Tonight marks the premiere of Married at First Sight on the new FYI network (formerly The Biography Channel). Harvard’s Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein is one of the four experts who will pair together three couples who agree to get married, sight-unseen.
The first episode is already online in case you’re curious. I know I was, so I watched the whole thing last night. It’s one of those shows that could theoretically be condensed into about five minutes. There are just a few moments you really want to see. Like when the contestants find out about the premise of the show…
… and when the couples see each for the first time at the altar.
Everything else is just filler. In that sense, it’s not that different from other matchmaking reality shows that have a surprise twist (think Joe Millionaire, the already-canceled I Wanna Marry “Harry”, or Superstar USA). But at least this show has good intentions, right?
I will say that I enjoyed the episode (and not just because I know Greg). If you don’t take it all that seriously, and you aren’t thinking about the sociological implications of the experiment, and you’re not lamenting how this is legal but gay marriage is still controversial in some places, and you aren’t questioning how “scientific” these matches really are, it’s one of those shows you can have on in the background and pay attention during the few moments when something interesting happens. Just don’t think too hard about it. (And don’t believe for a moment that these couples have any chance of remaining together.)