In the Public Eye – Love and Marriage on TV

The standard formula for money-making television is fast becoming reality shows spotlighting love and marriage. Ever since The Newlywed Game, a popular genre of entertainment has been spotlighting couples. However, as any professional in the television industry will tell you (at least in private), reality TV is not real. It’s heavily influenced by producers, writers, and so forth and is not designed to be objective.

I’m especially concerned when reality TV involves love because in this case, the way to sell ads is to create tension between a couple. Hence, you get shows like The Newlywed Game, with a lot of questions related to the new couple’s intimacy. Other shows (past and present) include:

  • Temptation Island – Engaged couples live apart to see if they can remain committed to their future spouse.
  • Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? – Self-explanatory, except that according to E!, “Darva Conger, the emergency room nurse…is seeking an annulment from her hubby of one week, Rick Rockwell.”
  • The Bachelor/The Bachelorette – One guy/girl gets to pick from 25 girls/guys to marry.
  • Race to the Altar – Couples endure physical and emotional challenges to win the wedding of their dreams.
  • Married by America – Viewers across the nation call in to choose the couple.
  • For Love or Money – One guy/girl gets to pick from 15 girls/guys. If s/he says yes, they live happily ever after. If s/he says no, s/he gets $1 million.

I could go on, but you get the idea. My point? While some may argue that a committed relationship should be able to withstand the pressure, I liken joining one of these shows to bungee-jumping off a bridge. Sure, the cable will probably hold, but why take the chance?

Although I’m not married, I can promise that you won’t see my significant other or I on national TV. Love is too important to put to a foolish test.