Monday nights are unquestionably dedicated to The Bachelor. But there are other evenings, and other wonderfully messy dating shows, to be found in the vast realm of reality television. Polygamy, foreign visas, and forced weddings are all happening right now on our cable networks, so forget about the spectacular rose ceremonies! (Not to mention even more dreadful television on the way this Spring…)
Here’s a list of five reality TV dating series that we love, and why you should, too.
If you haven’t seen this gem of a shitshow yet, I only have one question: WHY NOT? Stop reading this and go set your DVR for WEtv on Friday at 10 p.m. EST. I’ll see you back here in a minute. Okay, now it’s your turn to live your best life. Thank you very much. Reason to pay attention: Camera crews follow six couples who formed a relationship while one of them was in prison, according to the producers of 90 Day Fiance. Will their love survive the release of the prisoner? Will we discover that the general public is 100 times more insane than the inmates? Will an ex-Crip and a Mormon mother of three create the ideal couple? No, Yes, and No are the answers. Brilliance.
Diann Valentine, a relationship guru, accompanies five African-American women to Italy who claim to have had difficulty finding a nice boyfriend in the United States. Our single ladies are introduced to some of Italy’s most eligible – and sometimes cringeworthy – guys in Rome. Reason to pay attention: This is a highly produced piece of eye candy with fantastic lighting and attractive backdrops, as we’ve come to expect from Bravo. Bravo, on the other hand, knows how to create drama, and they don’t disappoint when it comes to showing the cultural mismatch between the American bachelorettes and their stereotyped Italian suitors. Furthermore, these women will undoubtedly quarrel amongst themselves. As decreed by the Bravo gods.
This show, which already has a cult following, follows three “plural families” as they search for and integrate a new sister wife into their crazy ass lifestyle. Reason to pay attention: If you enjoy reality television, you will enjoy polygamy. Please, just admit it. The current-wives-hating-new-wives theme is a profound one, and this program doesn’t disappoint in exploiting it. TLC deserves a special mention for being the first dating show to feature more than two people on a first date. This show is for you if you enjoy feeling vicariously embarrassed and skeeved out for an hour every week.
Three couples are paired by a team of so-called “experts,” forced to marry after meeting for the first time at the altar, and then forced to live with each other for a series of weeks to see if they want to stay together or get divorced. It’s essentially the most high-stakes date you’ll ever have. Reason to pay attention: As a result of this show’s experiment, a few couples have managed to stay married. This season, though, the outlook for all of our couples appears to be bleak. Watch to see weird situations like a husband and wife learning each other’s phone numbers for the first time – or the fact that they can’t abide seeing each other at all. But, oh no! They’ve married them now. Mazel!
If you’ve ever fantasized about finding the “one who got away,” this docuseries will show you what happens after you do. Cherry Healey, a British TV personality, organizes this worldwide search for ex-lovers, which literally necessitates the assistance of Interpol. The show promises sadness and love endings, as well as some dramatic dead ends. Why should you watch it? Because stalking is a lot of fun.