Here’s the thing about the faux marriage reality television: you either love it like Davina loves Davina, or hate it with the fire of one thousand suns.
I was once the former. Over time I have become the latter.
When the previews for the latest season of Married At First Sight began in January, I considered recommitting my entire life to John Aiken and his spiky hair. I really did. But I also knew deep in my soul that watching episode one would mean being trapped in a prison of concocted drama for the foreseeable future and, well, my family have really missed me being around between January and April for the last five years.
When the promo ads first rolled (“Dean wants to be obeyed” etc etc eye roll etc) my boyfriend looked at me carefully across the couch, silently pleading for me to please not throw our lives into disarray for Channel Nine again.
It’s February 20 and, against all the odds, I have escaped the full-time job that is watching Married At First Sight AND still have a boyfriend. It’s a true miracle. Distance from the show that once had me chained to my television/a bag of extra cheesy Doritos has given me clarity on the truth:
Married At First Sight is the actual worst.
Here’s why, from a reformed addict.
1. TOO MANY EPISODES.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday? Given the episodes are 90 effing minutes long, that’s six hours a week. If we have another 30 episodes like last year, that’s forty five hours dedicated to Davina and Dean.
Ask yourself: Do you want to give dickcake Dean 45 hours of your life? Do you really?
This show literally demands you sacrifice your social life and instead watch other people have cocktail parties where they neck other people’s fake spouses.
Just think about the possibilities that would open up if we all gave away MAFS. We could all learn Spanish! Master the art of baking friands! Get to the bottom of this cryptocurrency financey stock markety stuff!
LISTEN: Dean is this season’s super villain, and apparently he’s also a rapper. Clare and Jessie Stephens discuss. Post continues.
2. Speaking of Davina and Dean…
Married At First Sight is sucking up our time and energy and… souls… even when it’s not on our tellies.
I know enough about these two just from scrolling through my Facebook feed.
The internet has been awash with “Davina this” and “Dean that” for what feels like seven years and I would very much like to speak to Zuckerberg about a plug-in that removes all Deaniva (Davean?) related content from my feed.
It’s just too much, Zuck. Please, take it away from me. It burns my retinas.
3. It’s so ridiculous that the psychologists can’t even call themselves psychologists anymore.
You might've noticed that John Aiken et al no longer refer to themselves as "psychologists" on the show anymore.
Yeaaaaah. About that.
Emails leaked to Daily Mail earlier this month reportedly showed that a former contestant filed an official complaint with the Psychology Council of NSW after claiming he and his fake marriage pals were "put in dangerous situations". John Aiken's hearing with the board determined that the MAFS panel members were no longer allowed to be referred to as "psychologists". Now, they're, um, "relationship experts".
How utterly appalling, given all the genuine psychological support those three have generously given over the last five yea--
Oh. Wait. Never mind.
4. This. From someone who used to work on the show.
"I hate MAFS because I used to work closely on the show and saw how real people were taken advantage by the machine of reality TV. Yes, they signed up for it. But the editing definitely over-dramatises situations, knowing the public will react if things are presented a certain way.
"It's fundamentally cruel and preys upon people's insecurities. And the contestants who go on to build social media followings off the back of it...well, they've played the system. So you can never believe in the system. It's just ritual humiliation of 'bogans', while the cool girls/guys get rewarded with fame, like they're in high school again."
5. The Bachelor is infinitely better.
So far, across about one trillion and five MAFS couples, would you like to know how many have stayed together?
One. One measly couple. Sure, they have a baby and that definitely counts as brownie points, but I'll tell you who else has a baby?
If you're going to make a reality TV show your second full-time job, why would you pick MAFS over Bach? At least when you watch The Bachelor you have a faint hope that something good will come from the clustermuck of drama - sweet, sweet love.
Don't roll your eyes at me, buddy. I've got the stats to back it up.
Bach has given us Tim and Anna, Sam and Snez, Georgia and Lee, AND Matty and Laura. Even Osher found love on the show, okay? He's a married man now. It's legit.
I'll be damned if I invest more hours of my life into a show that doesn't even give us everlasting love. I want engagement rings, dammit. I want weddings and babies and people growing old and grey together. Is that really too much to ask from the strangers who enter reality TV shows? Is it? IS IT?
I need to lie down now.
If I haven't persuaded you, listen to The Twins debrief on the most ridiculous talking points from last night's Married At First Sight below.