The countdown is officially on for the return of Married At First Sight to our television screens on February 3rd. That’s less than a week away, people! If the plethora of promotional videos released by Channel Nine are anything to go by, the upcoming seventh season of the astronomically popular reality TV show promises to bring more drama than ever before. Fan favourite from season six, Elizabeth Sobinoff, is back for a second chance at love, and the show’s first ever same sex couple will be married. Along with some of the biggest and most eccentric characters the show has ever had, there is no doubt this will be train wreck television that none of us will be able to look away from.
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MAFS has consistently dominated ratings and broken audience records, with 2.611 million viewers tuning in for its season six finale in 2019. The show epitomises trash tv, yet we are all undeniably encapsulated by the drama and the spectacle. The appeal of MAFS is widespread. Unlike similar reality TV programmes such as ‘The Bachelor’ franchise and ‘Love Island’, where the viewership is predominantly young and female, MAFS appeals to all ages and genders. This might be because, particularly in its previous season, the collection of contestants accurately replicated the demographic realities of modern Australia. Although being married at first sight on national television might be a completely unrelatable experience, the audience can at least see people not so different from themselves live the extraordinary experience.
Of course, the most prominent appeal of MAFS is the drama. No matter what the result, audiences are guaranteedan outcome. Whether that be the success of a couple that everyone was rooting for, as was the case for Cameron Merchant and Jules Robinson in the sixth season, or a complete train wreck of a breakup… the latter a much more common occurrence (and arguably more entertaining viewing). Add to this the eclectic group of contestants meeting for dinner parties every week and the chaos that ensues. There’s no denying that MAFS has the perfect formula for can’t-look-away addictive television. Trashy it might be. Science? It probably isn’t. But will we be watching and waiting for every episode with bated breath? Of course.