MAFS 2024: Why are we so invested?

Love it or hate it, this year's Married At First Sight has definitely got us talking, Melissa Hoyer writes.

What is it about this reality show that has seen it gobble up my viewing hours like never before?

Love it or hate it, Married At First Sight has got us talking. And I wondered why, this season particularly, people who aren’t normally invested in the series (hello, me!) have made it appointment viewing.

Yup. While normally, come 7:30 pm, I may continue getting a dose of news and current affairs or a series binge on the small screen, for some reason, the remote has been steering me to a screen of age-diverse, wannabe, soon-to-be-seen on OnlyFans newlyweds.

After almost two weeks of watching the show, I realise I’ve become invested in these brides and grooms. Like, I really want to know if any of them will go on to find their happily ever after.

At this early stage of the game, it’s looking umm, pleasant, for some (hello, mature age match!), but not so much for others (Lauren, I’m looking at you.) I know. I know. What exactly have I become? I am a shadow of my former viewing self. But I’m not going to apologise. I refuse to feel TV shame.

MAFS couple Lauren and Jono have already been at the centre of some controversy on the show. Photo: Channel Nine
MAFS couple Lauren and Jono have already been at the centre of some controversy on the show. Photo: Channel Nine

Escapism needed now more than ever

Watching a screen of love and attention-desperate hopefuls is pure escapism and it has also got me thinking.

By joining the MAFS-watching conga line, are we just fuelling our obsession with car crash TV? Sure, there is that, but I think the reason this season has particularly piqued our interest is more simplistic. There is no question that the fact we’re weighed down with cost-of-living (aka cossy livs) pressure is making us search for things to do that 1) are free and 2) will take us right away from the increasing costs of electricity/rent/mortgage/nights out/school fees etc etc etc.

We’re staying home and watching TV to momentarily escape all of the real issues we’re facing. Even though we know the peeps on screen are perfectly produced "characters" in the guise of naive reality TV participants, we are tuning in, no matter what.


For someone who has cruised in and cruised out of the series over the years - depending on how busy the year is - this year I’m seriously invested in the drama.

I want to see how self-proclaimed bulldog Tori copes with the fact her man-bunned, PT "husband" Jack only called things off with a different woman weeks before he entered the "experiment". I want to see if 60-something motivational speaker Richard and his photographer "wife" Andrea end up surviving the whole series.

I want to see if Byron Bay wedding celebrant temptress Lucinda and Timothy end up sealing the wedding deal. I want to see a therapist who can explain how I even know their names at this early stage.

Timothy (left) and Lucinda (right) from MAFS stills. Photo: Nine
Will Timothy and Lucinda go the distance? Photo: Nine

MAFS 2024 has a diverse mix of personalities

Another big reason we’re liking this season is the more diverse mix of personalities. This season, the selection of ages is refreshing, so we’re not just looking at 20-something, hair-extensioned marketing assistants and wannabe influencers.

Even though the series is polarising - you are either a MAFS-person or you are not - there is no question it takes us to another place.

And whether you choose to stay in that place for the next few months will be totally up to the relationships we have with our TV remotes.

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