Having mostly stayed home since mid-March, you may have run out of quality TV shows to watch. There are only so many — and frankly, there's so much drama in the real world right now that watching prestige TV can feel like a burden.
If you can relate, I offer this suggestion: Watch some trash TV.
I have recently taken an interest in Married at First Sight, a dumb reality show (on Netflix and Hulu) in which experts match up perfect strangers and have them get married. The "couple" then goes on a honeymoon and lives together, under the pretense that they are actually married and must decide within eight weeks if they will stay married or get divorced.
This, to be clear, is trash. And I love it.
As with all reality TV, the social situations in Married at First Sight always feel too contrived, and any real drama is usually just a product of clever editing, cliffhangers and music. But what's hooked me into this show is the same thing that I suspect reels anyone into watching these kinds of shows: It invites you to judge the characters for their flaws.
Many of these couples end up getting divorced. But that's by design. The fun of Married at First Sight — especially for a married person like me — is that you can usually predict which couples won't work out and which will. A guy keeps going out with friends and leaving his new wife at home? Aha! He is surely not ready for commitment, this will surely end in divorce. A virgin married a guy with plenty of relationship experience? No way will they be emotionally compatible.
It gives you a feeling of superiority, which is probably unhealthy. But I'd argue that there are times it can actually be valuable. When a couple argues about something small, like the dishes, it may cause me to self-reflect on how I would handle that situation, leading me to vow that next time, I will not make a big deal of it, because I sure as hell don't want to be like them.
The real value, though, is that I don't have to think about it too much. There are only two possible outcomes by the end of the season: The couples stay together or they don't. Then, you watch the next season to find out if the same happens to other couples.
It's simple entertainment. And for some reason, that's refreshing right now. ♦