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"With just one episode, Seven Year Switch could sound the death knell for reality TV."

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It was a love I never thought would die – my absolute adoration and appetite for a reality romance series.

And then came the second season of Seven Year Switch and boy, has my tune changed. Not only that, I have a sneaking suspicion it could herald a death knell for the genre.

And that’s because this increasingly grubby series is slowly sucking all the good will for the watching people fall in love, or rediscover love, on TV out of it.

And if it’s turning me, a rabid reality fan off, what is it doing for others around the country? And will it suck the oxygen out of upcoming shows like Last Resort and, God help me, The Bachelor?

Listen to the big problem with Seven Year  Switch on The Binge.

To recap, the premise of Seven Year Switch is what it says on the box.

The show sets out rehabilitate long-term relationships suffering from the dreaded “seven year itch” syndrome. To do so, experts separate the at-their-wits-end couple and pair them up with a like-minded partner from a mirroring relationship in crisis.

Once they are shuffled into these new pairings, they work with each other – and, allegedly, the experts – to help get to the root of what is causing their problems at home. And, hopefully, once they reunite with their partner who has been through the same process, they all live happily ever after.

To say I was emotionally invested in Season One is an understatement. I even wept real human tears at times as I watched these broken couples come to devastating conclusions about what had harmed their marriages.

I’d happily see all of them go their separate ways at the end of the series (Source: Channel 7.)
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There were people to root for – Michelle and Jason in particular – as well as ones that caused you to yell “dump the loser” at your TV screen.

So I was eagerly awaiting the second season … and it’s broken this TV lovers’ heart in two.

While it’s still vaguely what it says on the box – couples in crisis, partner swapping – what once made the show a must-watch is completely missing.

Not only are these couples all in relatively short term relationships (I can’t really get that invested in someone whose underwear is older than their relationship), but I’d happily see all of them go their separate ways at the end of the series.

Not a single one of them (bar maybe Felicity, who seems to be completely broken by her short-fused fiancé Michael) inspire any sympathy, empathy or general good will. I can’t root for these relationships because they appear to have been inherently dysfunctional from the outset.

Sarge and Stacey Louise are the personal trainers looking for a lesson in love. (Source: Channel 7.)
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And if you believe the swag of press reports, a large number appear to have taken part in the show purely for their five minutes of fame.

While the original series set to shock by having the put-together couples share a bed, this time around producers seem to be going the extra mile to put them in situations where they cross a thousand boundaries.

Heck, it started on the first night when they forced them to put a ring on it and pretend to be married to each other.

And when those boundaries are crossed or when they are forced to expose a secret tale that explains, in some ways, their issues? The experts are nowhere to be seen.

This seasons seems to only be Tears, fights and lonely piece to camera segments. (Source: Channel 7.)

Come on, I hear you say, surely it’s no better or worse than what happened on Married at First Sight?

And maybe you are right. But at least in MAFS I knew there were people genuinely there for a loving romance. And there were people who made my heart sing when they found it.

Michael and Kaitlyn's recent car trip descends into an all-out fight. (Source: Channel 7.)

Instead the only singing happening was when I stuck my fingers in my ears to trill “la la la la la la” to avoid having to hear one more story about a leaked sex tape, a grotty sex toy or a sordid past.

I’m feeling fatigue and that’s not a good sign when The Last Resort is fast approaching. Can the Nine show reverse the tides and win back good will for the beast that is reality love TV? No doubt there will be multiple fingers and toes crossed at the network as we wait to find out.

To do so, they’ll have to get people to tune in. And I fear that Seven Year Switch has stopped that happening for me … today at least.

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