The Unscripted Fallout of Broken Engagements on Love is Blind

The End of Jackelina and Marshall’s On-Camera Relationship is A Lot of What’s Wrong With Reality Programming.

Amanda Eagleson

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Woman Relaxing at Home in Evening and Watching TV
Photo By Kaspars Grinvalds

Making the case that the reality show Love is Blind is somehow exceptionally harmful seems silly in the current media landscape. Milf Manor exists after all. A concept parodied fifteen years ago on 30 Rock as an example of bottom of the barrel reality TV (though there it was Milf Island), actually exists.

Also I watch Love is Blind. And then I watch reels of comedian Dana Moon brilliantly imitating the contestants at their worst. And then I share those reels with laughing emojis on my Instagram. So if the case is to be made it should perhaps come from someone less problematic.

But having watched up through episode 11 of Season 4. And having looked at the social media of the show’s cast, particularly Jackelina (after her unfortunate break-up with the likable Marshall). Love is Blind is a lot of what’s wrong with reality programming.

Most of us are instinctively aware that the consumption of these types of shows isn’t great. But there should be more responsibilities placed on producers to provide care for participants when the episodes drop. There is likely a need for industry regulation and definitely a need for social pressure to curb the profit motives of the genre when they dehumanize participants.

A Brief Breakdown of Reality TV History

Reality programming documents “unscripted” real-life situations, most often with “unknowns” rather than professional actors. While less familiar examples are available, Reality TV largely started with the show Candid Camera (a hidden camera reality tv series) which ran in various versions from 1948 until 2014.

Documentaries, talk shows, and traditional game shows (think Jeopardy!) are generally not classified as part of reality television. Though many competition shows can be folded into the genre (shows like; Is it Cake? , The Great British Baking Show, and more so American Idol and Rupaul’s Drag Race etc…)

MTV debuted The Real World in 1992 which would usher in shows like Survivor and American Idol

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Amanda Eagleson

Poet, Writer at Optimistic Learner and Digital Economy Forum. Board member at Vancouver Poetry House. www.optimisticlearner.com