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‘Married By Mom and Dad’ Series Premiere Recap: The Parents Play the Field

Married By Mom and Dad's Christina Rollyson and her parents Derrald and BeckyChristina Rollyson and her parents Derrald and Becky during the series premiere of TLC's Married By Mom and Dad. Credit: TLC

The series premiere of Married By Mom and Dad, which aired December 13, introduced a new version of an old concept: the arranged marriage in a digital age.

Four single men and women from around the country are relinquishing their singlehood and putting the fate of their future in their parents’ hands. In an effort to find the perfect spouse for their adult children, the moms and dads view dozens of profile videos, narrowing the field down to just two or three potential mates. Once the parents have determined who will be “the one” for their son or daughter, they will pop the question on their behalf. Will this approach prove to result in modern day romance or a match made in hell? We can’t be sure, but we’re about to find out. We met three of the four singles and their families on the premiere episode…

Marivic Febiar: This 34-year old nurse from New York has “exhausted every possibility” in her dating life. She lives at home with her parents, Manny and Edna, not because she has to but because she sees no reason not to. Her parents have been married for 37-yeaars, and now Marivic is ready to settle down and start a new life. Losing her brother has had a major impact on how she sees the future, and she doesn’t want to “lose another moment.”

Marivic’s mom and dad manage to choose three men they would like to “date” prior to making the ultimate decision. They’re hoping to find marriage potential in bachelors Donny, Ben, and Steve. Upon first meeting Donny, they are surprised he is short and bald. Although the hip-hop artist/entrepreneur brings flowers and a gift for his potential future in-laws, they question his sincerity. In the end, they both decide Donny is not a good match for their daughter. Hopefully the blind parent dates with Ben and Steve will go off without a hitch, and soon Marivic will be walking down the aisle to her happily ever after.

Mitch Sargent: A wine expert from California, this 30-year old hunk is ready to start a family and be a “young, cool dad.” His family’s dynamic is a unique one, as his mother and father, Eileen and Charlie, are divorced, and his dad is now engaged to April, an old friend from their high school years. Although all of the parents are nervous to move through the Married By Mom and Dad process together, they all want what’s best for Mitch. The groom-to-be confesses to his friends that he’s going to marry a stranger. Although they all think he’s crazy, they stand by his side, offering a toast “to the bride we don’t know.”

Although the parents don’t all initially agree on who the best potential matches are for Mitch, they finally settle on three: Martha, Rebecca, and Emily. When the moms and dad meet Martha, Mitch’s dad holds nothing back, asking about her debt and how important she rates sex in a marriage. All of the parents appear to be thrilled when Martha states that on a scale from one to ten, she gives the importance of sex a perfect ten. Unfortunately, the potential bride has a wine allergy, which could be a problem since Mitch makes a living as a sommelier. We’re not quite sure she’s interested anyway; she described the meeting as an “official job interview.”

Upon meeting Rebecca, there are mixed emotions and tension is in the air. Mitch’s mom views the writer and travel-lover as more of a friend-type for her son than a suitable candidate for daughter-in-law, but his dad’s wife disagrees. Rebecca states that she feels like she’s “in an interrogation room,” making us wonder if the parents may be doing more harm than good. We’re hopeful that Mitch will indeed meet his match, but it’s going to take a very special girl to willingly join this family.

Christina Rollyson: This highly-driven 33-year old lives in Charleston, South Carolina. She owns a travel agency, invests in real estate, and has a love for ballroom dancing. Sadly, her love life has not been as successful as her career, so she calls on her dad, Darrel, and stepmom, Becky, to find the perfect guy.

When her parents come to visit from West Virginia, the family goes to taste-test wedding cake. Christina’s dad does his infamous “cake dance,” and the bride-to-be admits that she wants to wait and meet her future husband at the altar.

The first potential husband Christina’s parents meet is Brett, a 30-year old chiropractor. He’s a health and fitness enthusiast who invites the parents into his home, and Christina’s father is impressed that Brett used to play football for Michigan State. The could-be-groom serves the parents lunch and gives them gifts. We’re thinking he’s a keeper, but we’ll have to wait to see if this cutie makes the cut.

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'