Warning! The following contains spoilers for the latest 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way episode, "Facing Fears." Read at your own risk!
When 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way first introduced Kenneth "Kenny" Niedermeier and Armando Rubio, I joined many other fans in waiting for either shoe to drop. TLC's reality franchise is known for its overtly messy couples, and yet 90 Day's first gay couple has so far seemed wildly different from other stars. Now, after Season 3's fifth episode, I think it's high time for TLC and the series' producers to prioritize seeking out more couples like Kenny and Armando.
The best evidence backing this argument came when Armando finally met with his father following Kenny's move from Florida to Mexico. Armando knew his dad had trouble accepting his gay lifestyle, and so they had a heart-to-heart that ended in tears, along with his father's acceptance of his relationship with Kenny. It was a moment that was not only emotional but felt both relatable and like something any couple watching could relate to, regardless of their sexual preferences.
Most storylines in 90 Day Fiancé border on the outlandish, despite the testament that viewers are witnessing real events from the participating couples' actual lives. Be that as it may, the average viewer may have an easier time relating to Kenny and Armando's story of searching for acceptance, rather than Jenny Slatton and Sumit Singh's ongoing war with his parents about marrying a woman 29 years his elder. It also may be more relatable than Ariela Weinberg and Biniyam Shibre, who recently wrapped up an awkward week-long visit from her best friend and ex-husband.
Kenny and Armando are not just proof that 90 Day Fiancé can highlight healthy couples' struggles, but that the problems these less chaotic couples have can be just as entertaining and riveting as the dysfunctional relationships. Watching Armando's father break down in tears and embrace his son was one of the most tender moments this franchise has delivered in quite some time, to the point that it almost felt like another series entirely. I quite liked that and think this storyline and others like it are just as valuable to the overall longevity of this brand and its never-ending spinoffs.
Of course, the reality is that 90 Day Fiancé stories like Kenny and Armando are few and far between. More often than not, viewers are given the Angela Deem and Michael Ilesanmi couples, as we see them navigate through situations that don't always tackle the same issues that many couples deal with. Those storylines are kind of what put 90 Day Fiancé on the radar of mainstream audiences, to be fair, but as the series continues to mature, perhaps TLC can use Kenny and Armando as a blueprint for other kinds of couples to seek out.
90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way airs on TLC on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET. For more on the franchise, be sure to read up on the latest divorce rumors in the franchise, and which long-running couple may be done.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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