Thursday, 8 May 2014

Stranger Danger.



When I think "Groundbreaking experiment" I don't think strangers getting married for Channel 4's ratings is up there with cures for cancer and cures for paralysis, but this is how Channel 4 are billing their new programme where six people who have never met will be frogmarched down an aisle to see if the can live happily ever after (well, happily 6 weeks after) 

My first thought is, and they say the Equal Marriage act will ruin the sanctity of marriage? 

Channel 4 are pissing all over the act of a union between two people who love each other for the sake of ratings and possibly a debate-style programme that Katie Hopkins will sell off her children to appear on. 

I don't feel that this is a ground-breaking experiment, it is for shock value, and a publicity stunt, pure and simple. 

Will I watch it? Probably. 

Will I hate it? Most definitely.

Are we going to talk about it? We already are.

What are your thoughts on the Channel 4 programme? 

Let me know. 

Big Fashionista x x 


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4 comments

  1. Sounds awful. Surely they can't lawfully marry two strangers?

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  2. Initially, my jaw dropped as I read your post - I hadn't heard about this programme before - they are clearly courting controversy here, with the view to getting a large audience via yet another angle on the rubbernecking, curtain-twitching and tut-tutting qualities of the reality TV format. How appalling, for people to marry having just met! However, I read Channel 4's description of the show ('Married at First Sight') and it got me thinking about how many marriages worked in the past.

    Of course, we have all heard about Asian (sorry to use a generic word here) arranged marriages, where the couple meet maybe a couple of times, or one time, sometimes not at all, before the wedding, having been previously been chosen and pre-approved by their respective parents. An ex-work colleague had an arranged marriage like this, and was happy with her parents' choice. However, she had been presented with a number of other suitors, which she'd rejected, and she'd met and corresponded with her future husband a couple of times before the wedding.

    My maternal grandparents had been selected by a village matchmaker, and my own mother was also matched up with my father, with a view to possible marriage - they married within 3 months of meeting (she said 'because he seemed like a quite, nice type' - she told me from quite early on that she did not marry for love). All my family were very religious, and remained married, but also, I believe they remained married, sometimes admittedly not altogether happily, because it was a case of 'we're in this now for life, this is how it is', and their strong traditions and ties to religion helped them get through.

    This TV 'experiment' is of course, a modern version of matchmaking, but there isn't any religion or tradition to glue the participants together - only the intrusive eyes of the TV cameras - Big Brother and the Public Eye, rather than God, is watching them.

    I also can't get my head around the fact that they are to be actually *married* (rather than live together as a couple). However, they are entering into the partnership freely and very much in the way the couples did in the arranged/matched marriages I know. Those couples did it 'for religion' and 'tradition' while these channel 4 ones are doing it for different reasons, simply BECAUSE it is being televised. Is it for fame? Maybe some kind of narcissism? Are people so used to their lives being available for public consumption through social networks and the media, that they believe that it is normal, and not exploitative, for their personal lives to be broadcast to the nation, and even believe this is a genuinely good way of finding a soul mate?

    I don't think I can bear to watch this, it's probably an insult to my intelligence - I know that arranged marriages sometimes do work and sometimes don't. We've known that for centuries. Also, I've had my fill of reality TV now, and of Z-list celebrities, and the clamoring for fame without talent or knowledge or achievement, and constant stream of advertising and sponsorships. We're well on the way of becoming an Idiocracy. Now there's a great movie full of hilarity and social comment. Watch that instead of this.

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  3. This isn't a new experiment though. I worked for a radio station in Birmingham back in 1999 who did a marketing campaign called Two Strangers and a Wedding. They even got an ITV documentary made out of it. Loads of listeners applied and there was a whole shebang about choosing the finalists. And they were given a free apartment for a year, car etc etc.
    Needless to say the marriage didn't work out. Although the bride did end up with a rather infamous chat show host that used to work at the station. (inside goss!)
    It's just a big marketing ploy really. Tis all very silly.

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  4. I hate the idea of this, I really do. It's giving out the signal that marriage is something that's so easy to get out of that anyone can do it and it doesn't matter. Like buying a dress - don't worry if it doesn't fit, just take it back. It ruins the whole sanctity of marriage in my view. xx

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