Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Sara and Melissa talk about...90 Day Fiancé

We've been running a column series to get more personal with our readers. This month we're talking about the reality television series 90 Day Fiancé, just to change things up a bit!

We're always open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our previous columns here, in case you missed them.

Melissa Amster:

Back in 2018, a friend of mine kept talking about 90 Day Fiancé, so I decided to give it a try. I'm not much of a reality TV watcher, so this was a step outside of my comfort zone. However, it did sound interesting. I started from the very beginning and binge-watched until I was caught up to the current season. The next time I met up with my friend, we definitely had a lot to talk about! 

A while back, some friends from college had sent me an article saying that a mutual acquaintance was on a reality show. I kind of dismissed it at the time, but then I saw this person on 90 Day Fiancé and it all came back to me. I might not have even known it was them if my friends hadn't told me in advance. This person wouldn't even remember me anyway, so I never contacted them about it. Small world, though!

I got Sara into this show, and sometimes our correspondence delves into what is happening on the episodes. We even watch the "Tell All" episodes together and comment on everything that is happening. We first did this by text, but now I Skype with her and watch it on her TV through the computer screen. We have a lot of inside jokes now, thanks to this show. I even gave her a magnet based on one of the notorious individuals. 

Anyway, in case you were wondering, 90 Day Fiancé is about these couples in extremely long distance relationships, where they decide to get married and the person from another country gets a K-1 Visa to come to the US. Once they arrive, they have 90 days to get married or the person from the other country has to go back. However, this isn't all hearts and flowers. There is a lot of drama. The show thrives on all the drama! Whether it's due to potential catfishing, mama's boys whose mothers are intent on coming between them and their betrothed, money issues (especially when the in-laws are asking for ridiculous amounts of it), infidelity, large age differences, religious differences, etc., there's always someone crying by the end of each episode. 90 Day Fiancé has a lot of spin-offs, the biggest being The Other Way and Before the 90 Days. In both shows, the American goes to another country to be with the one they love. On The Other Way, it's to move there permanently. On Before the 90 Days, it's to hopefully get engaged so they can move onto the regular show with the K-1 Visa.

There are some couples who really put an effort into their relationship and didn't make it a media circus. I'd like to give a shout-out to the following couples, in honor of Valentine's Day and keeping it real: 

If you either watch 90 Day Fiancé and want something to read while waiting between seasons (or episodes) or you don't watch yet and want a taste of what it's like when two people come from different worlds, try out these books:

If you have other book recommendations along these lines, I'd love to hear them!

Sara Steven:

When the original seasons of 90 Day Fiancé had first aired, I had no desire to see any of them. It had nothing to do with a lack of interest where reality television is concerned, because I really enjoy reality T.V. I love Dancing with the Stars and Survivor and the real guilty pleasure shows that I don’t often talk about, like the Teen Mom franchise and America’s Next Top Model when that was still a thing. So, you’d think that the 90 Day episodes would have fit right in.

My initial hesitation stemmed from the concept of the show; random individuals, seeking love from other random individuals in other countries. I didn’t see the potential enjoyment that could come from watching unlikely duos, at times having never met in person before, using online dating sites or video chat or email or the old standby, cell phones and telephone calls in order to communicate with one another, each with a pressing need to potentially marry due to a K-1 Visa. 

Melissa would often talk about the couples from the show, and she’d gently nudge me into seeing even one episode, just to see what I would think. Well, fast forward a few years, and my fifteen year-old son placed this image of Big Ed as my screensaver on my phone a while back, and it’s still there. I think that means I’m pretty much committed to the 90 Day Fiancé franchise.

In fact, when I decided to take the plunge into relationship disasters and oddly eccentric couples, not to mention their overbearing parents--I’m talking to you, Ron and Betty--I never really knew just how deep I’d get into it. The original series. The Happily Ever After series. Before the 90 Days and The Other Way and Strikes Back, too. But I do have my limits, as in, I won’t ever watch The Family Chantel or Darcey and Stacey, because let’s face it, I have to have some limits, somewhere. But overall, I’ve really enjoyed watching couples either fall madly in love and live wonderful lives together which, I know, is hard to believe, but it really does happen. And, I’ve enjoyed watching the shenanigans of other couples (or, sometimes, a man and his mother, as with Colt and Debbie) when the relationship doesn’t work out, and drama ensues. 

It’s also been a lot of fun to share tidbits and thoughts with Melissa, my partner in crime, when we watch the Tell Alls together, the season’s final end and where most of the chaos collects, considering it’s basically a room full of all of the couples from the season hashing everything out that had happened over the last several months, picking sides and at times, nearly coming to blows (or weird body jerk movements, as with Asuelu when he gets angry) or storming off the set into a fit of mass hysterics. Most of the time, you love to hate them, and hate to love them; the 90 Day Fiancé couples.

Here are a few of my favorites over the years. Whether it’s for the good or the bad, it has been entertaining and engaging.

Paul and Karine, season one, Before the 90 Days: One of the side effects of watching 90 Day Fiancé means having a spouse who has walked into the room and has seen some of the show, too. My husband hates to admit it, but he knows the majority of the couples, just as much as I do. Watching Paul run away or talk about poop water, well, it’s been fun. Watching my husband replicate the run? That’s been even more fun.

From TV Fanatic

Asuelu and Kalani, season six, 90 Day Fiancé: Asuelu hooked me in when he danced for Kalani at the airport. He later solidified his place in 90 Day Fiancé history when he got so mad at his season’s Tell All, that he...

Big Ed, season four, Before the 90 Days: Ed and Rosemarie didn’t work out. But Ed left behind so many Edisms and memes and gifs, it’s hard to keep up. He takes it all with a grain of salt and seems to manage to handle all of it with a great sense of humor, witnessed on his Strikes Back season.

Alan and Kirlyam, season one, 90 Day Fiancé : Proof that couples CAN make it work. They are by far one of the cutest couples from any season.

Jorge and Anfisa, season four, 90 Day Fiancé: To this day, Melissa and I will exchange gifs or memes referencing Anfisa and her magical eye roll. She provided a lot of explosive moments for her season.

Elizabeth and Andrrrrrrrrrrei, season five, 90 Day Fiancé: He acts like he’s the man of the house, but we all know it’s really Elizabeth who wears the pants. While Chantel’s season created The Family Chantel based on her own familial drama, I might actually watch a series where Elizabeth’s family takes center stage, given the chaos they bring into this couple’s world. 

Colt(ee) and Larissa, season six, 90 Day Fiancé: There has been a ton of drama surrounding this couple; on again, off again, arrests, potential deportation. But the real couple of the show would be Colt (or as Larissa refers to him, “Coltee”) and his mother, Debbie.


If you watch 90 Day Fiancé and all of the franchises, who are your favorite couples?

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