It's obvious that many reality TV shows are completely over-the-top on purpose, exuding chaos and drama in order to draw in viewers who can't look away from the train wrecks of other people's lives that may or may not be true. Between couples with intense baggage, extreme age gaps, cliche ambitions, and much worse, the TLC program 90 Day Fiancé is the perfect example of everything that draws people into reality TV and it refuses to let go. It's so popular that it's seen several spinoffs, including 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?, 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, and 90 Day Fiancé: What Now? Currently in its sixth season, the show has another spinoff in the works, 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way. The original program focuses on citizens and their fiancés from foreign countries who have K-1 visas and 90 days to decide to get married. The new program will depict citizens leaving their country in order to live in their fiancés' nations.
The outrageous amount of drama surrounding the couples as they contend with deception, culture shock, family, and friends to money and legal problems keeps the Internet buzzing with gossip, but there are some things that are just wrong with the show that aren't addressed much. Some just don't make sense, giving the show less credibility, but others are more nefarious in nature. Whether they are because we are fans who just can't look away or because looking too deeply might reveal some of our own internal prejudices, here are 20 Things Wrong With 90 Day Fiancé Everyone Chooses To Ignore.
From the revelations that people truly don't know one another prior to obtaining their K-1 visas, to so many couples proving that they don't love each other at all, we have to wonder how on earth the couples obtained approval from the U.S. Consulate for a visa after filing an I-129F petition in the first place. Couples must prove actual knowledge and affection for one another during the interview to even get the K-1 visa for the 90-day period.
Given that each participating citizen may only make around $7,000 in a season, it seems a paltry sum to risk something as big as your marriage and potential citizenship over. Any official witnessing the behavior on the show would question the validity of each relationship.
Conditional green cards are valid for two years following a marriage, which means that any ended relationship prior to the end of that two years could result in them not receiving full citizenship. Upon the end of the two-year period, an official typically reviews the marriage to ensure that it's still in good, authentic standing in order to become approved for permanent status.
The thing is, if the marriage fails to pass the test, they are often forced to leave the country due to fraud. Many couples have proven to be unable to meet this two-year minimum, most notably, Mohamed, who left Danielle and developed a fan following after he moved to another state. Molly Hopkins and Luis Mendez also split up after just a few months of marriage.
In order to obtain the K-1 visa, you don't just have to look good on paper and be able to impress your interviewer. There's a big stipulation about support that has to be met and the United States citizen must prove that he or she can support his or her partner during the partner's stay in the country. While the “sponsor” doesn't have to be rich, they must be able to support their would-be spouse at 100% of the poverty level.
That's not a barrier for many couples on the show, but there are some couples, like David and Annie, who live off their friends while neither has a job. David might have a Master's degree, but that alone doesn't bring home the bacon.
While this point of contention is a sensitive one that gets more airtime on the Internet than others, it's still something that seems as if it would warrant more attention, particularly from immigration officials. Aleksandra and Josh's daughter, Kaya, is adorable, but the baby, whose parents are white, appears biracial.
While Aleksandra has explained that her daughter's skin color is due to her grandfather's heritage, the mother has also been fairly evasive about answering questions. While normally that shouldn't be anybody's business aside from Kaya's parents, it could raise a flag for immigration officials. If the baby simply looks like her grandfather, or Josh decided to adopt the baby with Aleksandra, it still points toward a loving relationship, but if there's any question regarding her parentage, there might be some suspicion about the marriage as well.
Pedro and Chantel displayed so many problems on the show that it's a wonder they even obtained their K-1 visa in the first place. Between the constant fighting and manipulation between them and their families, there were already a lot of red flags to consider prior to granting any kind of citizenship, but Pedro openly admitted to marrying Chantel in order to send his family money, which is marriage fraud.
Pedro obviously isn't the only person to marry someone for money, and some cast members, like Anfisa, want the glamorous things money can buy and enter a relationship where the opposite partner makes promises that they can't keep. Some partners even stole money from one another on the show.
