This season on Couples Therapy, theres a lot of drama in the house thanks to the incredibly diverse and occasionally divisive personalities that have been cast. One couple, reality veterans Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord, have offered to review and recap each episode of the season to tell us the truth about the way things really were and what they think of the therapy process. This week was the season finale, and Alex has a few closing remarks about what we saw, what we didn’t see, and how glad she is to have done the show, despite her critics and her own doubts.
Wow, time flies. I can’t quite believe we’re here at the end of the season already! Simon has asked me to blog here this week, and his thoughts are on our family website here.
Overall, I’m very happy we said yes to this show. Both Simon and I were nervous — should we air our dirty laundry in public, should we subject ourselves to reality TV again, should we allow ourselves to be cut off from the outside world for three weeks? Should we, should we, etc.
After four seasons of a docu-soap show, we worried that the reality we lived while shooting would wind up looking unrecognizable on TV. That didn’t happen. We worried that we would open up an emotional can of worms during therapy that would leave our relationship worse off than before. That didn’t happen either. One thing we did not worry about was viewers wondering why we would do the show. We needed this, and we got a lot out of it. Much of our lives is very public, so why not show real struggles with solutions that people can relate to, versus manufactured drama?
I was thrilled to see JoJo attend an AA meeting — there’s a long road ahead to recovery for him but I hope for his sake that he sticks with it, or keeps trying. Tiny continues to awe me with her strength. While I would love to march Todd and Monica down the aisle, that is their decision — after this experience I think it will be an informed one. Shayne and Nik have had a dramatic, emotional history and that will likely continue, but the beauty of Nik’s romantic proposal and their moving vow renewal is something that will stick in their minds (and mine) forever as a great example of choosing to embrace love even when it looks a little different than you’d planned. As for Doug, Krista and Courtney. I wish them luck. If Dr. Jenn’s goal in their case was to shine a light on some issues, I think that was reached. What they do with the info is entirely up to them.
When you film 24/7 for three weeks, there’s a lot of footage that just doesn’t make it. I don’t envy the editors for the tough decisions they have to make in deciding what stays and goes.I’m sorry we missed seeing both of Simon’s and my dates — we had a dinner out and a flying trapeze session at sunset. One of the things I struggle with post-reality-TV is trusting others — when I literally put my life in the hands of a trapeze artist I had never met, letting go of the bar and trusting he’d catch me, that was huge. I would have loved to have seen the Slip-N-Slide that Nik made out of yoga mats on the lawn, the truly huge breakthrough Doug had with his childhood, and more of Todd and Monica. Shayne brought out some tarot cards one night and shocked us all (in a good way).Amidst all of these moments, therapy was happening constantly, not only with Dr. Jenn but also with Dr. Mike Dow, Tom Carouso, Rachel Clark and Sarah Novia all providing insight, sounding boards and support throughout the process.
Finally, I’d like to thank the folks at Irwin Entertainment for making a great show. Because I had so little trust in the reality TV process, I tortured them a little — at one point causing a producer to say he felt like the guy you date after a bad relationship, having to constantly prove he’s not a bad guy. Well, you proved it. This was a positive and useful experience, and I’m so glad we did it.
If you’d like to see more of us, you can currently catch me Mondays on Better TV’s MomTales and Tuesdays hosting a reality TV recap for Celebuzz. Both of us are on http://www.mccordvankempen.com, where we’ll keep you posted about our further adventures.