How reality TV values ​​love that hurts (the straight and poisonous couple)

In the small world of reality TV, love is king… but not very modern. In addition to displaying highly traditional representations, couples respond to specific characteristics to reproduce images.

Courchevel, February 2022. Carla Moreau and Kevin Guedj celebrate their surreal wedding in the heart of Savoie. Under the snowflakes, cameras surround the couple who weigh in at 5.5 million Instagram subscribers. The festivals that have spread over a few days will be broadcast on the MYTF1 platform.

Six years later, lovebirds love the program Places called Marseillais in South Africa. The 18-year-old blonde and the dark brown, seven years her age, have become a symbolic couple. Violent arguments and fiery reconciliation set in different times for the southerners-Nicknamed by his fellow “Jaguars”, Kevin is notorious for his betrayals.

Valerie Rey-Robert, author of the book Reality TV, the factory of sexism, in bookstores on April 13 in the Les Insolentes edition, analysis:

“Carla Moreau’s example is interesting. For many years she was described as the victim and the frightened virgin. In the end, she gave the impression of being rewarded. She became selected and won the jackpot.»

From charo to family man, reality TV guys reinvent their own way effort

With adventure games, Love stories exploded on the screen. More and more programs are putting branding at the center of their designs: 10 The Perfect Couple, The Couple’s War, Princes and Princesses of LoveThe

The show 10 The Perfect Couple shows the standardization of the expectations of the candidates that everyone seeks to “ get married and start a family. Before getting there, the products are priceless the active sex life of men, cheating on their girlfriends before the eyes of the spectators. Using the words used by the participants: “they walk” at night, proof that they did not sleep in their bed.

Within the radius of repentant charos: Kevin Guedj, Julien Tanti – column of Marseilles – and Nikola Lozina, the Croatian “Lord” who led the show Goal Rest in the World. A little kid later, everyone is seen as a neat family person, acting as role models to others.

On homosexuality? On MY reality show ?!

If the recipe works, the TV couple will respond to specific codes. “Mostly, these are heterosexual people, with more traditional representations”, featured by Valérie Rey-Robert.

In the set, the heteronormative behavior is reinforced by the essentialization of men and women. Nathalie Nadaud-Albertini, media sociologist and 12 years in reality TV: beyond moral criticism (INA Publishing, 2013):

“We were touched by the physical appearance of the candidates. In women, there is a highly developed femininity and in men, a claimed musculature. Very binary. »

How ‘reality TV values ​​love hurts’ (the straight, poisonous couple)

Same -sex couples remain without subscribers, or nearly so. And don’t be interested in decision makers who are more…

Fanny Salvat, discovered on set at Marseillescame out of the show The Villa of Broken Hearts 3 in 2018. The young woman formed first lesbian couple on reality TV with Nani Trindade. But during a media interview Melty in 2019 the 26-year-old influencer admitted that the products were less in demand:

“We told ourselves that I could no longer hit Pierre, Paul or Jacques, so it would no longer be interesting.»

Fanny Salvat and Nani Trindade (Instagram)
Fanny Salvat and Nani Trindade (Instagram)

From pre-couple to clash breakup, love according to reality TV

In fact, according to Nathalie Nadaud-Albertini, “knows who’s going to go with who’s creating the famous anticipation; it’s a narrative machine”.

The birth of a romance in front of reality TV cameras follows a specific cut. The purpose: to achieve the most ranks.

First, candidates “position” to someone they put themselves in the pre-couple-behind this term popularized on reality TV, it’s about “show one his interest, without kissing”, defines the sociologist. Kissing in front of the rest of the house marks formalization.

The specialist draws a similarity to the dating sites, another matter of study.

“On these platforms, partners think about when they think they are in a relationship. By talking to loved ones, we make it official, like reality TV.»

To pair, women and men are free to talk to each other to see if they are compatible, based on generic values. The example is amazing when you watch the show 10 The Perfect Couple where the contestants ’goal is to find his or her match. Respect, loyalty or even closeness to his family serve as common points.

“After the meeting, they did not speak to each other. Often, this results in a breakdown, “ completed by Valérie Rey-Robert.

But before the breakup, violent fights raged in the relationship. “Kind” love is put on a pedestal. Thus, the feminist essayist and expert on sexual violence issues points out:

“Most candidates want a macho, jealous person. They all claim to be incredible characters, and want someone to hold them. We value love that hurts. »

In the show Goal Rest in the World, Hilona Gos and Julien Bert highlight their marital difficulties. The old reality TV veteran didn’t understand how his girlfriend was – who said “went through hell” with him – might even embarrass him, when he agreed to forgive her.

How ‘reality TV values ​​love hurts’ (the straight, poisonous couple)

These repetitive confrontations also give weight to the relationship. “They represent a test: if the couple comes back, then it will be more official, and the group will applaud”, said Nathalie Nadaud-Albertini.

“The couple always had us on reality TV”

To the verbal violence was added the almost teenage madness of the candidates. “They’re between 20 and 35 years old and behave like pre-teenagers-the smacks at 30 are pretty weird”, continued Valérie Rey-Robert. This is confirmed by the “problem game” posted by The people of Marseilleswhere the newlyweds part for a kiss on the neck.

But behind these children’s games, the image of the goal couple represents a thriving business. “It’s always been useful on reality TV, but now we’re still going through it by taking advantage of all the differences in heterosexual couples”insisted the specialist.

“Do you want to marry me (and make many hearings)?»

Engagements, bachelor party, wedding, childbirth… Everything is announced. Benjamin Samat, bodybuilder member of Marseillesthus proposed Maddy Burciaga in marriage at the time of Places called Marseille in Mexico, broadcast on W9. Two years later, Kevin Guedj passed the ring on Carla Moreau’s finger to the same program.

Inside their chalet in Courchevel, surrounded by their friends from the small screen, the Guedjs made their couple a mark, going on to make their own show: The Mif. For real TV, real or fake, love always wins. Except that it is, unfortunately, toxic because it is heteronormous.


Also read:

Our top 3 Netflix reality shows of 2021, not sexist or homophobic (take notes, Les Marseillais)

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