Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Link - Thirteen Secrets Reality TV Producers Won't Tell You - And My Comments

Hey reality TV fans, take a look at this link. It's got thirteen secrets reality TV producers won't tell you.

This article touches on some key things, like the fact that it takes a ton of footage to bring an hourlong episode to television, and the fact that producers can cut and splice footage as they please, so what you're hearing may not even correlate with the images you see on a screen.

You can read the article to learn what it has to say, but this got me thinking about some things I've seen with reality television.

I know of someone who was on a competition style show where the same competitors participated each week, with one or two being kicked off with each episode. Viewers played a role in who stayed and who was eliminated. The person I am talking about was given no introduction in the audition episode of the show, whereas every other finalist was given screen time. The audience never got a chance to connect with this person, and even though she did great on the show, I think the audience's lack of connection to her became a part of her downfall. It was surprising that she was denied her introduction, given that she has had a difficult past - and people love hearing about that - but she wasn't given the chance to tell her story.

Producers do not promise honesty to contestants. Do some research into the show I Wanna Marry Harry. Remember that disaster that was cancelled before it even finished airing? I remember reading that people thought the contestants were morons for thinking they were actually dating Prince Harry, but what they don't know is that producers and other staffers were whispering behind the scenes to plant these ideas in the ladies' heads. Seriously, look it up. I read about this online, you can too. I tried to find the article where I read this and can't at the moment, but if I do, I'll edit this to add it.

Things are not always as happy as they seem. I wrote a post a while back about all of the damage done by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Families were torn apart, people were forced out of their homes due to increased tax burdens and more. It's not all as pretty as it looks.

I've also read about home renovation shows where projects are left half finished and the d├ęcor is purely for the show and not permanent. I can't verify if that's true or not (we read lots of things on the internet!) but if the show has a deadline and budget that it can't meet, it's got to do something, and this option seems plausible.

These are just some things to think about as you watch your next reality TV show.

Married at First Sight Season 3 - My Thoughts On Who Will Stay Together

Having watched up to episode five of Married at First Sight season three, I have some thoughts on who will stay together and who will choose a divorce. Of course, I really have no idea, but these are my theories at this time.

Tres and Vanessa:

This couple is going to make it. And I think the producers wanted to be sure of that. After last season's disastrous marriage results, including death threats, the show wanted a couple that was a sure thing. While the couple has had their issues, MAFS makes the couple look overwhelmingly positive.

This opinion may make me unpopular, but I do think this excellent pairing was also important to producers because Tres and Vanessa are African American. This is only the second African American couple to be represented, and the first pair (Monet and Vaughn) got a divorce.

Neil and Sam:

I'm not sure about Neil and Sam. I'm leaning towards the pair getting divorced, although their dedication to the relationship could push past this. Until Sam drove on the wrong side of the road and she saw the merits of Neil's calm personality, I didn't think they stood a chance.

I think Neil's passive nature is a challenge for strong willed Sam, and although she appreciates his respect for her and willingness to compromise, she might need more from the relationship. Additionally, in this episode, she doubted Neil's sincerity, which didn't look great for their marriage. There might be more about Sam's own concerns and insecurity in this than Neil's actual actions, but we can't be sure - this is reality TV and he could be trying to protect himself and make himself look good. We don't know.

The one reason I'm doubting my assessment about the divorce is because I remember a preview in which Sam says she was worried about being the reason her marriage could be ruined, which made it seem like the couple is still together. And I'm not sure that Neil would be quick to leave Sam because he believes in arranged marriage.

David and Ashley:

I'm torn. My initial thought was that they'd get divorced, but as the season progresses, I think they're getting better and better. Unlike Tres and Vanessa's instant chemistry, their relationship seems to be progressing in the right direction. Plus, David likes being a provider, which seems to be comforting to Ashley, who is restarting her career and less financially stable.

Ashley is opening up as the season goes on, and it's getting easier to like her. I found David likeable from the get-go, but Ashley's closed-off nature didn't give viewers the same instant connection. On today's episode, Ashley's openness to David's mom was great, and while she's still stiff, she's definitely opening up.

If I recall from a preview, David reaches out to another woman at some point, but I could be remembering incorrectly. If that is the case, I think the marriage could be at risk. But if that turns out to be false, I think this pair can make it.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

90 Day Fiance Season Finale & Tell-All - 12/6/15

Here's the recap of the finale!

Mark and Nikki

The pair celebrated Nikki's birthday, although Nikki was still a little upset about the prenup. Mark made things better for Nikki by giving her a 'real' engagement ring - a diamond one. Nikki was very happy to receive that for her 20th birthday. She said it proved that Mark loves her.

The pair went to Hawaii for their wedding. Mark maintained that he still doesn't want kids. Nikki said she's hurt by it but she's giving that up because she loves him. Nikki said later that she was confused because she really wants kids.

Nikki was 40 minutes late for her wedding to Mark. She did show up, though, and Mark said she looked stunning in her dress. Mark told Nikki that he knew she was his destiny. Nikki looked genuinely happy after the wedding.

Alexei and Loren

Alexei's mom and brother came in for the wedding. Alexei was still concerned about having only 90 days to get married. His friend, Schuyler, who he met on a Birthright trip, tried to keep him calm. Loren and her mom decided to put their fight behind them. I have to say - I was underwhelmed by Loren's dress. I expected something much more glamorous.

