When I discovered this tv show, my mom was appalled at the concept. My sister was gleeful at the prospects. They both got sucked into it and we watched the entire season available on OnDemand.
It’s as crazy as it sounds: 3 couples get matched up with strangers and don’t see each other until their wedding day. They then have 6 weeks–which ends up seeming like an arbitrary time limit–to decide whether to stay married or get a divorce.
I was intrigued. It amazed me that real people would, first of all, agree to this experiment, but more than that, once they did, act like someone was forcing them to do it. When one of the women didn’t like her new husband on the wedding day, she reacted as though she had been required to marry him by something other than the possibility of fame. When another woman realized she didn’t like or find her husband attractive, she shut down and acted like someone was insisting she follow through on this ridiculous concept, despite her clear desire to quit and leave it all behind.
To be honest, I was rooting for all 3 couples, even the ones who didn’t seem like they belonged together. Because while I probably wouldn’t sign up for such a show, I can see why someone would. It’s not that much more absurd than a typical arranged marriage, although the people setting up the couples in that case at least know the individuals. I can certainly understand the frustration at reaching your 30s–though some of the people on the show were barely in their mid-20s–without having found a life partner, and deciding a stranger might as well set you up because they can’t possibly do any worse than you have yourself.
Having the out of a divorce at 6 weeks hanging over your head is the biggest mistake the show made, I think–if we’re taking the entire concept off the table for the moment. Sure, any marriage can end after 6 weeks. Any marriage can end after 6 months, or 6 years. But to have a definitive point at which you are to say, “Yes, I want to stay with you,” or, “No, let’s forget it,” seems to make it easier to give up. If instead the couples went into the process thinking it would be really difficult to get a divorce, or even simply that they were determined not to, I wonder whether the outcome might have been different.
Do I think every married couple should remain together if they’re miserable? Probably not. But do I think they should at least give it a fair shot, and 6 weeks doesn’t appear to be long enough to be considered one? Yes. I also think the experts should have taken into consideration the kind of people the contestants found attractive before sticking them with their supposed lifelong match, but unfortunately the producers didn’t ask me.