When Alla told Matt's buddies that she really wasn't in love with him “yet,” that should have been a red flag to alert immigration officials that their coupledom wasn't one out of love. She revealed not only that she didn't love the man, but was using their marriage as a way to travel to the United States and get a green card.
Several couples on the show have expressed not having romantic feelings toward their partners, which should make any immigration official raise an eyebrow. Some other couples may still express love, yet obviously dislike one another from their actions, like Andrei, who was a control freak dictating what Elizabeth could and could not do once he joined her.
Filing your paperwork for the K-1 visa prior to meeting your partner is typically illegal. You can only file it once you've met, get to know your partner, and know that you truly want to marry them. When it comes to Nicole and Azan, the show makes it seem as if they filed their paperwork before meeting, given Azan's surprise over what Nicole looked like. After we saw his displeasure upon seeing his new girlfriend, and he revealed that he was merely “55% attracted to her,” it was obvious that they didn't know each other at all.
While many couples don't seem to know each other well on the show, these two are a glaring example of a couple who obviously shouldn't have had their petition for the K-1 approved.
So, you're just going to enter the U.S. and become a world-famous hip-hop DJ or model, are you? That seems to be the fairytale many newcomers on the show repeat to the point of sounding like a cliche. We can't be expected to believe that so many people might naively believe that they'll make it big as a model or DJ or whatever other “fun” job they dream about as soon as they marry a U.S. citizen. The notion is absolutely laughable.
Then again, some citizens report having traveled abroad only to be asked if they have horses or if they go to Hollywood regularly, so perhaps some people might believe that anyone can just become Diplo or Kendall Jenner. After all, social media has launched many otherwise dubious personalities into superstardom.
With so many reboots, sequels, and prequels in development, is it really any wonder that TLC is recycling old plots with new twists? 90 Day Fiancé is really just another show about odd couples who don't seem to belong together based on their mismatched interests and a hurdle of immigration thrown in. Instead of a tall person matched with a little person, they've got couples with different religions, backgrounds, and extremely varied expectations who react to these differences on camera.
Knowing this might make some fans who dislike formulaic plots wary of watching the show, but given that we're always going to have different couples featured each season and the popularity hasn't dwindled, yet, it's likely going to continue being produced for a while... at least until TLC comes up with a new angle.
Plenty of couples on the show prove time and time again that they truly did not know one another prior to obtaining their K-1 visas, prompting the rest of us to wonder just who approved them. One example was that of Mohamed and Danielle, a couple so loveless that Mohamed wouldn't even kiss her when they got married. There were so many lies between this couple that it's hard to keep track, but Danielle's criminal history was one big part of her life that Mohamed had no idea about that needed to be revealed during their Consulate interview.
Of course, given how dishonest the pair were to one another and all of the shenanigans Mohamed, now a social media star, pulled later, perhaps they were both simply well-schooled in deception.
Some of the relationships on the show are so glaringly fake that it feels as if TLC just randomly found people and offered them the job for some media exposure. While some fake relationships, like Jorge and Anfisa, appear to be fake on the inside, but carefully constructed by the couples on the outside in order to gain something from one another, others like Mark and Nikki, make you question how they met (and how well they know one another) in the first place.
Couples like Larry and Jenny are so fake that they feel as if they truly dislike one another, and while we all know couples who started out head-over-heels only to develop a deep-seated displeasure for each other, Jenny especially seems to have disapproved of her beau the moment she laid eyes on him.
Remember when Chris asked Annie for that “Thai massage”? It was totally scripted. It was so bad, in fact, that they had to do multiple takes to get the uncomfortable Chris to ask it without sounding weird, which is impossible given that it's already a weird request. It was perfectly acceptable for Chris to ask Annie, who'd be living off Chris and Nikki while she and David attempted to get on their financial feet, to help around the house or with meals during their stay with the couple, but the massage comment was way too weird.
