Media Review, Slice of Life

90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way

I don’t normally rant or rave or even review TV/movies that much, but maybe I ought to, hell. In fact, I think I will. Starting with why this “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” is one hell of a show.

First, it shows us cultures from around the world as they are genuinely expressed and lived by the people who uphold them. Culture is the greatest man-made creation and is the most fascinating. To me, this is not a small part of the show, though it is not the focus. Yeah, there’s a lot of couple-drama and the Americans do a whole heap of complaining about the cultures they’re walking into (more on that in a bit), but they are still authentically interacting with that culture as it is and not as it appears to be. I can appreciate their shortsightedness of the American subjects while their native partners happily continue promoting the culture. In fact, the juxtaposition is hilarious. While Mormon-boy Corey is freaking out and looks like he wants to cry all the time, Brazil native Evelin is laughing in his fucking face on camera. I mean, the show’s worth watching on this merit alone.

Second, if you’re into other people’s drama (I am), and like being the nosy, gossipy neighbor (I do), and enjoy telling yourself “you’re alright, because look at these crazy people, at least I’m not that crazy!” (of course), then this is the show, y’all.

HIGH drama, CONSTANT drama, DIFFERENT KINDS of drama. It brings me life because I’m a soulless husk with no romantic prospects of my own. In the same vein, I’ve never been more aggressively passionate about a show. I’ve seen people yell at a screen during a sportsball event, as if the players can hear them; this is my equivalent. I’m also thinking my upstairs neighbor might be worried about me screaming, “WHAT A CUCK!” As unbeknownst to him, I clench my fists and scream towards the heavens, directing an insane amount of passion at the tv screen. I’ve never been more actively engaged in a “reality” tv show as I am this one. It’s so much fun.

Additionally, it makes me all the more personally paranoid as these folks have no idea who they’re really trying to marry. Without spoiling anything, the people presented over the internet turn out to be vastly different than the people they meet. How can this be? I get that anyone can present themselves to be whoever they want online, but you’d think after “seeing” someone for 2+ years, you would’ve made more efforts to be in their space, learning who they are, figuring out how y’all fit together, before selling off your entire life and plunging head first into an engagement? It’s such a ridiculous concept.

Third, continuing on the line of “passion towards people that don’t know I exist,” it is baffling how ill-prepared these Americans are and it is hilarious how upset this makes me. I’ve rage-quit mid episode several times because of the audacity, the stupidity, the lack of regard, and the absolute idiocy of these handful of Americans.

So you visited the place once and hung out with a local for a while and liked it? They were super good looking? You were on vacation at the time and the good vibes of no work/real life demands didn’t possibly sway your perception of the trip? The local you hung out with was able to string a decent amount of English together to make you feel comfortable? Is this genuinely all it takes to create an international love story? Apparently, it is!

Now here you go, off on another trip back to wherever you met the local love of your life, with the expectation to live there for the rest of your life.
You had time, but somehow failed to:
– Learn the basics of the language
– Learn the basics of the culture
– Set yourself up financially, knowing your visa wouldn’t allow you to work for at least three months
– Understand the expectations of you and your partner’s role in your relationship via their personal view as well as their cultural perspective
– Plan for the future in any way
– Research flight/baggage restrictions
– Research parenthood
– Plan an escape route or prepare for a way back home if necessary

There are probably a few things I’m missing, but in short: none of them planned to live abroad long-term. I genuinely believe I’ve put more thought into my month-long trip through Europe (which isn’t completely set, btw) than any of these bozos did to moving to a new country.

And for them to turn around and want citizenship? Good god. The offenses keep adding up!

Not only are they giving Americans a bad rap on the whole, but I fear it’s not an inaccurate representation. Their lack of preparation, lack of understanding, and their inability to accept or bend to the demands of their new culture is disgusting, and I’m not even part of the offended culture. For example, Jenny who goes to India. There is a time when she and Sumit are in a shop to purchase clothing. She flat out says she doesn’t need or want any one to tell her what she can and cannot wear. Girl, I get you and I agree. But you aren’t in the US anymore, you gave up some rights in determining your own wardrobe – you should’ve known. The hardships that befall them are rightly deserved where culture counts, especially when a modest amount of research and flexibility would resolve the issues.

Last note, this show is more relatable and more interesting than “90 Day Fiancé.” As a viewer, I know American culture inside and out, so I can acutely understand the struggles of the main characters. The original series can’t convey the stark contrast of cultures, can’t give us the sense of overwhelming culture shock the characters feel, and it’s just not as much fun in general.

Do I recommend this show to anyone? God no. It’s like a guilty pleasure, trash-tv, escapist sort of thing. I guess if that’s the sort of recommendation you’re looking for, though, here it is.

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