Home TV Shows Reviews ‘Saving Our Marriage’ Netflix Series Review - Trouble In Paradise

‘Saving Our Marriage’ Netflix Series Review - Trouble In Paradise

A group of troubled married couples seeks the assistance of counselors Ilze and Paul in order to reignite the spark that previously ignited their marriages.

Vikas Yadav - Sat, 12 Aug 2023 09:04:19 +0100 20307 Views
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"Marriage can be the closest thing to hell or heaven," says Paul Nyamuda, a marriage coach, in this South African reality show called Saving Our Marriage. Nyamuda means one who loves all others, and this coach indeed speaks in a soft voice, as if spreading his warmth around everyone to make them feel comfortable. Ilze Alberts, a psychologist, is another expert on this show who patiently listens to every word and tries to untangle messy situations. These two professionals use their skills to rescue flailing marriages from breaking into pieces, and in this second season, the couples who need help are Paul and Maria, Mahlodi and Asanda, Vivian and Gudani, and Thabang and Nonhlanhla.

Thabang and Nonhlanhla's relationship has become boring. Mahlodi is fed up with Asands's drinking problem. Vivian and Gudani are engaged, and one of the things she doesn't like about him is his arrogance. Finally, the source of bitterness between Paul and Maria is the lack of sex (he has a low sex drive, and she wants the intercourse to last for more than four minutes). All these people have been together for more than five or ten years, yet they do not completely understand each other. You can be physically close to someone for as long as you want, but if there is no intimate and meaningful communication, you will only remain a stranger. Every couple who appears in this show has their relationship/marriage close to hell. It's up to the experts to pull them close to heaven.

What's immediately likable about Saving Our Marriage is that it doesn't give us cheap, loud moments to attract our attention. You know how the participants in these kinds of reality shows often scream at each other to grab the viewers' eyeballs. Yes, there is a moment where Gudani gets into an argument with Maria, but the pitch of this scene is not that high compared to (somewhat) similar moments in other reality shows. The intense, heated clashes take place offscreen as the couples try to be as composed as possible in front of the camera.

When the couples inform their family members that they will appear on a reality show, some of the ménages express concern about the opening up of their personal life in front of thousands, if not millions, of viewers. I liked that this topic was mentioned because even I find this whole deal awkward, which is why I stay away from these kinds of shows.

The couples talk sweetly about each other during their introduction. Then, after an ad break, there is a sudden sharp change in tone as all the criticisms are revealed to us. This shift is unintentionally humorous (there are some clumsy closeups, and the last episode mainly contains clips from previous episodes, which feels repetitious). The complaints cover a large area. Asanda thinks he should be the one running the house, not his wife. Paul is labeled as selfish. Gudani belittles Vivian. And a couple's marriage is negatively affected due to the fact that they got hitched when they were young and are still financially dependent on their parents. The couples are asked to converse in love languages, which they do by putting water in color-coded jars. They also express themselves through poetry and pictures. All these activities tell them about their flaws and help them identify the roots of their problems. For Asanda, his patriarchal views come from his observations that his dad was always the breadwinner. And Mahlodi's fears about her husband having an affair with someone originate from a past incident.

None of the couples have anything in common. They seem incompatible. Paul likes foreplay, but Maria doesn't. One of the wives decides to put a curfew for her husband (10 pm), and that doesn't feel right to anyone. With so much discord, why doesn't anyone go for divorce? They consider it but drop the idea. Perhaps, divorce would be too easy a solution? Maybe the couples really love each other and want to go for every possible solution to fix their marriages. Does this show actually achieve what its title promises? During the end credits of the last episode, we learn that one of the husbands doesn't live with his wife anymore, and Paul and Maria don't seem to be available for any comment. I got a feeling that nothing was fixed in the end. Then again, I could be wrong.

If you are like me, who doubts the authenticity of everything that's shown in reality shows, you can take Saving Our Marriage with a pinch of salt. You can also take it as a lesson on marriage and come to the conclusion that weddings are complicated and love alone won't sustain a bond. You require money as well as high libido to run a house and satisfy your partner. If you have a parent who is forcing you to get married and thinks marriage will "solve problems," tell them to watch this show. The movies and the books mostly sell fantasies to the audience. Real marriage requires a lot of commitment and hard work if you want to live happily ever after.

Final Score- [7/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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