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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Married at First Sight. Really?

I haven't posted in so long I can't even remember what I talked about last, but today I saw a show on some random cable network that had me staring at the television with an attention span that I usually reserve only for Saturdays during college football season: Married at First Sight.

Here's the premise behind it: people who have all but given up on dating and finding love through the normal channels agree to let a team of "experts" identify the "perfect" mate for them. They put so much faith in these experts and the process that they don't meet, see of a picture of, or even know the name of the person they have been set up with. The very first time they see or speak to the person they have been paired with is when they are standing at the freakin' alter at their wedding to this COMPLETE STRANGER.

Yes. This is no ordinary blind date show folks. This is people, who in their desperation and utter and complete defeat of dating under their own devices, who have agreed to marry someone that they have not even seen a picture of. They claim they are "trusting the process" and putting their faith in the experts that have vetted their mates. But really.... really??

The level of anxiety and awkward the last 5 minutes of the first episode as lucky couple #1 set eyes on each other for the first time, in front of their friends and family while dressed in a wedding dress and tux, is enough to make even me squirm. Especially considering the sheer look of disappointment and panic on the bride's face was equal to and opposite of the look of winning the lottery on the groom's face. She was not impressed with her groom to say the least. Screw the experts and all the reasons it would work on paper...this girl was ready to cut and run.

Now, that's all you get on the first episode, other than a great tease of her impending breakdown coming in episode 2 and the equally intriguing teases of the the other 2 couples that have been crazy enough to agree to marry each other having never seen or talked to each other.

This show is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, make people like me be so appalled and yet intensively intrigued that I can't not watch the rest of it. But it's also making me ponder the reason that a person would sign on for this craziness. Are we really so exhausted and disenchanted by the dating process that we are willing to just hand it all over to a team of experts, throw on a wedding dress, and show up to the alter hoping for the best?

Apparently, yes. Yes we are.