Why We Need Feel Good Reality TV #1

The first few months of TV viewing in Australia has been dominated by one show: Married at First Sight. I’ve never watched it, but you can’t live in Oz and not know what the show is about. Three “experts” match up unlucky-in-love singles and they are “married” – seeing each other for the first time at their wedding. FYI for those in the US, under Australian law they can’t actually be married, so it is really a commitment ceremony, even though they call it wedding.

There are plenty of people on the program we’re hoping will find genuine happiness. But others ... well.

I’m not sure what happens after that cringe worthy ceremony, but the show quickly went down the tacky, sleazy slide to trashy viewing. I’ve read it described as:

A s**t show, a hell ride, a car crash with multiple fatalities. There are screaming matches. Runaway brides. Infidelities. Betrayals. Bucket loads of tears. Stupid women. And hideous, horrible men. We watch MAFS to see people go down. We watch MAFS because we all have anger and resentment, and it’s cathartic to channel it into a TV villain for an hour on a weeknight.

Kerri Sackville, news.com.au

I have to disagree with the last statement of that quote. I don’t find it cathartic to watch real-life horror unfold in front of me. From what I’ve seen in the news, some of those people on that show need mental health support (and apparently are now receiving it).

All in the name of ratings.

And it worked. The ratings were apparently sky high. What was happening between the unfortunates on the show was reported in the news (side note…that’s not news) so even those not watching, like myself, couldn’t help but hear snippets.

It’s a relief for the next block of TV ratings to have started with some feel good reality TV. I like to watch ordinary people like me try amazing things and succeed, or fail, with support and kindness by those travelling the same path. That is cathartic.

We need more of this. Family friendly viewing of real people being nice to one another, helping them even when they are competitors, inspirational people who are like you or me, giving something a go because they are passionate about something. Shows that make you feel happy.

There are two of these on at the moment and I will post about them soon.

If you watch reality TV do you like the heart warming, or heart breaking, approach? For me it is heart warming all the way.

12 comments on “Why We Need Feel Good Reality TV #1

  1. Giggling Fattie

    May 1, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    I watch exactly two reality tv shows: project runway, and project runway all stars LOL it used to be three with America’s next top model added in but it’s been taken off the air. I love then because it’s based on talent not on drama lol but there is a bit of drama, especially on ANTM haha

    I did watch an Ozzy show about weddings though!! It was something like a ten dollar wedding? Or weddings on a budget? It was on Netflix and I loved it!!

    • Not sure what that show was? I have seen maybe 10 minutes of one of those modelling/runway shows but it didn’t grab me (I think the model was being photographed with a large snake around her neck and I was more interested in the snake!).

      • Giggling Fattie

        May 3, 2019 at 9:35 pm

        Hehe! I just love to see how the artist thing turns out, like how the photo shoot turns out or how the dress is finally designed. And I like them cos you have to have some sort of talent in order to progress. It’s great!

        Okies I searched and it’s called “cheapest weddings” it actually wasn’t too bad! Like some of the weddings were totally bananas but that was more about the couple getting married haha! Had some good tips for saving money while planning a wedding

        • I’d like the artist bit, but I think the histrionics would drive me bonkers. Found Cheapest Weddings on Netflix. I’ll watch and see what it’s like.

  2. I’ve never seen MAFS either. I definitely prefer “feel good”, myself. There is a a British series, “Don’t Tell The Bride,” of which I have seen a few episodes. A couple are given money to pay for their wedding, on condition the groom organises the whole thing, even choosing the wedding gown. The bride doesn’t get to see any of it till the last minute. This could end in disaster, but usually works out, even if the bride is upset at first, because there is such goodwill on the groom’s side. Mostly, though, I like cooking reality shows.

    • Lol, I am imagining what my wedding would have been like it The Hub had organised it. It wouldn’t have bothered me much what he did. We discussed eloping but only didn’t because my Dad had always talked about giving me away. We went low key and small though.

  3. I don’t watch reality TV. It usually focuses on drama at the expense of reality. Odd show that one but I assume it will soon reach the US.

    • I think it is already in the US, Jacqui. When I googled to get info on it to write the post the US one came up – although I think people are really married in the US one!

  4. They can’t actually be married? What are the requirements for a marriage to be legal? That’s interesting. I mean, I’m glad. I really don’t think they should marry some unknown person just for the TV show. But I’m curious what requirement they’re not satisfying.

    I don’t watch much reality TV just for that reason, though. I don’t like trainwrecks. If I wanted to see misery… Well, lately all I need is to turn on the news and hear what our idiot government is doing. And continues to do.

    But, I realized that I do watch some reality TV. And it turns out I’m okay with it. It’s a show called Trading Spaces, and two sets of neighbors redecorate a room in each other’s home. While sometimes they get it very, very wrong (certain designers are just awful), most of the time they love the new room. That’s the best.

    • To be married here you have to give minimum of one month and one day’s notice in writing (it’s an official form) and it requires date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party – plus you have to sign it. So it wouldn’t be possible to keep the identity of the other party secret which is the premise of MAF.

      Totally agree with you about turning on the news. We have a federal election on 18th May…

      I enjoy watching reality house shows where it’s more about people renovating their house (like Grand Designs which I love) then competing.

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