Two hour; two boobs; all problems -- THIS is 90 Day Fiance season 6.
|Oct 29||Public post|
But perhaps that worldview comes simply from being new to TLC’s lens on humanity.
As it was revealed to me in the season 6 premiere of 90 Day Fiancé, there is no shortage of grown women taking home 20-something souvenirs from island trips with their gal pals, nor is there a finite limit on American men who lead international hotties to believe that they have enough money to transition them into the United States even though they barely have enough money to keep themselves clothed in weird-collared shirts, and will then become annoyed with those women for expecting them to have enough money to transition them to America just because that was something they led them to believe!!!
The limit on those kinds of dudes absolutely does not exist, and TLC has every single one of them on retainer.
No, it does not take a long — two episodes from two different seasons, to be exact — to start recognizing these classic 90 Day Fiancé tropes. If I hear one more wispy-haired man say of his foreign fiancé, she just thinks every American lives in a mansion and drives a Rolls Royce, while actively not telling her his financial situation, I'm going to lose it. [Ed. Note: That's a false threat! I'll likely watch it for 20 seasons and love it every time!]
Hey, Colt, if you feel like Larissa is asking too much of you financially, maybe tell her exactly how much money you have and your views on spending said money before going into this marriage? That's a very normal thing to do when entering a legally binding union! It almost starting to seem as if these American men are withholding valuable information on purpose.
It's almost as though Eric thinks Leida might not want to marry him if he explains to her in very clear detail that he has a roommate with whom he splits rent and bills for a distinctly unfortunate two-bedroom apartment…and that said roommate is his teenage daughter who he's evicting rather than ponying up for a new, better-suited place for a couple.
Perhaps I should not be so hard on people who have found love and just want to hold onto it through any duplicitous means possible. But I've recently been told that as a cuspy-y ass Taurus, I am particularly influenced by aesthetics. And no, that is not a fair way to judge a person’s lifestyle, but the fact is: the stars have destined it to be so. (I do not understand astrology and am probably being really offensive — but, I'm doing it from a coffee shop with gorgeous statement wallpaper, so don’t worryyyyy!)
I'm not saying it's okay to dislike Eric exclusively because he uses duffel bags as drawers…but I am saying it's a contributing factor to me automatically siding with any and all of the pretty women on this show who are generally quite straightforward about their financial and citizenship expectations, versus all the men who happily bank on their lady-love’s warped perception of America riiiight up until they have to live up to it.
(Something tells me when Leida enters Eric's apartment to find her marital bed is a mattress on the ground and there’s a corner devoted exclusively to wooden swords… she might reveal herself to be a Taurus too.)
The tropes that play out between an American woman and a much younger man, however, tend to tell a very different tale. Often they’ve met in person as opposed to online; generally their age and, uh, visual dynamics are not so disparate; and with a 100 percent incident rate thus far in my 90 Day Fiance documenting, the otherwise responsible older woman has been dicknotized into believing that this 20-year-old man is somehow the only mature and ready-to-settle-down 20-year-old man in the world. Can you believe — in all the Jamaican night clubs in all the world — SHE FOUND HIM AND HIS MESH SHIRT IN THIS ONE?!
Plus, the women are at least usually honest about how driven by horniness they are. And for some reason (and that reason is gendered societal power, let me be clear), I feel much more at ease with that dynamic.
In all cases though, 90 Day Fiancé is a slow-motion train wreck you can't stop watching, no matter how much the horror you know lays ahead. In the season 6 two-part premiere, we meet five new couples in the process of getting their K-1 visas, alienating their families, and in certain circumstances, dressing up their cats for the day ahead. Let's get to know our nightmares shall we?
ASHLEY & JAY
We're introduced to Ashley while she serves daytime liquor shots during her job as a bartender, followed by this statement: "Whenever I have some free time, I like to take a self defense class."
