TV Highlights

What was on Wednesday 25th February

90 Day Fiance

TLC - 9pm

Who's in it?

Never mind Romeo and Juliet – this programme introduces us to very modern pairs of star crossed lovers, who had to deal with something more fearsome than gang battles. Namely, US immigration protocols.

In a nutshell

Unless you're a teenager and still believe all that instant-love, crazily spontaneous, Wuthering Heights sort of stuff, you'll know that a new relationship should unfold with all the delicate grace of a flower. Rash, romanticised decisions may seem like a sign of passion, but if you rush things you might burn things out. Or, worse still, end up marrying someone who should have remained a fun little fling. Well, this reality show focuses on this very dilemma, giving us a bunch of couples who've applied for "fiancé visas".

These allow a foreign partner to live in the United States for up to 90 days – after that, unless they get hitched, they get booted out. Some of these pairings were definitely on the “rash” side (“We’ve only been in the presence of each other for two weeks,” one budding bride confessed), and there were concerned relatives worrying about “red flags” to the relationships. Tears were shed, home countries were missed (with partners flying over from locations as far flung as South America and the Far East), and the storm of emotions made it actually pretty exhausting to watch.

What's the verdict?

This is that rare thing – a reality show which really does have something to say about contemporary life, examining the stigma that women face when they're mistaken for "mail order brides", and how friends and family react to their loved one marrying someone from half a world away.

Star rating: 4/5

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07-07-2011