Haven't seen Married At First Sight Australia? This is what you’re missing...
Every now and then, a show creeps up on us unsuspectingly, taking a few seasons to really get into its groove before we’re completely hooked, shoehorning it into every conversation we find ourselves in to feed our new obsession. Enter Married at First Sight Australia. Sure, the British version here caused a few ripples when it launched but it didn’t quite have the same OMG-did-you-see-what-happened-last-night sparkle that the ozzies down under are delivering every weeknight at 7.30pm.
It’s SCIENTIFIC, guys.
For the uninitiated, the show’s premise is to match people on their scientific compatibility, with three relationship experts (John Aiken, Mel Schilling and Dr Trisha Stratford) determining just who each contestant is about to spend the rest of their life with (in theory, anyway). Series Four is where things really got interesting. Farmer Sean and mining truck driver Susan seemed like the world’s most perfect love story at the altar, but as we know, the road to true love never did run smooth and we found ourselves gripped to their will-they-won’t-they story (I won’t ruin it by telling you) along with the journeys of other good-natured contestants like the adorable Simon and Alene, and unlikely pairing Andrew and Vanessa.
There’s serious drama.
As with all great reality TV shows, it promises villains too. Like Michael, who declared his match needed to be “under 60 kilos and have small ears” before opting to conceal his true identity as a stripper to his unsuspecting bride on their wedding day. Or Michael’s bride Scarlett and Cheryl’s husband Jonathan, who both embarked upon an illicit texting scandal that proved the final nail in the coffin for their relationships. Arguably, Anthony and “Jonesy” came off worst in the series, with the former calling wife Nadia “frigid” and publicly ridiculing fellow contestant Cheryl for having the absolute gall (please note our sarcasm) to try to erm, find a new partner (AKA the entire point of the show). Jonesy didn’t fare much better (‘honking’ gestures about Cheryl’s breasts and, well, you get the picture).
But it’s still pure.
But while the drama is seriously compulsive viewing, I like to think the show’s success – at least to some degree – lies in its purity and wide-eyed optimism, too. No, the success rate isn’t great (are there any couples still together?) but as viewers we’re genuinely invested in each relationship going the distance because, for the most part, they’re all quite nice (I said for the most part, people!). Viewers care because – despite the odds being stacked against them – MAFSers are all a fairly normal bunch, in it for the right reasons (instead of say, a PrettyLittleThing contract or more Instagram followers). And isn’t there something brave and rather endearing about a group of people who – despite being absolutely petrified at what lies ahead – take a deep breath and do it anyway, in the hope of a better life? At a time when uncertainty swirls around us during one of the bleakest years on record, it’s exactly the spirit – at least I think anyway – that perhaps we could all do with embracing a little more often.