Imagine having to isolate through the Covid lockdown with a stranger. Oh, and someone films you during it. Finally, throw in the expectation of “getting it on” with that stranger. Welcome to Married At First Sight Australia!
Firstly, let me start by saying that this is a brilliantly terrible concept. It’s truly cringe-worthy yet gripping at the same time. The editing is obvious, yet it still convinces you. I have now sat through 4 series and hate myself for watching it – it’s like an addiction.
The concept is that three “experts” (who clearly aren’t that great as their strike rate for matching people up successfully is pretty much 10%) match Australian singletons based on their ‘wants’ as well as their personalities. Often times they’ll match them up with people that they probably wouldn’t have matched with on the “outside”.
OK, you’re with me so far? The key point of this programme is that these couples meet for the first time on their wedding day! That’s right, they each marry a complete stranger! Does this social experiment produce matches made in heaven or matrimonial pandemonium?
Yet still, the couple exchange vows and then spend an evening together in a hotel. Then, the newlyweds go on a ‘honeymoon’ together, sometimes in Australia and sometimes in other locations like Fiji or Singapore. The couples are then encouraged to set up home in an apartment block, usually in Sydney. Each week they have challenges to complete, a public chat with the experts and a group dinner with the other couples, which is always supplemented with a LOT of alcohol. Under those circumstances, you can imagine there are fireworks!
Now that all sounds fairly straightforward, I hear you say. That is, until you add the fact that the producers seem to pick pretty much everyone from Instagram. They are mostly wannabes who will say and do whatever it takes for their 15 minutes of fame. As you can imagine, when marriage isn’t the main focus of the experiment, then all sorts of things happen.
So now, you probably see what I mean – the concept of the programme and the people involved is bordering tragic. Yet somehow it makes for addictive viewing that’s too great to miss!
The dresses on the show are amazing. The bronzed skin and perfect hair of these glamorous beach babes is jaw-dropping. The volume of make-up worn when the couples apparently wake up on camera is surprising!
And 10% of these couples actually stay together after the experiment! Does that tell you that this experiment works? Or does it tell you that if you lock two people away together, they sometimes form a bond? I guess it’s no different to cellmates falling in love in prison… Maybe that’ll be the next Married At First Sight … Married at First Felony.