A Reality Show Presents the Pitfalls of Marrying for Money

‘Marrying Millions’ allows viewers to delight in judging these couples, then judges us for judging them



Katie and Colton form one of the odd couples featured in “Marrying Millions.”

 Lifetime’s Marrying Millions reality show is a captivating, over-dramatized, ridiculous look into modern day standards of a “normal” relationship.  

The producers start every season by introducing a set of couples that differ heavily in financial status, age, financial status, family and… mostly financial status. 

The first season’s odd cast of couples feature Bill (sixty-year-old millionaire) and Brianna (twenty-one and not a millionaire). Sean (an old money millionaire who concedes to marriage to please his girlfriend) and Megan (a middle-class woman who refuses to sign a prenup). Katie (a millionaire mom with terrible plastic surgery) and Kolton (Katie’s daughter’s best friend). Most of the relationships are at least a year old, and as the title suggests, they’re looking to get married.

The show focuses mainly on the shallow, exaggerated, rigid dynamic of each relationship and how each partner’s friends react to it. However, if you look a little deeper into a show no one would think ever has any kind of intelligent social commentary, it shines a light on  the predisposition we all have to judge others’ relationships. 

Bill and Brianna are one of the best examples of this dynamic— Bill, the sixty-year-old self-made millionaire living in Dallas’s high society and Brianna, the middle-class twenty-one-year-old who claims she’s attracted to Bill, not his millions.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the show revolves around the question of who actually loves who, who’s in it for money, and who’s in it for the more superficial aspect of the relationship. However, if you’re able to look past the ludicrous drama that entangles each couple’s journey to marriage, it can be quite an interesting example of how strict many of us are when it comes to how we define a “normal” relationship. 

It always shocks me just how blatantly mean each couple’s friends are, even though I completely understand their disapproval.

The awkward differences in financial status and familial bond between Bill and Brianna are most apparent in a scene where Bill’s rich friends and, for some reason, his ex-wife attend a house party with Brianna’s family. Each group mostly keeps to themselves the entire night, and the few times they do mingle it typically ends in a fight. 

Even Bill’s own friends drop subtle hints of disapproval. Bill’s steakhouse dinner with his Dallas friends turned into an argument with phrases like “not remotely okay” and “disgusting” being thrown around the table.

Even though I completely agree that it is not anywhere near normal for a sixty-year-old to date a twenty-one-year-old, I feel  pretty bad for Bill and Brianna. Sure, they might not be truly in love. Bill might be in it to boost his ego with a young pretty girl by his side and Brianna might just love Bill’s money, but it’s not our relationship, so who cares? And heck, maybe they are actually in love.

It always shocks me just how blatantly mean each couple’s friends are, even though I completely understand their disapproval. My feeling is it’s not my relationship, and if they’re both happy, I couldn’t care less.

Marrying Millions is in its second season, and it’s not getting any less ridiculous. The initial reasons one might be drawn to the show are the same reasons my girlfriend and I were first interested in it: the absurd level of  inflated drama and massive problems in each relationship. That being said,  Marrying Millions might just be the hidden gem that exposes just how rigid our society is about love.