It’s March 2020 in New Orleans. Coronavirus instances are skyrocketing day by day, and the mayor simply handed down a stay-at-home order. You’re quarantined in a small condominium; the one particular person you’re allowed to see or converse to is your new roommate, a stranger you met simply six weeks in the past.
Oh, and that stranger? You’re married.
That weird state of affairs turned on a regular basis life for the 10 plucky members on the Lifetime actuality present “Married at First Sight.” The primary 10 seasons — which have aired virtually nonstop because the collection premiered in 2014 — adopted the identical fundamental premise and plotline: couples are matched by three specialists, meet for the primary time at the altar, get legally married and transfer in collectively for eight weeks. After their two-month trial run, couples determine if they’ll keep married or get divorced.
However throughout Season 11, which taped earlier this yr, manufacturing needed to be shut down simply 33 days into the marriages because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contestants had been left to report themselves, caught of their marriages indefinitely, till the stay-at-home order was lifted.
Though the present season first hit the airwaves in July, it’s solely on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at eight p.m. EDT that Lifetime will begin to air the episodes filmed throughout the couples’ compelled lockdown. The contestants had been confined to their properties for a complete of 10 weeks, and actions and interactions captured on digital camera ranged from prosaic to provocative.
“A variety of what was occurring for all of us was mundane. There was plenty of time sitting on the sofa watching TV or placing puzzles collectively,” stated Eric Detwiler, the manager producer in control of programming at Kinetic Content material.
Different incidents, although, proved juicier. Viewers witness the brand new couples combating their marriages and fearing for his or her private well being. Points some had already confronted within the first 5 weeks of their unions promptly blew up. Henry and Christina’s communication points intensify, for instance, as do Karen and Miles’ struggles with vulnerability. Different couples, like quirky Amelia and Bennett, grew nearer throughout this unprecedented time. (Contestants’ final names are withheld by the present to guard them from on-line harassment.)
However the coronavirus proved emotionally lethal to a different pair. When the digital camera crews left the scene, Olivia, 30, and Brett, 35, now not had “homework” workouts assigned by the specialists to deliver them nearer collectively — and their relationship halted.
“We weren’t speaking about something apart from COVID,” Olivia informed The Put up. “It positively put stress on Brett’s and my relationship.”
Though they had been strangers, the duo had the identical fights that many People had been having over the virus. Olivia, a nurse, was working at a hospital day by day and seeing the results of COVID-19 firsthand, whereas Brett, an IT skilled, was utilizing their condominium as an workplace.
“I’m in a hospital filled with COVID, and once I got here residence, Brett could be watching the information,” Olivia stated. “That was a troublesome time for us, having to sit down down and say, ‘I do know you need to watch the information, however I can’t anymore. I can’t take into consideration COVID.’ ”
The bubble burst when Olivia determined to drive to go to her household for the weekend, one thing Brett had informed her he didn’t need her to do. When she returned, all of Brett’s issues had been gone from the condominium.
“It was an enormous shock. Yeah, we’re strangers and yeah, we’re married, however we’re nonetheless attempting to work by means of this,” she stated. “It was very devastating. I felt like he gave up on us.”
Regardless of the heartache, Olivia is glad they went by means of the powerful time, calling it “a blessing in disguise.”
The present’s spokesperson wouldn’t reveal if the couple determined to rekindle their relationship or received divorced at the tip of the collection. There are 5 extra episodes slated to air after the Oct. 7 one filmed in lockdown, with the finale set for Oct. 29 at eight p.m. EDT. Solely an episode and a half had been filmed throughout the 10-week lockdown, based on Detwiler. “We had been capable of condense that interval,” he added.
The couples ended up spending 16 weeks collectively, reasonably than the usual eight of previous seasons, however which may have been an excellent factor.
“Tragedy and emergency conditions like this could truly deliver individuals nearer collectively,” pastor Cal Roberson, an skilled on the present, informed The Put up. “It revealed weaknesses and confirmed plenty of strengths. In a bizarre method, what may have been tragic truly benefited [the couples].”
“I’d have appreciated not having a pandemic, however going by means of one thing traumatic and hectic and life-changing actually helped us develop throughout our marriage,” stated Olivia. “I’d reasonably know the way Brett reacts to trauma.”