Both Alexei and Loren looked happy at their ceremony. After the ceremony, Loren commented that they'd get to have sex that night. I guess she was waiting for marriage! Alexei made that seem like an afterthought when Loren said it - it was kind of funny.

Fernando and Carolina

Carolina struggled to adjust to life in America. Fernando's friend questioned if he really wanted to go through with the wedding. Fernando's mom had a nice moment where she welcomed Carolina as her daughter. The pair would be having a small wedding now and would save a bigger wedding for later. Her family watched the wedding via Skype. Carolina looked absolutely beautiful at the wedding. Both Fernando and Carolina looked truly happy.

Melanie and Devar

Melanie's nerves kicked in before the wedding, and her sister Bev said she doesn't trust Devar. Devar shared a nice pre-wedding moment with Hunter. Devar said he was happy that is mom approves of his relationship. Bev's face clearly showed that when Devar and Melanie joined together in the church. Devar cried while the pair shared their vows. Hunter made a cute speech and said that he's glad his mom is happy and he wants to see how Devar handles the winter. Even Bev was convinced by the end of the wedding that Mel and Devar's love is real.

Now for some highlights from the tell-all:

- Mark was really serious about Nikki putting fingerprints on the car windows. He still is, in the recap. Nikki said Mark's not controlling, but Mark couldn't let it go - he asked the host if she'd let her kids put fingerprints on the windows. Mark tried to back himself out of what he said, but it kind of failed. Basically, Nikki hasn't loosened him up.

- Melanie says she doesn't have to answer to anyone regarding why she let a guy she met on vacation shack up with her and her son.

- Mark ignores criticism from social media. He said people who say horrible things on social media have things in common - they're overweight, they're women, they're alone and they're jealous. Whooooaaaa.

- Loren said she's not the spoiled brat that people think she is. She owns the fact that she's dramatic.

- Aleksandra said she taught Josh not to think so much and be more easygoing.

- Loren looked like she was making faces every time Mark spoke.

- Devar understood the criticism he received from Melanie's family.

- Noon said she'd leave the US if it wasn't for Kyle and she has asked him to move to her country.

- Alexei wants to pursue a medical career and Loren still doesn't love it because it's dangerous. When asked how his family's doing, Alexei says they're okay and his brother is stepping up.

- It turns out that Alexei had a bachelor party in Israel and there were strippers. Loren freaked out when she found out and said she's cancelling the wedding - she'd reacted the same way Alexei did about her bachelorette party. They were over the fight about the bachelorette party, but they almost skipped the tell-all so they wouldn't have to discuss it. They hope to get married again in Israel, but Loren would never move there.

- Fernando's mom and Carolina are friends now.

- Devar says he misses his mom, and while they've only visited her once, he made it clear that it would be more frequent. Melanie felt that there is racism around her but people don't say it to her face.

- Devar backtracked about his comments about sending 9 or his 10 dollars to Jamaica. He said he was being sarcastic. He's now saying that he needs the money in the US when he can work so he and Melanie can have kids. She said that Bev still trusts Devar and they're now friends.

- Nikki feels like she can truly be herself with Mark. Mark has a comfort level with Nikki. Nikki and Elise are now friends. Mark's other kids are nice and accepting of Nikki. Mark said he was initially looking for a younger woman (although older than Nikki) because they have less baggage. Mark said American women were too independent. He thinks Filipino women want to be team players. Nikki's family had concerns about Mark but her father had a heart-to-heart with Mark which cleared it up. Mark had to promise to treat Nikki like a daughter, but it's supposed to mean Mark should take care of her.

- Nikki cried talking about how she misses her family. As Nikki tried to talk about it, Mark talked over her.

- Nikki was asked if she is okay not having kids, and Mark tried to answer for her. When the host asked Nikki to answer, she said she still has a little hope. Mark said the chances may go up a bit. Nikki said she doesn't think about the prenup anymore and was relaxed after she signed it. She insisted she and Mark are both happy and she prays that they'll remain happy.

- Aleksandra knew her lifestyle needed help when she was a party girl and missionaries helped her to change. Josh said when he met Aleksanda, she was a good person but she didn't believe in God. She was willing to change.

- Kyle was raised to be independent, and he moved out of his dad's house at 16. Kyle's mom called during the reception but Kyle was clearly hurt that she didn't make it to the wedding. Noon fills the voids left by Kyle's absent parents. He thanked her for caring.

- Josh and Aleksanda said there wedding night was perfect.

- Josh is now able to see the good in people the way he couldn't before.

- There was a pop quiz. When it comes to marriages, Kyle and Noon say Kyle's in charge. Alexei and Loren say both, Carolina and Fernando, as well as Melanie and Devar, both voted for themselves. Nikki said Mark but Mark said he aims to please. Josh said Aleksandra, Aleksandra said both.

- Which one is more likely to initiate sex - Loren and Alexei said Alexei. (Did Loren spell spell Alexei as Alexey?) Josh and Aleksandra didn't really answer, saying I don't know (Aleksandra) and I plead the fifth (Josh). Noon and Kyle said Kyle. Fernando and Carolina each chose themselves. Melanie chose Devar, Devar left it blank. Mark says it stays in the bedroom, Nikki said 50/50.

And for a surprise...Aleksandra is pregnant! This shouldn't be a surprise but it is! Aleksandra insinuated that she was surprised but they are happy.

The other couples plan to wait before pursuing kids, aside from Nikki, who still is being told that she can't.

Season four of 90 Day Fiance will be back next year. YEA!