Say I Do poster

Say I Do

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Why it’s worth your time:

Inspiring, love-filled, and will give you hope for humanity.

Say I Do is a remarkable example of a new trend in reality TV: vulnerability. Similar To Queer Eye, the show involves a group of gay men––Jeremiah Brent, Thai Nguyen, and Gabriele Bertaccini –– who use their skills to help someone find confidence during a difficult time in their life.  Yet in this case, each episode centers around a couple’s love story.

The twist? One half of the duo thinks that the camera crew is there to document the story of their relationship. The other is secretly planning the wedding of their dreams –– something that couldn’t happen before because of health, financial, or familial reasons –– with Jeremiah, Thai, and Gabriele.

Wedding party scene

I kid you not, I cried multiple times per episode. This is largely due to the open-heartedness of the hosts, who so clearly want each couple to feel confident and celebrated on their wedding day. To help that happen, Gabriele, Thai, and Jeremiah all empathize with the stories of the couples, and then bravely share parts of their own life story. It’s the best example of skillful listening that I have ever seen on television.

Netflix Say I Do hosts

The day after I binged the series, I couldn’t stop thinking about one particular scene. In it, the hosts bring the couple –– two gay men ––  to a storytelling show for LGBTQIA folks. This was particularly impactful because one of the men was struggling to accept his gayness, and couldn’t even hold his fiancee’s hand in public. I was struck by the open emotionality of the group as they listened to the brave storytellers. Not only did they cry without shame, they also hugged and expressed love for each other. That’s a rare thing for men on TV, and one that I hope to see more of.

The takeaway:

Watching Say I Do made me realize how rare true vulnerability, and healthy emotional expression in general, is in reality television. I was blown away by how many unspoken taboos their team broke throughout the series, from discussing the shame of a learning disability to the long-term impacts of growing up in a dysfunctional family. The show gives me hope for a future of TV where deep and meaningful conversations are the norm.

Watch it with:

Anyone who needs a good cry sesh. (Or someone you want to have a difficult conversation with, and you don’t know where to start.)

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