It turns out that it wasn't Chris's idea at all. Since then, many couples have come out to reveal moments in the show that were scripted or edited for more drama.
Have you ever noticed how all of the women on 90 Day Fiancé seem to sit as if they are cramped up in a boxcar, hitching a ride among the rest of the freight across the country? It's apparently a thing that the women are asked to do. Anfisa Arkhipchenko says that it's very uncomfortable and asked fans to tell TLC so she wouldn't have to sit that way anymore.
The cause for the sitting positions is unknown, with some fans guessing that it's to make the women appealing and others suggesting that it just makes them seem “more casual.” How sitting like an Elf on a Shelf is casual, we don't know, but it looks so unnatural that we agree with Anfisa on this one.
For a show that's so dramatic, with surprising reveals splattered throughout each series, it's often pretty dull. Each couple's challenges are repeated over and over again until we are sick of hearing about 401(k)s taken out for the show, or the same arguments a family member or friend is going to make on one episode after previously making it on another episode.
Shows with a true buildup, like How to Get Away with Murder or This Is Us, don't have to repeat themselves over and over again to fill up the minutes before the big drop. Of course, they're also fully scripted and not reliant on unpredictable couples, so maybe we should give the show some slack during these moments.
Remember Myriam and Patrick, who didn't even make it beyond the whole “I have a boyfriend already” stage? There was a whole buildup about what kind of information Myriam was hiding and, lo and behold, it was simply that she already had a boyfriend and was completely wasting Patrick's time, as well as ours. Patrick didn't even seem as surprised about the revelation as he should have, and Myriam, who claimed that she didn't think a man who bought a plane ticket to France to visit her was serious, appeared bored throughout the whole meeting.
This is just weak storytelling, since the producers of the show should have been vetting each cast member to ensure that each person was invested in their relationships, or at least the show.
Aren't you glad that all of your breakups aren't televised? Every single time Jorge and Anfisa broke up, the cameras were rolling, which prompts us to ask: Did they break up a whole lot more often than we saw or were all these breakups planned for some dramatic footage? Given other things we ignore about the show on this list, we think it's probably that their arguments were all set up to occur during filming.
Between Jorge's lies, the constant motel moves, and Anfisa's odd expectations and behavior, we think the two already had enough to air on television without breaking up all of the time, but maybe TLC felt like they needed just a bit more drama.
Age may be just a number, but there's a certain type of man out there who prefers a woman he can mold and control, which is a completely different arena. Several men on 90 Day Fiancé exhibit this preference to the point where it's downright off-putting. Sean bringing 20-year-old Abby those undergarments, whether for her business or not, gave us the heebie jeebies, and 58-year-old Mark's treatment of 19-year-old Nikki made us look away every time they were on screen together.
That's not to say that there aren't any enormous age gaps between couples where an older woman hopes to control her beau, because those also exist, with the infamous Danielle serving as one of the most prominent examples.
Many people felt sorry for Nicole when gym enthusiast Azan met his girlfriend and dubbed her a little too heavy for him, especially when he wanted her to lose weight. Nicole, however, was physically and emotionally offensive toward Azan, pressuring her boyfriend into giving her physical affection in public when he clearly didn't want to. Had Nicole been a man, more viewers might have taken umbrage with her behavior. The two were obviously not matched from the start, especially given how they both got involved with other people.
While we get that the petty dramas can be entertaining, the physical drama is just not okay.
The process of immigration is a long, enduring process that should never be taken lightly. While it's true that someone obtaining immigration through marriage has less hurdles to jump than an individual seeking citizenship on his or her own, it remains a serious, drawn-out process that takes months to years to complete.
While 90 Day Fiancé is without a doubt entertaining, it's also, like many reality shows, deceiving, as it misrepresents the immigration process. It's also not exactly a show about learning, but TLC has long since ignored that motto.
Did you notice anything else from 90 Day Fiancé (you probably did) that we missed in our list? Let us know in the comments below!