All posts tagged: show shape

The Problems That Marriage Can’t Fix

The Problems That Marriage Can’t Fix

As a woman in my 30s, I am often besieged by a peculiar kind of sponsored content in my social-media feeds. Posts from the jewelry company Brilliant Earth implore me to pick a favorite engagement ring so that the brand can digitally “drop a hint” to my significant other. To quote an ancient Twitter proverb, I would rather eat a denim jacket. But despite my personal aversion to letting a corporation telegraph my hypothetical desire to get engaged, I can’t seem to look away from Netflix’s The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On—a reality series in which people hoping to tie the knot essentially let the show shape the trajectory of their nuptials. Couples come to The Ultimatum at an impasse. One partner wants to be married, and one partner is dragging their feet. At the outset of the series, they break up, date other participants for a week, and then pick a different partner to cohabitate with in a three-week trial marriage. When those three weeks end, they switch back to their original partner for …