Married at First Sight UK

Married at First Sight UK

Married at First Sight UK is back for a 6th season and this time they’ve changed the format. Gone are the 3 awkward ‘in a bumbling, Hugh Grant way’ couples who seem riddled with their own angst and welcome 8 couples who are fighting for their 15 minutes of fame. And fighting dirty. I mentioned this change in format for Married at First Sight UK earlier in the year and was hoping that this would mean bigger, better relationship but alas…we are thwarted by the needs of TV producers

The MAFS Franchise

The Married at First Sight Franchise has been going for a while now with the most successful marriages coming from the USA version. i.e. they’ve stayed married and have children and genuinely SEEM to be happily married.  I THINK this is because from the conception they mix it in with religious experts as well as sex therapy and matchmaking, are more state specific shows and the speed at which they integrate them back into their normal lives. They also learned from the disaster that was season 2 and/ or 3!

The Australian one was great at first but then they supersized it. I know, so American of them. I never actually had a sense of how big Australia was until they started matching people thousands of miles apart and wondering why they didn’t stay together. But most of the marriages on the supersized show haven’t worked out and it has become the gateway to other reality TV shows for most of the contestants. A long-extended audition process which doesn’t fill you with rainbows and hearts.

And The UK

So after season 5 dribbled on through Covid the producers decided to go big or go home. Sadly they chose the former. 8 couples is a lot. We now have the weekly dinner with the group, they all live in the same building in Brighton and, they have the weekly commitment ceremony which basically airs all of their dirty secrets.

From Monday to Thursday we get to watch the couples navigate a staged marriage experiment. It makes for good TV but good, sustainable marriages these are not.

So What Have You Missed? [SPOILERS]

This is standard reality TV with a sprinkle of so-called experts who have to be the worst matchmakers TV has seen. Even during the matching process it was obvious that certain couples weren’t going to get on at all. We’ve had one person, Nikita, a half Thai, half English Geordie woman leave for violence off air. We’ve had another called Jordon (who apparently was in a long relationship off the show so unclear why he was accepted onto this) who was so consumed with rage for his partner Alexis that he then went off and snogged Rob’s partner Megan who is still on the show defending her actions. And a new couple has formed although Ant just wanted to get back on the show clearly.

Ordering A Spouse

The key issue for many of them seems to be they’re stuck on their type. Jordon said his type was blonde and blue eyes. This is mixed race Jordon. So when he was given a mixed race partner it was never going to end well. Nikita wanted a tanned, hench bloke with veneers and green eyes. When she met Ant she was fuming that he wasn’t more hench and veneered and tanned. He had green eyes though.

Morag wanted a Gym Jock but was given a Children’s home manager / fireman with confidence issues. Megan wanted someone to be her Disney Prince and can’t seem to stand her partner’s loudness. Secretly I think they are well matched and Megan has delusions of being a blonde beauty. She’s put out because Big Bob / Rob outshines her and is more loved by the other contestants. He does cry an awful lot though.

My Verdict

We are three weeks into Married at First Sight UK and I have to say, it’s a shit show run by producers who have little to no interest in seeing successful marriages work. It’s sad as I do think a few of them may ACTUALLY be on there looking for love but the level of collateral damage they’re doing is frightening. There are 4 key elements missing for me:

  1. Poor matching given the thousands of applicants
  2. A lack of Date Coaching
  3. Choosing people in trauma / grief – 2 with miscarriages and 1 with a recent parental loss. Come on!
  4. Normalising levels of emotional and psychological abuse from how they speak to their partner to throwing things to shouting and swearing. It’s bizarre that this is acceptable.

Honestly, I’m already bored of the couples. You can see a couple where there may be growth (adam / Tayah, Marilyse / Franky) but most of them are performative. It’s all about their camera time so tears and alcohol are flowing. It’s messy and not in the spirit of the show. Apparently between them there have been 10 reality TV appearances before this one. The marriage is to fame not to the other person. And none of the women are likeable. Just spoiled.

So watch if you love reality TV but not if you’re looking for an insightful, marriage experiment. This is the trashy direction Channel 4 have opted for now. *Kanye Shrug*

© Chelsea Black® 2021 #MarriedAtFirstSight #MAFSUK

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