Listen, I also live in fear of describing my hobbies because they're, like, cross-stitching, talking about myself, and pretending to be more health-conscious than I actually am…but Ashley is painting a pretty grim scene here. The genre of self-defense as a main hobby? AH!
The overall atmosphere certainly isn’t helped by the fact that Ashley almost never smiles, but I did get a quick thrill thinking that she might have a romantic connection with her self-defense instructor…
But then I remembered where we are. Why date the handsome man offering to stab you in the stomach as a tool for self-growth, when you could marry a recent-child who you will have to jump through many legal and financial hoops for in order to have him treat you poorly?
The editors do Ashley extremely dirty as she explains how mature her 20-year-old fiancé Jay is over clips of him talking about his dick and twerking on anything that moves.
Ashley met Jay at a club when she was in Jamaica for a wedding, then he "found her on social media," they talked for six months, she went to visit him again, and five days later, he proposed to her on what appeared to be the empty stage of a strip club. She said yes, because how could she not? She has two children and has been cheated on by two former fiances; he is a notorious womanizer in his hometown and basically an actual child. They’re two puzzle pieces, really!
Before she flies to Jamaica to be with Jay during his K-1 interview, Ashley meets up with her best friend Natalie, and ever so briefly smiles at her. But this frivolity can’t last because Natalie has concerns.
It seems that when Ashley and Natalie went to Jamaica together, Natalie overheard Jay bragging about all the other women he was sleeping with while being engaged to Ashley. This particularly concerns Natalie because "Ashley has been cheated on in every relationship she's ever had."
Wowza. We've also heard Ashley say repeated variations of "I don't put up with bullshit from anyone," in reference to breaking up with both of her former fiances.
But one has to wonder if there was perhaps some initial bullshit being tolerated in order to get to that place of engagement with a serial cheater twice. Maybe not! All we know is that with Jay, Ashley apparently anticipated some bullshit and decided she would put up with it this time. "Maybe I don't care what Jay does while I'm not over there," Ashley says. Natalie and I make this face:
Ashley explains with a look on her eye that says she would rather be using a bottle rocket as a bath bomb than be speaking out loud right now, that she and Jay are not in an open-engagement per say, but "what he does in Jamaica when I'm not there is none of my business.” Y’know, the exact definition of an open relationship.
But Ashley insists that if Jay cheated on her while he was in America, she would send him packing. And the thing is, I could picture Ashley getting walked all over, but I could also picture her getting into knife fight to the death because someone looked at her wrong in equal measure (all that belly-stabbing preparedness is for something). Because it is very hard to get a read on Ashley…
Jay, on the other hand, is a clear-cut punk who things he is god's gift to dicks, and that dicks are god's gift to women.
Jay is a tattoo artist, which is one of the first transferable skills I've heard any of these 90 Day Fiance characters tout, and then he has to go and ruin it by elaborating on how that career makes him so irresistible to the ladies: "Because every female dream in Jamaica is a tattoo under their boob, a tattoo around the nipple. They say just the vibration of the tattoo machine turns them on, so yeah…"
Ah, yes, the three hottest professions: Firefighter, doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital, and lanky tween tattoo artists. Jay talks about how he dated another woman from Florida who wanted him to come to the States, but he was just using her for his money — it's different with Ashley though.
"Some people say it's too young," he says, "but I lost my virginity at eight, so." JAY. SOME PEOPLE WOULD ALSO SAY THAT IS TOO YOUNG.
I almost feel like this kid genuinely believes he can settle down though. He tells his sister Poochie, "I'm gonna go over there and put my head in the game as much as I can" like a college senior going into their first internship, about to discover that getting to the office every day by 9 a.m. is a lot harder than he thought. Jay really must either want to go to America or want to marry Ashley, or some combination of both — but there is absolutely zero percent change he doesn't fuck this up by impulsively giving some woman a nipple tattoo.
