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Episode 1 – Meet My Family

Imagine you’re in a pitch session with TLC and it goes something like this: “Hey, you know that show called Married at First Sight? How about we completely rip it off, but instead of being set up by so-called experts, these desperate individuals get set up by their parents.” And the suits sitting around the table say, “Hey, we’ve got nothing on the calendar for December, so sure, let’s do it. We’ll call it Married By Mom And Dad.” However, this is season two. Who knew?

First up is Devin, a meathead from Pennsylvania who currently resides in Tampa, Florida. So far he hasn’t been successful in love because he has a thing for big boobs and small brains, but he’s ready to let his out-spoken Italian mom, Lisa, and African-American dad, Frank, pick his first wife. Mom and dad think their son is crazy for doing this but consider it a privilege and will be taking this roll seriously. They have analyzed dozens of videos and have narrowed it down to two, and will now meet these girls in person.

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Character traits important to Devin are physical attraction, physical attraction and physical attraction. The good news is, Devin is finally ready to be faithful for the first time ever. Isn’t she the lucky girl – whoever she is. Lisa and Frank are going out on a “date” with Ursula first. Ursula lives in Florida too and is a self-described “funky, fun, weirdo.” She does have a great body, so Devin should like that. But things get off to a rocky start. Ursula lives on a boat and Lisa refuses to get on the boat. Strike one for Ursula.

The next participant on Married By Mom And Dad is Marissa. She’s very attractive, currently resides in San Diego and has been in a dry spell for six months. Oh the horror! She wants to be married, like now. Her mom and dad are Matthew and Leslie who met when they were 15 years-old and have been together ever since. They are “old-school Italians.” Hey, maybe they should set up Marissa with Devin. Her parents consider this to be an important project and they don’t want to let their daughter down.

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Back on the date with Ursula, they are now in a secure spot on land, and Lisa and Frank begin the interview. Ursula says she’s a self-made “boss babe” who thinks like a dude and built a six-figure business over the past two years. She’s looking for a person who can hold it down next to her. So far, so good, however, Ursula has a secret. Oopsie! Turns out, she’s already reached out to Devin through social media and they’ve texted. Frank and Lisa are not happy that Ursula has broken the rules. Strike two! And when Frank and Lisa leave, there are no hugs goodbye. Girl, bye!

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Back in San Diego, Marissa is going to happy hour with her  two BFF’s Becky and Sara about her decision to get married to a complete stranger chosen by her parents whom she won’t meet until the alter. Her friends are like, “No way” and their jaws drop. They think Marissa is “brave” and “crazy” because they don’t think parents have a clue as to what they are looking for in modern men. Traits Marissa is looking for is a good-looking, successful guy who will treat her like a queen. She won’t be disappointed at all!

The next contestant on “My Biggest Mistake” is Bethany. She lives in Charlotte, y’all, and she’s a cute as a bug in a rug. Her hobbies are teaching elementary and kickboxing. And she is so happy, y’all. Really, she is. Really. Her dating life thus far has been unsuccessful because her taste in men sucks. So her parents will pick her husband. Fun fact: her parents are divorced and hate each other. Her mom, Julie, is a nurse in West Virginia, and thinks its about damn time Bethany has asked for advice, and Bethany’s father, Thomas, has been married five times and will provide the “here’s what you don’t want” perspective. Bethany is now questioning her decision to have her parents pick her husband.

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Back in San Diego, Marissa meets with her dad to go over their game plan. Money, looks and patience. Let’s drink some wine. The stress is seeping in because this shit is for real, not just for play. Of course there’s always the caveat with a free divorce at the end, but of course Frank mentions divorce is not an option. Frank tells his daughter that she gets too clingy, too fast and that fogs her judgment. Marissa doesn’t agree with her dad’s assessment and she too is questioning her decision to let her parents pick her husband.

Next up, Devin’s parents are going on a “date” with Kelsi who is a very pretty and very young blonde. She is looking for a man to make her a better person and she will in turn do the same. Translation – codependent. So right off the bat Lisa and Frank are excited because they are visiting an actual house. Two things going for Kelsi is her parents are present and Kelsi cooked a meal. Ursula, who? Everyone is the room is saying the right things, but when Kelsi’s mom mentions that they are looking for someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, the room goes dead quiet. Finally, Lisa speaks up and mentions how young Kelsi is and why she wants to do this, feeling this is a trick of some sort and maybe they’re just trying to shirk their parental responsibilities onto their son. Meanwhile, Kelsi’s mom needs to cross her legs when sitting down next time she’s discussing the alignment of the starts.

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The doorbell rings in Charlotte and it’s Bethany’s dad Thomas who is a substitute teacher/server/DJ. He is not happy to see the ex-wife, Julie, but foolishly considers themselves to have the advantage because of their sordid past. Dad is looking for someone with good hair, drinks wine and doesn’t smoke for his daughter. Wish I was making this up. Bethany wants someone who is romantic. Thomas and Julie say they will be fine working together – as fine as iced-tea without a glass on a humid day.

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We join Devin at the place he will spend the majority of his times when he is married, at the gym. Like the others, he is now reconsidering his decision to let his parents pick his bride. When asked about monogamy, Devin asks if it’s a type of wood. Ba-dum-tisk. He confides in his workout buddy that Ursula reached out to him and kind of thinks this was wrong.  Plus, he’s seen a photo of her and his “monogamy” wood isn’t hard. Strike three, he’s out! At this time, mom and dad are split on which girl is right for their son.

Next week we meet the final participant whose parents’ main character trait they are looking for is “employment.”

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RECAP Married By Mom & Dad – Episode 1
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