It’s official – Married At First Sight fever, nay, addiction, has reached new heights.
In the past week I’ve spoken to my colleagues, friends, mother, partner and even my partner’s father about the Dean and Tracey debacle and the recent Nasser personality flip. These are not your usual reality TV addicts.
On Monday night, Nine’s reality TV dating experiment which sees two strangers matched up and ‘married’, was the most watched show on Australian television, with a national average audience of 1.811 million. It backed it up again last night, with an average audience of 1.728 million.
But still people are treating it like a guilty pleasure. A low brow addiction. A sugar hit of reality TV to be binged and then detoxed.
You see, Married At First Sight and Shakespeare have more in common than you might initially think. Hear us out.
Last summer, the UK was overtaken by an inexplicable Love Island addiction. Like MAFS, it’s a reality TV dating show that sees strangers paired up in the hopes of forming relationships. The twist? They’re all attractive people in bikinis in a tropical location. Oh, and there’s prize money for the winning couple.
In fact, it was so popular, Australia is doing its own version to air later this year.
In one of countless opinion pieces about the nation's obsession with the 'low brow' show, author and journalist Elizabeth Day made a very important point.
"They [the contestants] start talking, utterly sincerely, about wanting to find “the one” and “someone who gives me butterflies” and you realise that, ultimately, we are all engaged on this endless quest to be understood," Day wrote for Radio Times of Love Island, but it applies just as well to MAFS.
"It’s the kind of narrative that has obsessed us since time immemorial. It’s why we’re still riveted by the work of Jane Austen or Shakespeare: because we are all searching for someone who helps us make sense of ourselves."