COLT & LARISSA
Colt was made in a 90 Day Fiance lab with all the perfect ingredients at which to gawp, but then some lab assistant who only got a job because of nepotism accidentally went a little heavy on the “we all go a little mad sometimes” flask…
Colt is 33, he works as a software engineer, and he lives in Las Vegas…along with his mother and his three cats: Babygirl, Cookie Dough, and Sugar. And if you are able to keep your cookie dough down every time this man purrs "Babygirl" to a cat, you are a stronger reality-TV-watcher than I. But it doesn’t hold a vomitus candle to how he describes the fact that he still lives with his mother: "She loves me with all of her heart—I'm her baby boy."
Everything about Colt is so perfectly Colt: he lives with his mom; he holds his fork like a child while eating the eggs-à-la-Bates his mom made him for breakfast; he spends most of his time by himself playing video games; his hobbies are tinkering with computers and dressing up his cats in a room decorated entirely in shades of brown. And as he tells the camera while his shark-eyes glaze over with self-pity: "All of my previous relationships have ended with me getting a broken heart."
I am not at all shocked that this 32-year-old man who shares a bathroom with both his mother and a litter box thinks that the reason he can't maintain a relationship is because women are so mean to him. That makes a lot of sense to me.
The only thing out of place in Colt’s introduction to us:
"After having struck out a few times online with American girls, I thought I could search outside the country, maybe find a girl—and then I met Larissa." The way Colt exclusively uses the terms "boy" and "girl" to describe himself and a woman in her 30s makes me feel as though I should call the Las Vegas police with an anonymous tip to search his basement for jars of teeth. No accusations, just a simple search!
Colt met Larissa online, and after talking for a while, they decided to meet in Mexico where Colt proposed to her after five days together. "It was like all the boxes were checked," he says. "She's beautiful, she's smart, and she seemed pretty cool with the idea of living with my mother." You know what they say: women like their men tall, dark, and handsome, and men like their women pretty, smart, and down to clown with Claudette…
But something seems rotten in the state of Suspended Adolescence when we see Colt and Larissa's first Skype call. Let me tell you: I have lived though the eye of a major hurricane, left a country just before a deadly earthquake hit, and stared George Clooney directly in the eyeballs in my lifetime — but listening to Colt try to make various pet names sound cute might just be what finally does me in.
He calls Larissa "darling" every other word, but forcefully drops the 'g' even thought that’s not part of his normal accent. It’s so tough. And with each new "darlin’," the wrinkle between my eyebrows deepens irreparably, and who's going to pay to fix that, huh??? Because I know it won't be Colt's cheap ass!!!
Colt booked a flight for Larissa to fly to Vegas after the K-1 visa was approved, but it's taking longer than expected to actually get the physical visa. Larissa wants Colt to delay the ticket a few days, but Colt thinks there's no point in paying the "healthy size" change fee when it could be even longer. And sure, that's reasonable, but Colt is also so reasonable that it hurts Larissa's feelings because it seems like he doesn't care if she gets there sooner rather than later.
They don't quite make a decision, but in the meantime, Colt goes to visit his cousin John who he describes in such a way that makes me think John might be the only other human in the world who know Colt’s last name besides his mother. And when John’s wife Lea opens the door…
I am in heaven. It's like a HomeGoods clearance aisle threw up alphabet soup in there.
More big ass clocks and wall-hangings with written instructions on how to live your life than could even be taken in by the human eye. But this euphoria could not last. Even though John is wearing a hat that literally says "Friendly's" and Lea is dressed like an Urban Outfitters bred with a SnapChat filter, they are, in fact, quite unkind regarding their cousin. They do the basic 90 Day Fiance salutations of "is she just using you for a visa" questions to Colt's face…
But then in all their testimonials, they're gunning hard for a Sonny-and-Cher comedy duo vibe (that flower-crown fucking wishes), explaining why Larissa would possibly be dating Colt by quipping:
Or John’s fun theories, like, maybe she has a “four-eyes kink,” or…
A real Abbott and Costello, these two! Sure, I am very unkind about what could possibly make Larissa want to date Colt, but I'm a stranger, not one of the three people in Colt's phone book pretending to look out for him, but actually just trying desperately to be funny. (I'm openly looking for the worst in him while trying desperately to be funny — once again, on 90 Day Fiancé it is all about transparency.)
