Married at First Sight - originally Gift Ved Første Blik, a Danish production in 2013 before the format was sold internationally, aired in America as a Reality Show on FYI and Lifetime. The program features couples meeting for the first time as they are about to get married. What could possibly go wrong?
Each season follows three to five couples matched by the show's team of experts. They don't meet or learn anything about each other until the wedding. After the Wedding Episode, the show follows the couples as they go on a honeymoon, move in together and spend time with their new spouses. At the end of each season comes Decision Day when the couples decide if they will stay together or get a divorce.
The show began in 2014 featuring couples living in New York City metro area. As of 2020, they are on season 11 and have filmed in ten cities across the United States.
Many other international versions exist, particularly the UK and Australian variants.
This show provides examples of:
- Arranged Marriage: The premise of the show.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Season 9's Jamie and Elizabeth. It doesn't help that she's something of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and he has a lot of Berserk Buttons. Having said that, the sexual tension is also clearly in evidence, as they are among the first to consummate during their season and elect to stay together in the end.
- Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: Most seasons have at least one couple who constantly fights and at least one who genuinely seems to get along. Fans speculate that this the producers match couples this way on purpose.
- Commonality Connection: deliberately engineered by the producers to give each couple a fighting chance.
- Confession Cam: used frequently to cut away and allow contestants to explain their own thoughts while an event is occurring. Also used to set up Internal Reveals.
- Extreme Doormat: Some of the contestants verge into this as they attempt to keep their ailing marriages together. Once a Season for Seasons 8 (Kate), 9 (Amber) and 10 (Mindy).
- Found Footage: there's a fun (for the viewers) moment in Season 9 where Iris takes cellphone Shaky Cam footage of Keith handling a Demonic Spider, complete with screaming and off-kilter angles.
- Fourth Date Marriage: exaggerated. Technically, the couples marry before their first date.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Season 8's AJ.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Season 9 pairs 6'10" Matt (a former professional basketball player) with 5'2" Amber.
- Like Goes with Like: The show has now paired 39 couples, but still has not matched a black participant with a white one.
- Manchild: Season 8's Keith. He lived with his grandmother and was unused to doing any housework.
- Marriage Before Romance: invoked. Contestants are contractually obligated to marry whoever the show presents to them.
- Marriage of Convenience: A definite factor for some contestants. One outstanding example is Season 8's Luke, who is speculated to have done the show solely to get customers for his speed-dating business. (Another speculation is that he was looking for The Beard; his behavior made it clear he was not attracted to Girl Next Door Kate. The two separated on Decision Day, surprising no one.)
- The Mourning After: Season 10's Katie gets married despite pining over her ex.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Season 9's Iris is a virgin at 27... and has trouble with physical intimacy once the time comes. She and Keith neither consummate nor remain together, allowing her to claim the rather unusual title of "Divorced virgin."
- Never Be Hurt Again: Season 9's Deonna has been single for ten years when she gets married at the age of 30. She refers to this trope as her motivation. Her marriage has some shades of Defrosting Ice Queen as a result.
- Never My Fault: Season 8's AJ.
- Opposites Attract: zigzagged. This can have mixed results, and the producers deliberately invoke it to fulfill Rule of Drama requirements. As a simple example, Season 9's Amber is a Clingy Jealous Girl while her husband Matt is more the I Work Alone type.
- Parental Abandonment: At least one contestant per season is dealing with a Missing Mom or Disappeared Dad.
- Romantic Candlelit Dinner: They happen several times per season.
- Sex Equals Love: Zigzagged. Some couples refuse to consummate for this reason. Others consummate and still separate.
- Technical Virgin: Season 9's Iris admits to fulfilling this trope.
- Their First Time: left entirely up to each couple. At least one did not consummate until after deciding to stay together at the end of the season.
- True Love Is Boring: Season 10's Jessica and Austin basically do not have a single fight until the second-to-last episode. Reviewers vacillated between pointing out this trope and being thankful for their stabilizing presence in a season otherwise crammed full of Drama Bombs.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Season 9's Jamie and Elizabeth.
- Virgin in a White Dress: Iris from season 9 is proud of her virginity and makes a point of choosing a very white wedding dress as a symbol of her decision to wait for marriage.
- Wedding Ring Removal: Leading up to decision day, viewers get many montages of the participants dramatically twisting the wedding rings on their fingers and contemplating removing them.
- Will They or Won't They?: the whole point of the show. As of the first 10 seasons, 21 couples of 34 decided to stick together on Decision Day. Having said that, only 9 of those marriages are together today.