoon, into moving in together and integrating into one another’s lives for the next several weeks to months. And on the finale, they make the decision to stay married or get a divorce.

To state the obvious, marrying a total stranger seems like a set up for disaster. To be fair, in cultures where arranged marriages are the norm, I’m sure it can work — when you’re paired up by family members, who know you best, and have the purest intentions. But when it comes to reality TV, there’s no way that this can end well… which is exactly how it draws in so many viewers.

After watching season 10 of “Married at First Sight,” I almost believe that producers purposely pair up couples who they know will be completely incompatible, just for the entertainment value. I mean, let alone the fact that the cast consists of people who are so desperate to get married that they will literally go for anyone.

As a disclaimer, I want to point out the fact that these are not fictional characters — these are real people with real feelings. Please take my judgement as a grain of salt. Even reality stars deserve some sense of dignity, right? Having said that, I have a lot of thoughts…

Brandon & Taylor

The craziest couple of all, this not only ended in divorce, but mutual restraining orders. Brandon dealt with all of his problems by running away, shutting down, and expecting Taylor to read his mind. He threw multiple tantrums, most of them directed at the filming crew for simply trying to do their job. They were getting paid to film him, and he was getting paid to get filmed, but instead he acted like a celebrity getting chased down by paparazzi.

Taylor coped by pretending not to be bothered by his antics until she exploded in an extremely passive-aggressive Instagram video, in which she complained about men and proclaimed herself single, right before returning home to her husband. In her “defense,” she thought he’d never see the video because he wasn’t following her account. Through multiple confrontations from both Brandon and the rest of the producers/team, she insisted that there was nothing wrong with her video.

In the end, we see that Brandon is a private and secretive man while Taylor is a social media fanatic — why in the world did the producers ever think this would work? (They definitely didn’t.) Five months following the final episode, at the reunion, the audience learns of an incident at a bar that ended in a court case and a double restraining order. Yikes.

Zach and Mindy

Totally doomed from the start, Zach tells Mindy on their honeymoon that he’s not “attracted” to her, refuses to move in together, and makes the absolute minimal effort to make the marriage work. Later on, we learn that he exchanged numbers with Mindy’s friend, and the two had been texting back and forth, developing a “friendship” behind the scenes — sketchy.

Poor Mindy goes great lengths to make it work but ends up getting betrayed by her new husband and so-called friend. On top of that, Zach plays some horrible mind games with Mindy by calling her a liar but refusing to tell her why. Eventually, it comes out that he was mad about her ex reaching out to her and asking for a ride to the airport (which she refused, anyway.)

What makes this couple slightly better than the prior, is that it kinda ends on good-ish terms. They get divorced, Mindy is distraught, but by the five-month-later reunion, they seem civilized and even amicable. The two are able to laugh about the whole thing. Sure sounds better than a legal battle.

Derek and Katie

This couple begins with immediate red flags. The day of the wedding, before meeting her new husband, Katie confesses that she is still missing her non-committal ex — who just recently reached out to her, now offering commitment. Ultimately, she decides to move forward and go ahead with the marriage experiment, but clearly she is feeling very torn.

Derek’s only major red flag is his claim that he has never been in love before — I mean, that’s way better than still being in love with an ex! Throughout the show, he continues to press that he is still not in love with Katie, and can’t say for sure if he ever will be.

Katie gets angry with Derek for having too many dreams. Keep in mind that these “dreams” of his include building a treehouse and writing a Christmas carol. Despite these bumps, it does seem like this couple is doing quite well, and actually going to make it. And they do end up remaining married on the finale.

However, a few months later at the reunion, we learn otherwise… Katie cheated on Derek with her ex, and the two are now divorced. Along with that, Katie also reached out to Zach (from the other couple) and they went out for drinks. Oh boy.

Michael and Meka

I have to say, this was actually one of the healthiest couples — despite Michael’s “pseudo-yoga instructor” storyline, which is so ridiculous that it really makes me laugh. The couple seemed fairly compatible, the only thing that really got in the way was Michael’s extremely blurry career.

So, we first meet Michael introducing himself as a professional yoga instructor — this is his full-time job. Later on, he claims to practice yoga two or three times a week, and teaches it once a week. And then even later, he changes the story to say that he teaches yoga once a month. Finally, he invites Meka to a yoga class that he instructs — but when she gets there, the people at the class look confused and tell her that there is no Michael who teaches there.

Michael also says something about applying to be a principal, and then turning down the job. What’s his final job title? I don’t even know — I think he said he teaches a gym class at school, but then he says he’s a school teacher — I really could not keep this story straight. Meka suggests they have an honest discussion about their finances in which they show each other their paystubs. Michael doesn’t have paystubs, but “letters” from his work about his pay.

Understandably, Meka asks for divorce, in which Michael reluctantly agrees. In the end, I don’t think we ever learn what his real job was, or why he lied about teaching yoga… aside from that, they were a chill couple with some cute moments together. Why, Micheal, why!?

Austin and Jessica

Out of all the couples, this was the only one to remain married, and stay married, after filming ended. Does that automatically make them the “winning couple” though?

Jessica tells us that her reason for wanting to marry at first sight is because her twin sister is married with a newborn, and she feels like she needs to “keep up” with her sister’s milestones.

Overall, the couple seems to do well together. The only issues being that Jessica wants them to have the same exact sleep schedule and spend more time together, while Austin frequently travels for work and is a little sketchy and blurry surrounding the details of his career. Another thing is that just like Derek, Austin is extremely hesitant of the dreaded “L-word” — because God-forbid you tell your wife, who you’re sleeping with, that you love her. *eye roll*

However, by the five-month reunion, Austin has finally admitted the magic word (gasp!) and the two seem to be going strong. You can’t help but wonder though, how forced this relationship is — having said that, I’m happy for them. Not jealous at all. Nope, nope, nope! Hahaha.

Conclusion…

Besides the first couple, the rest of them seem to end the show on a rather content note, no matter the troubles they went through.

Here’s the most ironic part — everyone (besides the two who stayed married) are asked, at the very end, if they are ready to get back into dating. All of them basically agree that they are not ready, will need a lot of time to recover from this, and are definitely not looking for anything serious at the moment. A room full of people who were once so desperate to get married that they sold their soul to reality television, are now saying… “hmm… nah… maybe I should just chill.”

I don’t think the goal of this show is to get married. I mean, the major goal here is to provide entertainment for people like me who eat up trashy reality shows like a raccoon. But I’d also like to believe that, the secondary goal, is to teach a valuable lesson — maybe jumping into marriage, just for the sake of being married, is not such a wise decision after all…

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