TV

'Married At First Sight' Reality Show Legally Weds Strangers

07/08/2014 05:56 pm 17:56:12 | Updated Jul 08, 2014

This is an "I Do" you won't believe they did.

"Married At First Sight," a new FYI channel reality show that premieres July 8, follows three couples who get legally married the moment they meet. A sexologist, psychologist, sociologist and spiritual adviser play the Cupids who used "scientific matchmaking," according to the show's website. The episodes keep an eye on the suddenly betrothed from honeymoon to early nesting.

The marriages are absolutely binding, the show's publicist assures. They were all performed on the same March weekend at a Manhattan hotel. And those who wish to get unhitched can have their divorce financed by the show within six months.

While the concept might seem outrageous, the show's spiritual adviser had a different take.

"This is not to promote arranged marriage," Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, told The Huffington Post. "What the show is promoting is for people to think long and hard about what really makes for a long-term relationship, what really makes for a good marriage. The show is trying to get people to think in a different way on how they are choosing potential partners."

At the suggestion that the program makes a mockery of marriage, Epstein replied that he takes marriage seriously and that it is the most important relationship that a human being can have. "But that being said, if one couple on a TV show happens to get divorced -- I'm not saying they will or not -- that is not going to destroy the institution of marriage," he added. "Millions are getting divorced. We're already making a mess of marriages we're choosing for ourselves."

What the show, based on a Danish series of the same name, deems an "extreme social experiment" is "potentially a cause for hope," Epstein said. "I think it can make [people] stop and think, maybe it's not about finding the perfect person; maybe it's about being the right partner."

Check out the preview above and let us know what you think of the idea.

(Hat tip, New York Post)

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