Michelle and James were paired on the TV series Married at First Sight.
Michelle and James were paired on the TV series Married at First Sight. Photo Contributed

It’s an un-altared state with Married at First Sight

I'VE been feverishly catching up on all of the TV I missed while I was on holidays recently.

While I took a break from the small screen for two weeks, the new reality TV phenomenon Married At First Sight premiered on Channel 9.

This "social experiment" has been accused of making a mockery of marriage, particularly in light of the marriage equality debate.

In theory I think the testing of the science of matchmaking is an interesting one.

While arranged marriages are the extreme form of this, dating websites like eHarmony also do a form of this personality compatibility screening.

Everyone has a friend or family member who can relate to these singles, who have struggled to find a partner via the traditional methods.

Where this show falls down, for me is the non-legally binding marriages.

I understand it's not practical to ask two strangers to tie the knot in the legal sense, but going through the motions of the ceremony seems like an unnecessary form of smoke and mirrors.

Marrying a supposedly compatible stranger certainly raises the stakes, but when the marriage isn't real what's the risk aside from pre-empting the "firsts" of a future, proper wedding?

There are a few things I do like about Married At First Sight. Firstly, the parents' reactions are priceless.

Secondly, to give credit to the contestants (for lack of a better word) they are all quite candid and that brings a certain amount of authenticity to the show.

It's also nice to watch potential romance blossom on a reality show that doesn't involve catty competition or eliminations, a la The Bachelor.

Married At First Sight is certainly no Celebrity Splash-style flop, but I'm still not convinced the second season will be as popular.

While it's a surprise ratings hit for Channel 9, the show's novelty factor will surely wear off soon.