If you’re looking to shake things up in your TV life (or, as many of us call it...life), Lifetime has you covered. Its hit reality franchise, Married at First Sight, is back with two different shows. Couples’ Cam brings together self-filmed footage of past couples (a number of whom are now raising young families) who are all in various stages of coping with quarantine. Meanwhile, the imported Married at First Sight: Australia shakes up the ‘meet and marry a stranger at the altar’ concept not only with a whole new accent, but a whole new energy. Read on for more of what to expect in the coming weeks.
Lesson learned: a full camera crew isn’t always required when it comes to capturing people in their natural environment. In many ways, Couples’ Cam is refreshingly normal. The show bounces from couple to couple, rotating through short segments with sharp insights into each of their lives. Sure, it’s obvious that the couples are filming themselves (the camcorders are basically a character all their own). But many of the issues are exactly what you would expect from the MAFS crew, from ordinary bickering to not-so-joking murder jokes.
Of course, the realities of recent events are never far from the hand-held camera lens. Some of the cast are in healthcare and still going into work; others have lost their jobs. They confront challenging questions of all sizes, from finding the safest place to give birth to figuring out how to stop a puzzle piece-stealing toddler. And of course, may of the men are struggling through their individual quarantine beard journey (sir, you didn’t have one before with good reason; isolation does not change how your face looks with more hair on it).
While one of the couples (Austin and Jessica) was on the most recent season of the show, it’s been a while since we’ve seen some of the rest of them (both Ashley and Anthony and Shawniece and Jephte now have toddlers!). So it’s nice — even under these circumstances — to get video confirmation that life still goes on.
This Australian import has many beats that mirror the ten MAFS seasons that have aired stateside. There’s a panel of ‘experts’ whose job it is to know what is best for the cast. Each pair, in a not-at-all-staged-manner, awkwardly gathers their family and friends to announce that they’re marrying a stranger. And of course, the horrifying dress game is stronger than ever (really, Poppy? Bows on your sleeves?)
But make no mistake – this is NOT Pastor Cal’s Married at First Sight. In the opening scene, the female half of the cast toasts to “not banging each other’s partners” (charming, ladies. Simply charming). The ‘experts’ take their matchmaking to a whole new level (one couple is paired because they smelled each other’s t-shirts in a lab). And amongst the 12 (yes, TWELVE) couples are a same-sex pair and single parents, a far cry from their US counterparts.
Buckle in, because I’ve got a feeling that Australia has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Speaking of which, don’t forget to have your search engines revved and ready for this show. There’s hasn’t been a ton of Australian slang yet, but when it appears, the Internet is a nice companion to have.
Married at First Sight: Couples’ Cam premieres Wednesday, May 20 at 8pm EST, while Married at First Sight: Australia premieres Wednesday, May 27 at 9pm EST on Lifetime. All Married at First Sight seasons are currently streaming on demand via Lifetime.