Finally, Larissa calls Colt with the good news that she has the visa in her hands, and asking if he'll buy her ticket from Brazil now. "Oh I already bought your ticket," explains Colt, innocently. It's booked for two weeks from now.
"Are you kidding me?" Larissa asks. See, Colt told Larissa that when she got her visa, he'd fly her to the States, but now he's telling her that he already booked the ticket a whole two weeks from now without consulting her. "Essentially, Larissa wants me to buy a ticket on the same day which would cost…"
Colt should have $2,000! I understand not wanting to spend more money than you need to, and I understand being responsible…but the first time your future wife comes to her new home country that she's moving to for you is perhaps not the time to be overly logical. There is something very gross about this man who has a good job and seemingly lives in a house that's paid for promising his fiancé one thing, and then telling her she's being ridiculous for expecting that thing out of him.
That's right, Colt: you live in a house with your mom and share a car, so where is the money you should be saving??? Larissa thinks that maybe Colt is scared and he's just wanting a few more weeks by himself, because she can't imagine why he wouldn't be in a rush to see her. She snipes, "Now that you have more time alone, you could make some things to please me…like, maybe, do work out every day and shave your beard." Colt says he likes his beard and then takes an angry bite out of a the biggest croissant I've ever seen when they hang up.
"I feel like Larissa is being quite ridiculous in her demands … if that’s what she's going to think when she comes here, she's in for an extremely rude awakening." I'm afraid that's probably true (and that said awakening will involve a cat sitting on her head).
ERIC & LEIDA
With all his cats and his "mama's boy" bits, Colt is an early standout for most egregious assault on romance, but throughout the two hour premiere, Eric really sneaks up on you as a strong contender for least eligible bachelor.
It starts with the little things like the fact that Eric says he's 40-years-old but seems to have…lived many lives. That could have something to do with having been a Marine for nine years and having three daughters aged from 11 to 21. He got divorced from his wife of 20 years in 2016, and after failing to find love on the American dating scene—well, I'll let him tell you:
"I was thinking about finding my way to Turkey or Syria and volunteering to fight ISIS. But I decided to try my hand one more time, so I posted an ad in an international website … and one of the first to respond to my ad was Leida."
So…we have Leida to blame for Eric not personally defeating ISIS? Instead of going to fight ISIS, love swayed Eric into stayed home so that he could evict his teenage daughter from the apartment they share? Am I understanding that correctly?
Let's back up: Leida lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and has a very comfortable home life there. When she connected with Eric, she told him she was a teacher, had been a model and actor in the past, was fifth runner up in Miss Indonesia a few years ago, and is a med school graduate.
Eric assumed he was being catfished, but when he met Leida in person, he saw she was the real young-and-beautiful deal, and proposed after two days. Now, Leida is moving to the U.S. with her extremely precious two-year-old son, plus some certain lifestyle expectations. Her family is very wealthy, and a tour of their house includes maids, cooks, four bathrooms, more leather sofas than anyone could possibly ever use, an inexplicable amount of hanging racks for a private home, and a ceiling painted like the sky.
Eric is concerned that the lifestyle he maintains in Baraboo, Wisconsin won't be enough for Leida…
But he absolutely is not concerned to the extent he should be.
Eric doesn’t just live in a small town, he lives in a very basic apartment that he financially splits 50/50 with his 19-year-old daughter Natasha, who he is now trying to kick out in advance of the arrival of his new fiancé who is only a few years older than her.
Unsurprisingly, Natasha is not thrilled by this.
Eric is annoyed that Natasha hasn't been working harder to find a new place, but it is incomprehensible to me that Eric would not let his daughter hold onto the current apartment and get a new roommate while he finds a new place to live with Leida. "I'm torn here," Eric says. "I love my kids, but I can't disappoint my fiancé … especially because I have not told Leida anything about the apartment."
