Mission: Sit my butt on the couch, holding a packet of potato chips in one hand and let my brain turn into a squishy mess watching the reality shows “Rio Shore” and “Blind Wedding”.
Obstacle: The reality shows “Rio Shore” and “Blind Wedding”
At first glance, the programs look diametrically opposed; Rio Shore (MTV) confines young people – five men and five women – in a house on a paradisiacal beach in Búzios, with few clothes and a lot of alcohol inside, with the sole purpose of serving make out, sex and shacks. In “Casamento à Cegas Brasil” (Netflix) participants seek their half of the orange and the goal is to marry the love of their life in a month, after a series of encounters where men and women are separated and cannot see how each other looks.
But the only thing that sets the two shows apart is the separation – quite conservative and stereotyped – between love and sex. Not only because this line is mostly cloudy, but also because, to the unwary eye, it can appear that a makeout show is super modern and a traditional wedding show is mega-conservative. That impression is dispelled by watching at least one episode of each of the shows.
In both shows, sexual and affective choice is linked to “good looks” – women, mostly white, thin, with makeup and impeccable hair, and well-heeled men with clothes that look like they had been bought at the sapatênis wholesaler. “Blind Marriage” tries to hide this in a more ingenious way, but if on both sides there are only “beautiful people” it is easy to choose by affinity and without fear the big girl on the other side.
The lack of racial representation is tragic – in a Brazil with a population of more than 51% non-white people, watching the realities gives that strange feeling of tropical Norway. If “love is blind” and “if you go soft, it’s steam” just to stay in the two most repeated expressions in both realities, “vapo” only happens if on the other side of the cabin or the glass of gin your love doesn’t have any disability, is heterosexual and a good ass.
Of course, for those looking for uncompromising entertainment and a massive dose of embarrassment, the two programs are of unparalleled perfection. The involuntary humor of fake seduction is unbeatable for keeping anyone glued to the small screen. In “Blind Wedding” often a participant hugs and kisses the luminous panel that separates him from his love, and in “Rio Shore” after many drinks it is possible to see a girl having a fit of jealousy accusing another of wanting “appearing” as if “appearing” wasn’t exactly the fundamental particle of any TV show of its kind.
The sadness is due to the bitter feeling that “Rio Shore” and “Marriage à Blindas” are part of a single timeline representative of what women can expect from sex and love in our society – a half mouth fuck while not being chosen by a prince with facial toning and weird ideas about how a wife should behave. They could, see, even be the same program, one running after the other showing what awaits you there when your twenties turn thirty. Perhaps this is the disgraceful “woman’s fate” Clarice Lispector talked about so much.
None of this will stop me from seeing these two pearls to the end. It’s a kind of addiction that’s hard to explain, I imagine that illicit drug users should feel that same shame. Luckily my streamings are paid for and I don’t need to sell my mom’s fridge to keep drinking, but maybe I need a rehab clinic to remind myself that relationships can be a little more complex than what the shows present to us.