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Why MAFS Australia is one of the most complained about TV shows on social media

‘MAFS’ Australia is the second most negatively critiqued show on social media… or at least its participants are heavily criticised.

Married At First Sight is back on our screens and throughout all the love, drama, tantrums and tears, research has revealed it is one of the most complained about shows on Australian television.

Researchers at Australian discounts platform Wethrift looked at the top 10 reality shows on Australian screens to find out which ones are most criticised and most complained about by viewers.

The list of 10 includes The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, The Voice, Bondi Rescue, My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef, and Love Island.

But the show that made it to the number one spot of most critiqued and complained about is Netflix’s Back With The Ex. Going by its title, it’s no wonder Back With The Ex sparks controversial viewer opinions, since the series showcases emotional reunions: four singles reconnecting with their exes in attempt to reignite their romantic pasts.

‘Back With The Ex’ tends to bring out the worst in armchair critics on social media.

Whilst the show tends to make headlines, in this case, not all publicity is good publicity, with nextweb.com, for example, screaming “Back with the Ex is definitely Netflix’s worst original show”. One in every six posts about the show is negative.

Coming in at a close second is Married At First Site, where nearly one in six posts and subsequent comments are fairly negative, if not outright condemning.

It seems people can’t stop talking about MAFS, with all its juicy fallouts, continual betrayals and half-blossomed romances ultimate making way for heartbreak. Surprisingly, most water-cooler chats about the show are positive, however there are a few culprits in the series causing tons of judgmental tweets on social media. We won’t name names here – you know who they are!

Even when media watch dogs were called in last year about complaints that the relationship between Bryce Ruthven and Melissa Rawson was an abusive one, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said: “In the case of the PG-classified episodes [we] found themes within the programs, including social conflict, were carefully handled, and included extensive critiquing and positive aspects of the relationships. This resulted in the overall impact of the content not exceeding mild impact.”

So the show is not too naughty that ACMA has to give it a slap on the wrist.

The last ‘Bachelor’ to cop the big criticism.


Continuing on the romance theme (or lack thereof), The Bachelorette Australia and The Bachelor Australia both earn one negative comment in 10, with the former sinking to its lowest ratings yet, attracting just 249,000 viewers at last count, and the latter showing it has a diversity problem.

Many online zines have noted that ‘The Bachelor’ has featured only 16 non-white cover stars across 148 covers in two years. 

To a different genre of reality TV, The Voice has seen almost 1 in 10 comments being negative, making it one of the most positively critiqued shows. As viewers watch one contestant win $100k and a record deal, viewers appear to have mostly support for powerhouse singers that make it through to the top (eg: fans had nothing but positive support for last season’s Bella Taylor Smith) and judge’s names being pretty big (next month’s line-up has been confirmed, with coaches Keith Urban, Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and Rita Ora all returning for the 2022 season).

Bondi Rescue receives only three in 50 negative posts, strange since antics on the show are always sparking headlines. Of course, those headlines are mostly positive since lifeguards on the show are saving lives. It does seem, though, that people aren’t talking so much about the programme anymore. Let’s hope it’s down to fewer people needing to be saved!

On the culinary front, My Kitchen Rules also receives three in 50 negative posts, and while there hasn’t been much of positive or negative opinion around it, rumours are that Nigella Lawson and axed MasterChef judge George Calombaris are the hot tips to host the new season, which may spark some gossip.

‘My Kitchen’ pretty much rules in positive commentary on social media, receiving much less criticism than shows in the ‘relationship’ genre.

MasterChef is a little more controversial with two in every 20 posts being negative. The show has experienced the same decline in viewer figures along the lines of The Bachelor, falling by 40 per cent. 

Finally, Love Island Australia is one of the most talked-about shows online, earning just one negative post in every 25. Whilst drama and arguments unfold on the show, it is generally the most positively talked about Aussie reality show.

Antonino Tati

THE TOP 10:

AUSTRALIA’S MOST COMPLAINED ABOUT REALITY TV SHOWS

01. Back With The Ex

02. MAFS Australia

03. Making it Australia

04. The Bachelorette Australia

05. The Bachelor Australia

06. The Voice Australia

07. Bondi Rescue

08. My Kitchen Rules

09. Masterchef Australia

10. Love Island Australia

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