Oh, buddy. If Leida is coming in sight-unseen, your no-nonsense daughter's presence in that apartment is not going to be the most disappointing thing about it. To me, Eric seems like someone who would like to fully start over and ditch his old family, but he can't quite bring himself to be a full asshole, so he's just being a half-asshole — which is almost worse. For example:
Eric goes with his ex-wife Tanya and their other two daughters to lunch because he "hasn't had a chance" to talk to them much about Leida yet. They're all hesitant but kind about his decision to marry a woman who's nearly the same age as his oldest daughter, and when Tanya nicely adds that she wants them all to get along, he inexplicably asks Tanya if she wants to know why Leida originally didn’t want to meet her.
Seems best that you don't divulge that information unnecessarily, Eric! Especially if it's: "The child support … she had issue with the fact that I have to give you money."
Eric quickly amends that of course he should be paying child support, and Leida is just going to have to get behind it, but why would he say any of this in front of his 11-year-old??? This man is a dummy who has no idea he's a dummy. His new fiancé is arriving in three days and the last thing we hear him say is, "My concern is financial. Child support is a big expense, and this is two more mouths to feed." Yes, Eric—it's almost as if marriage and children are big, expensive, life-altering decisions to make…
KALANI & ASUELU
But sometimes, as with Kalani and Asuelu, you just get caught up in the moment, and that ol' children-decision is made for you!
Kalani's father is Samoan, her mother is white, and she was raised Mormon. Perhaps all of this would not immediately suggest that her family amounts to an alternate-universe-Kardashians, but it's true, and I'm obsessed with them.
In the previews for season 6, Kalani seemed like she was kind of monotone and boring, but in fact, she's monotone and fascinating in that particularly Kardashian way: like, when she gets nervous, as when talking about losing her virginity to Asuelu, she drops her voice into a sort of Orange Country version of Cardi B's okurrrrr.
Kalani's father left Samoa when he was 12 to achieve the American dream, and he's worked hard for 30 years to provide for his family. With this comes an expectation that his daughters will marry men who can support them so that they won't struggle like he did. That has some obvious patriarchal overtones, but also some weird racial undertones that the dad doesn’t want them to marry men "like him." Those excerpts sounded pretty spliced together though, so I won't go too hard on it (for now).
What is stated very clearly though, is that in the past, Kalani has mostly been attracted to older white men.
But her fiancé Asuelu is "the opposite of that."
He's 23, has never left Samoa, and got Kalani pregnant after following her around the resort where she was staying and he was working until she'd spent enough time with him to see him shirtless and ditch her Mormon views on premarital sex.
Indeed, it did work. Now they have a five-month old son Oliver and have decided to move forward with the K-1 visa so they can get married and be a family. Problem is…
Everyone in Kalani's family hates Asuelu and everything he stands for. I don't know what Kalani's job is, or what kind of empire her father built in those 30 years of what is consistently described as "working his ass off," but Kalani is staying in a very nice Airbnb now that her sister kicked her out in advance of Asuelu’s arrival. Kalani’s father has come over to tell her that he doesn't even know her fiance's name, but he didn’t work! his! ass! off! for 30 years to let this kid come in and mess it up.
Kalani's dad says some reasonable things like, "My biggest concern is he's only 23 and he's coming from an island to the United States — it's a fast life here, and a slow life there." And some less reasonable things, like:
"Kalani is nervous for me to meet her fiancé; it's because I speak louder with my hands than I do with my words."
Well, sure, that could make any gal nervous for her scary dad to meet her seemingly goofy, child-like boyfriend. But perhaps not all is as innocent as it seems with Asuelu…
Kalani's sister, Kolini [ed. note: U FOR REAL BETTER HOLD ONTO UR WIGS, KARDASHIANS], closed her mind to Asuelu once Kalani told her that he cheated on her while he was in Samoa and she was pregnant with Oliver. Now Kalani is saying that she was just being dramatic back then and they weren't actually dating exclusively at that time, so it's her fault that Kolini hates Asuelu.
