Monday, April 23, 2018
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When parents do the choosing

/ 12:36 AM April 20, 2017

The rule for TV producers these days is, “Make sure your new show is unusual, so it will stand out from the hundreds of other programs out there!” By that yardstick, “Married by Mom and Dad” more than passes muster.

The TLC show updates and spices up the traditional practice in some countries of parents choosing their children’s intended spouses.

More than that, it stands the practices on its head and gives it a big twist the other way, because the show has the kids asking their folks to do the choosing for them! The times really have changed, huh?


The telecast we recently viewed fielded several young ladies and a gent who were looking to get married this year, and didn’t trust their own judgment and selection standards, due to some “disastrous” choices in the past.

So, they more realistically took the unusual step of asking their folks to do the selecting this time around.

They felt that better choices would be made, because their parents knew them and their needs and expectations really well, but would be able to step back and make more objective choices. Would this, in fact, be the case?

The telecast didn’t show the outcome of the search, but we got the feeling that it could turn out to be an iffy process—all the way!

The potentially dodgy process included some false or overly idealized expectations with both kids and parents looking for “perfection”— an unrealizable mix of good looks, values, monogamy, earning capacity, social skills and romance. Hey, what alternative universe are you all inhabiting?

As a result of all of the unrealistic virtues that were being giddily tossed around, many of the candidates who joined the search via social media quickly fell short of the mark.

Viable life partners
If the searchers don’t stop dreaming, they’ll never come up with the right choices—
namely, prospective spouse materials who will continue to be viable life partners after the temporary “thrill” is gone.

It was instructive to see that some of the parents involved were themselves divorced—meaning, their selection standards didn’t work for them. So, how sure could their kids be certain that they would make better choices for them?


The telecast we watched focused on a male searcher, Devin, who had two standout prospects in his sights for his folks to evaluate: Ursula was a self-confident career woman whose character and work ethic were quite impressive—until his folks discovered that she had broken their rule of “absolutely no contact” with their beloved son, since they were doing the choosing.

The other leading candidate, Kelsi, was younger and less established in her line of work, but had broken no rule, so she was more to their liking at this stage of the vetting process. Let’s see who “gets” Devin at the search’s finale.

What about Devin himself? Yes, he’s ceded the big decision to his folks, but even if they make the right choice, scenes featuring him intimate that he’s a rather pampered only child who may still not have gotten his adult act together.

What will he do after the honeymoon with Ursula or Kelsi—or perhaps a third or 10th other bride?

Letting the parents do the choosing could just postpone the resolution of the problem—not the way to go!

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TAGS: Married by Mom and Dad, TLC, TV
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