The 90 Day Fiancé Franchise Is Circling the Drain, and These Are the Signs

Natalie Mordovtseva 90 Day Fiancé
90 Day Fiancé/YouTube

Discontent has been steadily brewing among 90 Day Fiancé fans for some time now. Viewers seem to be more displeased than ever, and all across social media are complaints about the once-beloved franchise. 90 Day Fiancé has attracted die-hard fans for years, but some would argue that the series has peaked. Each season seems to draw more criticism and comments from fans wishing for the good old days of the franchise.

TLC is clearly banking heavily on the 90 Day Fiancé franchise as one of its core properties. The series and its spin-offs still attract high ratings, so as long as it’s making money, the network will continue to pump out more seasons. But the franchise could be at a tipping point. How much longer will the franchise’s hardcore fanbase tolerate TLC ignoring their complaints?

There are several signs that the 90 Day Fiancé franchise is past its prime, and viewers can expect subsequent seasons to disappoint from here on out.

TLC Is Bombarding Fans With Content

The 90 Day Fiancé franchise started with the original show, 90 Day Fiancé, before expanding with several spin-offs. Back then, TLC would only air one “core” 90 Day Fiancé franchise show at a time. 90 Day Fiancé, Happily Ever After?, Before the 90 Days, and The Other Way, became the franchise’s big four, and TLC doled them out back-to-back, but one at a time.

But times have changed, and many would argue, not for the better. Recently, TLC has flooded fans with franchise content. While Before the 90 Days Season 6 was airing, the network surprised viewers with another season of The Other Way, just a few weeks after the previous one ended. TLC is also airing 90 Day: The Last Resort, and will soon be bringing back 90 Day Fiancé Season 10 as well.

So what’s the reason that TLC is shoving so much 90 Day Fiancé down our throats? It seems like the network is drunk on the sheer amount of content they’ve filmed and aren’t hesitating to throw it all our way at once. It’s not the best scheduling strategy, as many fans have complained about franchise burnout. Overwhelming viewers with content is diluting the franchise and lowering anticipation. It’s hard to get excited for a new season when you’re still in the middle of another.

Viewers Have Grown Wise to Production Tricks

In the early days, the concept of the franchise was new to fans, as were the storylines they were seeing and the way TLC presented them. But now, viewers have caught on to patterns. After so many seasons, it feels like we’ve seen it all. Die-hard fans can spot a Green Card hunter or catfishing storyline from a mile away (okay, maybe Ben and Mahogany threw us for a loop).

Viewers have also grown adept at spotting production tricks like staged situations and misleading editing, which the 90 Day Fiancé franchise seems to be doing more and more of. The authenticity of the franchise is quickly slipping, and it’s only irritating viewers more. A good show keeps fans guessing and 90 Day Fiancé is failing to do so.

The Franchise Is Straying Away From Its Core Concept

Part of 90 Day Fiancé’s success is how well defined its concept is. 90 Day Fiancé focused on the K-1 visa process, Before the 90 Days focused on couples who hadn’t met yet, and The Other Way featured couples where the American partner moves abroad. All of the franchise’s shows made sense and were easy to follow.

However, somewhere along the line, the concept has muddied. Many of the American cast members on The Other Way in recent seasons don’t seem committed to the idea of moving. There also isn’t much rhyme or reason when it comes to returning cast members and the shows they return on. For example, Why have Kenny Niedermeier and Armando Rubio returned on another season of The Other Way when their former castmates, Jenny Slatten and Sumit Singh, returned on Happily Ever After?

The further the franchise moves away from its core concept, the more confusing it gets to watch because the shows begin to bleed together. This is especially a problem when TLC airs multiple franchise shows at once. It’s easy to get The Other Way and Before the 90 Days confused when they both feature relationships abroad, often with couples meeting for the first time.

Though many fans aren’t willing to call it quits on their beloved franchise, most would probably agree that 90 Day Fiancé isn’t what it once was. TLC has dropped the ball in more ways than one, and a reassessment is certainly in order.


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