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Clacking with Julia – True love conquers all bad television

Sometimes, all you need from a show is that warm, fuzzy feeling. And on that front, 'The Marriage Ref' delivers.

I’m single, which doesn’t really bother me, since I’m 22 and figure I have ample time to find the love of my life. (By which I mean, the human love of my life, because I don’t think either television or my pets count.) Still, when you are single, people tend to ask you why you’re single, as if it’s an unnatural state of being you must answer for. It’s inevitable that this sort of questioning leads to self-examination, which inevitably leads to worrying. Oh gosh, you realize, there are so many things wrong with you. How will anyone ever love you? Will you ever find anyone that looks at your strangely-shaped feet or large collection of vintage knitting patterns? (Disclaimer: I do not own vintage knitting patterns. My feet, however, are shaped like Kermit the Frog’s.)

And it is, when I feel like this, that I enjoy watching The Marriage Ref.

Wait a minute, I am sure you’re thinking, how is watching a show about marriage supposed to make you feel better? Well, it is because The Marriage Ref isn’t really about marriage, per se. It’s more about delightfully bizarre people and the witty celebrities that snark about their relationships.

Initially, I was lukewarm on the entire show, but they’ve really improved it as time goes on. The “facts” lady is gone, for one thing, and now they do fly the couples in to offer rebuttals, which is just as amazing as I thought it would be.  And even better, at the end of the show, the audience votes on who, of all the spouses who won the arguments, was “most right”, and that person wins a cash prize and a billboard in their hometown proclaiming “[name here] WAS RIGHT!!!” Delightful, right? It totally is. And as for the people who don’t like the celebrity panel because they think they’re to smug and judgmental, I ask you — can you honestly say that you weren’t at home making snide judgmental remarks about the couple either out loud or to yourself? I like it. We judge celebrity couples and celebrity marriages so harshly, and I think it’s only fair tat they, in turn, get to pass judgment on us, once and a while.

But what I think what makes the show really endearing, more than anything else, and what I personally find so comforting, is the fact that these couples all seem to really and truly love each other. It’s not like most reality shows where this could be some sort of springboard for fame. Sure, there are fun prizes, but they’re not enough that the show attracts Springer-esque freakshows, nor are the problems all the tired gender tropes of the husband leaving the toilet seats up. These are couples where a guy is convinced he’s the next great rapper, or the woman is obsessed with ghost hunting, or coupon-clipping, or a guy who loves his ventriloquist dummies. And despite all these whacky quirks, everyone is still in love with each other! These people still found someone who wants to spend their life with them! And I find that re-assuring. Because surely, if these crazies can find true love, who’s to say my inability to eat a meal without letting out a massive burp is going to stand in my way?

And that’s a nice feeling to get, every once and a while.

Photo Credit: NBC

One Response to “Clacking with Julia – True love conquers all bad television”

June 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Is that last sentence referring to letting out a massive burp? Because I agree, it does feel nice once in a while! ;)

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