Why settle for a totally unsuitable romantic partner who lives here in the USA, when you can quit your job, travel thousands of miles to a miserable-yet-exotic location where you don’t speak the language, and spend your life savings on an alien you met through the internet ?
That is the premise of the 90 Day Fiance TV franchise on the TLC cable channel.
The 90 days refer to the K-1 visa
“If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (a Green Card).”
The franchise has several series: The original 90 Day Fiancé (now on its sixth season), 90DF: Before the 90 Days (three seasons), 90DF: Happily Ever After (four seasons), 90DF: What Now? (three seasons), and 90DF: The Other Way (one season).
There’s also Pillow Talk, where 90DF alumni comment on 90DF: Before the 90 Days in bed while consuming a lot of snacks. The funniest are black American brothers Tarik and Dean, and married couple David and Annie (he’s American, she’s from the Philippines).
I came across the 90DF: Before the 90 Days one day when I was fighting a cold, and quickly became hooked. It’s a soap opera without the fancy clothes.
There are cougars Darcey, Rebecca, and Angela. Rebecca and Angela are grandmothers. Darcey can’t seem to stop crying (maybe because her clothes are two sizes too small), and Angela can’t stop verbally abusing her Nigerian boyfriend (who is 20 years younger, wants a baby, quit his job to become a kept man at her request, and is a Trump fan). Darcey’s boyfriend Tom is English but they detoured to Albania (miserable location); Tom is a crackerjack salsa dancer, which made her cry because she can’t dance. Darcey and her identical twin sister wear matching outfits, as do Rebecca and her boyfriend. Angela hasn’t matched outfits … yet. Rebecca’s Arab boyfriend, who took her money to buy her a ring, just rode off on an ATV into the Sahara desert when she told him she’s still married to her third husband.
The guys are not faring much better: religious Ben’s sweating bullets over negotiating the bride price for his Kenyan girl, ultrametrosexual Tim can’t summon the energy to make love to his beautiful Colombian girlfriend, and Caesar’s spent US$40,000+ on his Ukrainian catfish (look up the word if you never heard of it) who sounds like Peggy from the Discover card ads. Through it all, Tim exfoliates and moisturizes daily.
These are all grownups who ought to know better. The one that has her parents worried is nineteen year old Avery, who six months ago converted to Islam, and went with her mom to Lebanon where she married Syrian Omar four days after first meeting him in person. Two million Syrians are camping in Turkey seeking shelter from the war but Avery insists that she’ll move to Syria if Omar is denied a visa. You can hear the audience saying, “if she were my daughter … “
If it sounds complicated, it is!
Get some popcorn in the microwave, watch the fiances and you’ll be hooked soon after.
Fausta Wertz is enjoying her retirement from blogging about more serious matters.