Nine’s new “supersized” series of Married at First Sight will require all 10 couples to live together under one roof.
The fourth series of the dating show matches 20 singles together, more than twice the size of its previous seasons.
It kicks off with a Bachelor-style gathering of all females in a Sydney villa, and all males at another location, ahead of their TV weddings. The girls are suitably nervous and hopeful. The blokes waste little time in discussing who has cheated in the past and what they will do if they prefer someone else’s wife. Nice.
The cameras and editing are quick to highlight any personality clashes within the two groups -but Psychologists John Aiken, Mel Schilling and neuropsychotherapist Trisha Stratford insist the key changes in the Endemol Shine series are designed to give the participants a support network. Right…
The 20 grooms and brides include a stripper, truck driver, flight attendant, entrepreneur, student, farmer, business owner, ex-model, and even a pair of twins “the Double Ds.” They are predominantly caucasian (there is a Lebanese bride), mostly in their 30s, but up to 53 years.
Audition footage shows people revealing why they are thrusting themselves into the TV experiment and gives it more authenticity. There are tears, hesitations and demands about what they expect, physically, in a partner.
There are two weddings in the first episode, and another 2 in the second, with more to play out over successive nights on Nine.
The show also plays up its successful pairing of Zoe & Alex from Season One, who now have their own baby -but there is no mention that the weddings are nether legal nor binding. Previously this was noted in a single line of narration.
Amid the tension and nervous surprises of the first 4 weddings, there are also dubious in-laws and envious ex-partners, to ramp up the conflict.
Despite unfairly being labelled Worst Show of the Year by TV Tonight readers, the now-expanded series is likely to hook previous viewers and should give Nine its best ratings opener since The Block in January 2015 -with My Kitchen Rules and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here it will need to be.
Married at First Sight begins Monday January 30 on Nine.