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Why '90 Day Fiancé' is the chaotic mess you're missing out on

'90 Day Fiance' promo image
(Image credit: TLC)

90 Day Fiancé, and it’s both harrowing and captivating at the same time. There is an entire 90 Day Fiancéverse that exists from this one series, and it’s all available on Discovery+. Let’s be real, reality tv is usually a train wreck you can’t stop rubbernecking despite knowing you probably should - but it’s a trash bin of entertainment - so you continue to dive in. There is just no other way to put it.  If reality tv is your thing, or even if it’s not, there are some reasons to finally start your adventure into the Fiancéverse with the series that started it all, 90 Day Fiancé

So, what's 90 Day Fiancé?

TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé follows couples who have applied for or received a K-1 visa. This is a unique visa given to foreign citizens who are fiancés of U.S. citizens. The couples are given a small time window of 90 days to marry each other. Each couple has already signed documents stating that they have promised to marry and delivered them to US Immigration Services. The purpose of the K-1 Visa is to allow time for the couple to make arrangements for and have a marriage ceremony, it's not to be used to give the couple time to decide whether they will marry. However, that is not even close to how things go most of the time on 90 Day Fiancé - that’s what makes the series an absolute chaotic problematic mess. 

The first season is a doozy, but you soon realize you will almost always root for the couple's non-U.S. member by the end of it. No judgment against why anyone would willingly want to come to this country, but in the first couple of episodes of the series, you kind of want to go back in time and tell these women to run. The men are terrible, their families are even worse, and it’s quite fascinating how both think they’re the ones at risk of being taken advantage of in some way. It’s quite laughable and infuriating at times because it’s like watching a mediocre team and their past prime star player still believing that they are championship contenders. It’s just not true, and it’s a recurring thing throughout the series. 

You’re introduced to new sets of couples as the seasons go on — there are quite a few — and women from the U.S. have their moments too.  Sometimes a couple from a previous season will have their story continued into the season to come after it. Those couples are usually the ones you remember for obvious reasons. Another recurring thing that you’ll find as you watch is that some of these couples are using the 90 days to get to know one another in ways they should have figure out prior. This is usually when things get interesting because you have these couples who make you wonder, did they ever know each other? It’s a rather engrossing situation to see play out. After all, these are real people. The producers often interject from time to time, making it quite obvious there isn’t much scripting involved because sometimes they don’t even seem to know what’s going on. 

90 Day Fiancé can be informative at times, as outlandish as that sounds. There is no shortage of honest perspectives about the U.S. from the fiancés from foreign countries. I, for one, enjoy every single time one of them has told their U.S. fiancé that their precious United States of America isn’t all that and a bag of special edition 4th of July chips. Those moments are the absolute best and are one of the biggest reasons to watch the series. 

It’s not all a trainwreck, though. There have been a few instances where you will root for a couple or two in a season. Of course, those moments are the ones to look forward to because they provide some balance to what is otherwise peak reality television at its messiest.