Reality TV

#90DayFiance Newbie

Have you ever felt excluded because everyone around you was discussing a TV show you never watched? Well, that was my experience with 90 Day Fiance.

I had been hearing the chatter about Jorge and Anfisa, Nicole and Azan and David and Annie, while wondering who these people were and making a mental note to someday find out. However, I have 4 children, a husband, some tech-focused work projects, and writing I try to do when I can. I had only been able to delegate leisure time to 3 or 4 shows seasonally. I should mention that I procrastinate generally (much to my detriment) by spending time on Facebook and Twitter, so add social media to my productivity blockades. I began to surmise that I’d probably never get around to checking out this franchise.

But then came the assignment. The host of Pink Shade with Erin Martin instructed me to watch 90 Day Fiance for the first time ever. I was to just dive in to its spinoff Happily Ever After? without seeing any prior installments, and with my knowledge of the franchise limited to snippets from podcast recaps.

Usually I tuned out when hosts discussed the show because I wasn’t a viewer. This tendency comes naturally for me as a person with undiagnosed ADHD-I. However, Heather McDonald’s accurate and polarizing impersonation of Annie, who hails from Thailand, was fresh in my mind.

The minute I started watching the show, Annie did seem most familiar, and I had heard David interviewed on the podcast Reality Life with Kate Casey. This ludicrously mismatched couple made total sense to me right away: Annie thought she had hitched her wagon to a rich American, a common mistake made by some foreigners worldwide. News flash: Not all Americans are rich and though the USA offers promise, it is laden with problems and poverty as well. I remember thinking years ago “Wow, Israeli men really appreciate me!” when I visited the land and also spent a year there at age 18. After watching this show, I truly get it in hindsight.

The episode began with Molly, who is in the processes of divorcing Luis, and is trying to get his user ass deported. In the age of Trump, “Deportation” can be a dirty word, but on 90 Day Fiance Happily Ever After?, it is akin to “Hallelujah!” Luis is in his 20s and Molly is in her 40s, but looks ancient juxtaposed with the 20somethings of this show – Especially when you consider Azan and Nicole, both in their 20s but looking like they’re in their teens. Perhaps the camera not only adds 10 pounds, but a few years when you’re over the age of 40. Being in that cohort, I will now avoid television cameras at all costs.

Maybe it is Nicole’s naïveté that makes her appear younger than 24, believing that the opportunistic Azan is truly into her – rather than trying to get something from this arrangement, like the K1 Visa that he’s been denied. Nicole is in Morocco with Azan for now and you have to feel bad about how easily she’s been duped. He chalks off a suspicious voicemail recording with kiss noises to being a “joke” between guy friends. However, the most unwitting victim in all of this is her adorable daughter May. I immediately thought Nicole must have been a teen mom to have a daughter, but realistically she was about 21 when she gave birth. It appears May’s father is not in the picture – though I’m uncertain about that fact as a 90 Day novice in need of catching up.

The third couple that intrigued me – the most interesting in fact – was Jorge and Anfisa. Apparently, Jorge was so smitten with the Russian young woman that when he met her abroad, he thought he would be able to provide her with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. This reminded me of when I (regrettably!) asked Adina Shapiro for her sticker album in first grade, promising to acquire all the stickers in the world for her in return. I seriously thought I would pull it off and get all those stickers for her. So did Adina. It didn’t work out. Our mothers eventually had to intervene. Wherever you are today, sorry Adina!

Jorge overpromised and overspent and now he’s scaling back and underdelivering, as far as Anfisa’s concerned.

Though she too is in her 20s (and there is not a big age difference between her and Jorge), she has had Botox and lip injections. She owns pricey designer clothing and handbags purchased on Jorge’s measly dime. Yes, you got it: Jorge is not rich either, not by a long shot. In fact, he’s in debt.

My voyeurism had reached its apex watching this insane show and I cannot wait to binge all the old episodes of this franchise. I only wish the TLC network would make that an easier feat for me. Apparently, episodes are only available through the TLC Go app, which means I’ll be watching on my phone so as not to subject my husband and children to the madness….

Although something tells me that if they watched, they’d get hooked too!

(To hear me give Erin Martin my take on ALL of the 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? couples, you can listen to thePink Shade Podcast.)

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