Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Married at First Sight is the show we all love to hate. But are we just as bad as the Instawannabes who sign up to participate in the country's greatest farce?
I swore I wouldn’t watch Married At First Sight this year, wait, no I didn’t. That was all of my friends, who one by one have been sucked back into the MAFS vortex, like dust mites into a vacuum with no hope of return. Even my reality-avoidant Baby Daddy has been swept up into the madness and is just as eager to race the kids into bed to indulge in our not so secret obsession together, most nights of the week: MAFS and couch.
This season brings us a whole new set of people to love and hate, and love to hate, as they embark on their journey towards minor Instagram notoriety for the next 6-12 months, until they are unceremoniously dumped by Channel 9 to make way for the next wave of wannabes. Cue flashback reel - Mat? Alycia? Anyone? No idea? Me either. In case you have been living under a rock, or are actually out there having a life, the entire cast of MAFS 2018 were blocked on Instagram by the official MAFS page in the lead up to the new season’s release date, and they had plenty to say about it. Some were mildly sympathetic, others (think excessive fillers and wife swapping) took their prohibition as a signal to run production into the ground, by revealing behind the scenes secrets and hush hush happenings that went on during taping of the show.
You have to wonder what the new cast thought of this. It might be this kind of ostentatious behaviour that had the cast banned to begin with.
But MAFS doesn’t need the has-been drama, because this year - there is plenty to go round. And we’ve only just made it through the honeymoons. The running joke for the past few years has been the hilarious rouse that three “experts” have “scientifically matched” all of the couples, who in most cases, are so glaringly wrong for each other that even Blind Freddie is rolling his eyes. But this hideous mismatching makes certain they’ll deliver great TV.
In terms of success, the “experts” have made a lasting match zero times. Not one couple, from all the seasons, over all the years have had a lasting connection. The only hopes the resident love doctors could pin their hopes to, were 2015 couple Zoe Hendrix and Alex Garner. Their match produced the first MAFS baby in 2016 but sadly, the couple announced their separation in 2018.
So where is the line when it comes to reality television and people’s real lives? Sure, the entire cast signs up knowing absolutely what they are getting themselves into but it’s the more genuine and often, the most vulnerable cast members, who appear to be putting a lot of faith into the hands of these “experts”.. and an entire production team whose desired outcomes are evidently a far cry from those of the participants. Where is the duty of care to the participant who has had three members of his immediate family die in tragic circumstances, by pairing him with the most terrifying non-empath we’ve seen on TV since Davina last year? Or the producers responsible for dragging out every excruciating minute of a 29 year old virgin’s painstaking path to manhood. That should make exceptional light banter at his next job interview.
And where do our responsibilities as viewers lie? We are the entire reason the show gets renewed each year. We spend hours every season badmouthing all the trout pouts that seem to be a prerequisite for Australian reality TV these days, trash talking the vindictive villains and cheering on the odd softie or two. It connects strangers in obscenity and brings us all down to the lowest common denominator. But we love it. And as long as we love it, they’ll keep feeding it to us. One inflated ego at a time. 20 Instagram hopefuls every season. And you know where I’ll be – on the couch with my Baby Daddy, ready to rip the next set a new one.