What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which couples have a week to decide whether to get married if they want an all-expenses paid wedding -- treats relationship issues like jealousy, possessiveness, and family difficulties very superficially. There's some mild sexual innuendo and arguing, a bit of salty language (words like "ass" and "hell" are audible, while stronger choices are bleeped), frequent drinking, and some smoking. Wedding vendors are featured by name throughout the show, and the central lavish event often feels like a bribe.
What's the story?
HITCHED OR DITCHED puts commitment-phobic couples to the ultimate test by offering them an all-expenses paid, fairy-tale wedding. The catch? The wedding has to take place in a week. For seven days, couples try to work out their jealousies, deal with unhappy parents, and find compatible goals so that they can feel comfortable with their momentous decision. They're also asked to pick high-end centerpieces, choose a couture wedding dress, taste designer cakes, and try on expensive wedding rings. Then, on the day of the wedding, they must announce to their friends and family whether they're going to get hitched -- or ditch their relationship forever.
Is it any good?
The show's "all-or-nothing" approach sets couples up to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives under very unrealistic circumstances. While it makes for some dramatic moments, the show's approach completely fails to address some of the underlying issues that are already interfering with the couples' ability to move forward in their relationships. And it doesn't give them any constructive advice, either.
Watching couples trying to decide whether or not their relationship is suited for a lifelong commitment while being tempted by the trappings of a lavish reception may help people recognize the important difference between a wedding and a marriage. But series' nature makes it feel more like a game show than any attempt at creating a blissful match. Overall the experience isn't just voyeuristic, but also decidedly unromantic.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the media looks at relationships and marriage. Do you think shows like this one are really about helping couples, or are they using them for entertainment purposes? Do you think people who find love on camera go on to have lasting relationships? Families can also discuss what goes in to planning a wedding. Why are weddings such a big deal in general? What role does the media play in making us think that the wedding is as important as the marriage? Parents, talk with your tweens about what a wedding really signifies -- and what happens after the big day.