Confession: I’m shamelessly obsessed with reality TV. I watch everything from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of Atlanta to Storage Wars (judge me all you want). My Twitter account activity is a fair reflection of my TV viewing habits as I mostly tweet about the ridiculous things portrayed on those shows. I have somehow managed to convince myself that watching said shows, and tweeting about them, is really me using my Social Science education to asses current culture. Here and there, I will come across certain shows that force me to think deeper about their social implications or messaging. Married At First Sight (MAFS) is a show that has done just that.

I started watching MAFS on FYI after learning about the show’s seemingly lofty premise of creating almost perfect union with strangers. The show is riff of the Danish version with the same title, which sets up six strangers who are profiled and matched by experts to ensure the highest levels of compatibility. The couples meet for the first time at the altar, get legally married, and have to live together for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks they have the option of staying together or getting a divorce.

Upon first hearing about the show, I thought it was bizarre. The time frame to experience the marriage seemed too short. How much do you really know about someone in six weeks? I was mostly curious if MAFS was going to feature a Black couple. We all know the often stated rhetoric about marriage in the Black community, and the problematic depiction of Black folks on TV. I was somewhat relieved and happy to learn a Black couple would be on the show. Promos with the lone couple of color, Vaugn Copeland and Monet Bell, left me hesitant for a happily-ever-after.

Who are these experts again?

How did this guy get chosen?

If you haven’t watched the show or figured it out by now, Monet and Vaughn opted to get a divorce at the end of the experiment. Watching their exchanges throughout the season was painful. I found myself cringing through most of their aired discussions. I felt their pairing by the experts was way off; yet, I still found myself rooting for them to make it through for the sake of Black Love. I had strong critiques for Vaughn who hid his dislike of Monet under tired excuses and high expectations. It made me wonder if Vaughn was the only eligible brother who signed up for the show. Even if he was, why did the experts assume they had to pair either party with someone who was Black? I was later told by one of the “experts” on Twitter they were trying to avoid the high failure rate that occurs in interracial relationships.


Season two of MAFS began last month. I was pleasantly surprised to see the increase of people of color for this season. Apparently they decided to reconsider their stance on interracial relationships. However, I was slightly disappointed that none of the Black folks shown on the promos or the first episode were chosen for the show. As I was watching the first episode I caught a glimpse of Kela Walker, a fashion blogger in New York. I was slightly surprised by her appearance on the show. Kela explained her reasons for wanting to participate in MAFS on her blog. I was able to empathize with her desire to have a partner to share her successes with. From what I know of her, she seems like a determined, well-rounded and an all around great person. It is really hard for me to understand why several men haven’t been beating down her door.

Dating post-college is quite the feat. It’s even more challenging once you move away from the social circles you established while in school. Finding and establishing a long-term and committed relationship in DC, NY, LA and SF is an almost impossible accomplishment. At least it feels that way sometimes. When I first started watching the show, I thought anyone who would even consider or think about being a part of this experiment must be crazy or super desperate. But as me and my friends become increasingly fatigued by online dating, the hook up culture, and betting on chance or waiting on God, I’ve come to think this might be a decent solution—minus the reality TV part. I hope that one day Kela, Monet, myself and any other Brown girls who desire a genuine partnership are finally able to meet our complimentary halves.


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