The season premiere of Married To Medicine airs September 1st on Bravo at 8/7C. Here, author Michael Arceneaux explains why the reality series is the Beyoncé of the Bravo network.
Earlier this year, my beloved Bravo series, Married to Medicine, was moved to Friday nights, and typically, Friday nights are considered the hospice care of television programming. So when the show was removed from the poppin’ Sunday bloc and rescheduled for Friday—a night most of us spend thotting and bopping, Netflix and chilling, or pretending to go out only to fall asleep by 10:47 p.m. EST—I naturally panicked.
I am admittedly a little late to Married to Medicine, a reality show that follows the lives of women who are doctors or who are married to doctors. When I first heard about it, I wasn’t sure what to make of a show that seemed a lot like The Real Housewives of OB/GYN and Orthodontics.
And while I was riveted by the sight of Toya and Mariah fighting in ball gowns as Mariah’s mama, Ms. Lucy, jumps in to beat Toya down with her purse, it wasn’t enough to truly reel me in. After all, whose mama isn’t fighting on a reality show at this point? But once I got into the second season and beyond, I was hooked.
Case in point, all of this happened in the second season: a doctor’s wife wants to adopt a child but her selfish husband rules it out; a doctor’s wife wants her man to get a hair transplant ‘cause she can’t take all of that extra skin on his head; a doctor’s wife launches a puppy couture line; doctors’ wives who oddly behave exactly like 78% of the gay Black men you’ve met in your life go at each other over nothing.
The third season was interesting, too. Like, we got to see a married doctor being a thot, laying it low and spreading it wide all over the metropolitan Atlanta area, and more mess.
However, the fourth and fifth seasons are when this show became far more engaging than its reality show contemporaries.
It’s somewhat over simplistic to say the show got “realer,” but there’s something to be said when a show that is usually about spectacle and grossly superficial fights depicts the cast navigating more severe issues. In the case of Dr. Simone, it was her father going missing and her friends and castmates, Quad and Dr. Jackie, literally traveling with her to find him—to devastating results.
It’s Toya, and her husband, Dr. Eugene, projecting this lavish lifestyle on camera only to be slapped with a heavy bill from the IRS. Most of all, though, it’s watching many of their marriages crumble in real time.
We’ve seen marital rift on reality shows, but arguably never in this way.
There is a candor there that you simply do not find on television anywhere else. And while, yes, it does have very serious overtones, the show is hysterical.
Because last season was so phenomenal, and because the show has been so consistently good (more consistently than The Real Housewives of Atlanta, TBH), I will never know why it was moved to Friday nights for a time.
Having said that, on an episode of Watch What Happens Live earlier this year, Andy Cohen tells the guests of the night, Married to Medicine cast members Dr. Simone and Dr. Jackie: “People are always asking me what’s the best show on Bravo right now. Right now, Vanderpump Rules and Married to Medicine.” He went on to add, “Married to Medicine is some of the realest stuff I’ve seen on a reality show ever.”
I’m late to Vanderpump Rules, but after having seen some episodes, I totally get it.
Even so, I still think Married to Medicine is better, but more importantly, I’m glad Married to Medicine is back on Sunday nights where it belongs.
No shade to anything airing on Friday night, but these women have made the show the Beyoncé of the network and it should be treated accordingly.
The season premiere of Married To Medicine airs tonight on Bravo at 8/7C. The episode is called “Get Your Sexy Back,” which is wonderfully Black auntie. And based on one of the previews floating around, you can be sure that mess is waiting for you. By the way, I promise no one has offered me a free teeth cleaning, Invisalign hookup, physical, or pap smear for me or my friend if I write this. I just love hard.
Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.