Has the ’90 day Fiancé’ franchise lost its grip on reality by casting trash?

Ben Rathbun and Mahogany Roca in ’90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days’. Picture: Supplied

Ben Rathbun and Mahogany Roca in ’90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days’. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 4, 2022


For the longest time, I’ve been a huge fan of the “90 Day Fiancé” franchise and its various iterations.

It was immensely entertaining watching people from different walks of life, cultural standing, age barriers and geographic locations, fall in love and plan a future. Think of it as a social experiment gone wrong.

And, boy oh boy, do these scenarios spiral into Jerry Springer territory.

Of late, I’m starting to question whether viewers are being played for fools like some of the cast.

In every show, there is always one match where the person is either ghosted or catfished. It used to be entertaining. But now it’s become awkward to watch.

Ed Brown aka Big Ed is one of the most ridiculed cast members to date.

His hapless pursuits of love, compounded by his weird grooming habits and clingy disposition, have seen him become the butt of so many jokes. He has been turned into a meme, ad nauseam.

Casting him in “The Single Life” franchise just stunts the growth of the show. Can we please move on now?

I’ve been watching the latest season of “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” on TLC.

The relationship between Ben Rathbun, 52, and Mahogany Roca, 24, has left me recoiling for so many reasons.

He decided to go to Peru to see “the love of his life” even though she discouraged him from doing so.

Then, like a child that didn’t get what he wanted, he threw a hissy fit because she didn’t come to the airport to welcome him.

Everything about Mahogany’s body language and behaviours screams “not interested” - but he refuses to see the signs.

The fact that she abandoned him while on holiday and returned home didn’t deter him. Instead of heading back home, he reached out, wooed her to give them another chance with a teddy bear and then, when he wore down her defence, swooped in for a kiss that left viewers wanting to gag.

Don’t give me that cr** about him being a hopeless romantic - this is unadulterated desperation.

On the topic of mismatched couples, let’s also talk about Mike Berk and Ximena Morales Cuellar. He fell in love with the single Columbian mother and proposed.

But she was only in love with his money. That he paid her rent and other expenses, incentivised their courtship.

Mike Berk and Ximena Morales Cuellar.

His lack of hygiene and lack of backbone saw their romance fizzle out faster than he could say sorry.

Like Ben, Mike refused to accept the writing on the wall.

And the franchise, for whatever reason, loves pairing an older white woman with a younger guy from Africa. We saw this with Angela Deem and Michael Ilesanmi and Lisa Hamme and Usman Umar (aka Sojaboy). Talk about tumultuous, these two women were in dire need of anger management classes.

That they decided to bring Usman back with a new love interest Kimberly Menzies blew my mind. Why? Wasn’t Lisa torture enough for fans.

Kimberly was so in love with Usman and she arrived with sugar mama vibes and sex on the brain. It was embarrassing watching her trying to get some nooky on the show.

And this is my problem with the franchise. They are casting people who are borderline stalkers or in need of therapy for their abusive behaviour.

It used to be a show about love defying all odds and there was a sort of sweetness to it. But now the franchise is nothing more than trash tv, proving it’s lost its grip on reality. No more, please.

“90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” is currently on TLC (DStv channel 135) on Thursdays at 8pm.

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