The day before Asuelu arrives, Kalani arranges a dinner to tell her sister as much…
And Kalani simply cannot understand why Kolini is not jumping at the chance to change her opinion on Asuelu after telling her, No, Asuelu didn't cheat on me, I LIED to you—my sister! I lied to my sister because of my boyfriend! Do you love him yet?
It's pretty sad because they obviously love and miss each other, but just can't get on the same page, but it's also incredible, because it is exactly a Keeping Up With the Kardashians fight…
Right down to starting all sentences with "I feel," saying "my sister" every other word in testimonial, and protecting their lashes against all else. Bible.
They both walk away from the conversation more confused than they were before, but with their eyeliner incredibly intact.
JONATHAN & FERNANDA
And finally, Jonathan and Fernanda: seemingly out most straightforward love story, with the small caveat that she is 19 and he is 32. But because Jonathan is decent-looking, doesn't act like complete weirdo, and makes enough money as a real estate agent to support Fernanda in the 90 days that she can't work (and also in the remaining days that she is an actual teenager), society dictates that I might feel more comfortable with this relationship.
And all seems to be going well. I like that Jonathan has bought Fernanda a car, paid for an apartment for her in Mexico, sent her money throughout the months they’ve been dating long-distance, and…
Mostly, it doesn't seem like Fernanda expects all those things, Jonathan just wants to give them to her, and she's like sure, I'll take an apartment. Except for the boobs—I think she asked for the boobs.
I know I sound like Ashley talking about Jay, but Fernanda really does seem like a cool, mature 19-year-old. That is, of course, still not the same as a cool, mature 32-year-old like Jonathan's friend Dani who is my favorite reigning 90DF friend (separate from Nikki—Nikki is not a friend, she's a force) because she doesn't go in for the "she's using you" kill, she just laughs at all of the absurd dynamics of Jonathan’s relationship…
But after meeting in a night club and speaking Spanish to each other for hours, Jonathan and Fernanda really do seem to be in love. She never had any intention of moving to the U.S. and in fact, they're both concerned about how much she'll miss her life and family in Mexico. Fernanda is moving to America on the K-1 visa because she wants to be with Jonathan.
So when she opens his car trunk at the airport and there's barely enough room for her luggage because Jonathan didn't clean it out, that's not great, but not a huge deal. When they get back to their first ever home together, and a storm has knocked the power out, it's not ideal, but unavoidable. When Jonathan says the new bed hasn't come so they’ll be sleeping on a couch for their first night together, Fernanda is a little mad, but tired enough to do it. And when she finds a woman's thong in Jonathan's dresser during the house tour…
She’s straight-up pissed. She's just arrived in a new country, she's worried about missing her family, and she says the one thing she asked Jonathan to do was clean out his apartment of things that would remind her of his lady-heavy past.
Fernanda is a jealous person, and it seems like she knows she's a jealous person, so she tries to ward it off. She wants to believe Jonathan's frantic explanation that this is an old dresser he hasn't gone through in years, but I didn't miss how his very first response was "Those are yours," and then quickly pivoted to "It's an old dresser." And she probably didn’t either…
When the premiere started, I thought Jonathan was a pretty handsome guy, but the longer it went on, the more I could not stop seeing that he looks exactly like The Situation from Jersey Shore. Crazy the difference two hours makes. We must protect Fernanda and Fernanda's new boobs at all costs — although it seems like she's pretty much got herself handled.
Stay tuned this week for some more x-tremely sp00ky Halloween content and 90 Day Fiance! And as always, please do pass this TATBT letter along to anyone who might want to pop a little more culture into their life. Unless, of course, they live with their mom and have a lot of cats, in which case, they probably will not respond very well to this — but I'll leave it up to your discretion :)