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90 Day Fiance: The Other Way premiere recap – TLC spinoff is our latest guilty pleasure

Jenny, Paul, Ronald, Tiffany and Corey from 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way
The 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way premiere promises that moving abroad to be with a loved one won’t be all fun and games. Pic credit: TLC

90 Day Fiance: The Other Way has finally made its debut and, to be honest, this latest TLC spinoff has the potential to be the best version of the series yet.

The premise is that, instead of bringing foreign partners to the U.S. in hopes of marrying them and getting them a green card, Americans are going “the other way” and moving to countries around the world in their quest for love.

For the first season of this exciting 90 Day Fiance spinoff, TLC is showing the journeys of six couples as they make this daring move with U.S. citizens moving to India, Qatar, Ecuador, South Africa, South Korea and Brazil.

To make things even more interesting, these couples won’t just have the challenge of getting to know each other in countries across the globe — as there have already been some shocking secrets revealed.

Not to mention, we also have two familiar faces on 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way Season 1 in Paul Staehle and Karine Martins, who have remained living in Brazil despite previous plans to move back home to Kentucky.

Jenny and Sumit

The series opens with Jenny from Palm Springs, California, who has fallen head over heels for Sumit, a man who is half her age and lives in India. She is, quite literally, quitting her job, cashing out her retirement and moving to live with Sumit with just two suitcases worth of belongings.

“What you do for love is sometimes unbelievable,” she says.

The first unbelievable thing that she does is go through her wardrobe and get rid of most of it because it’s much too revealing to wear once she’s living on the other side of the world. She’s trading in her spaghetti strap tank tops for saris and scarves.

Then comes the second shocker — Jenny and Sumit’s entire relationship was built based on a catfish situation. Initially, he introduced himself as a hot Brit named Michael who looked like a model. However, when Sumit did come clean, he said that he did it because he didn’t think she would like a 30-year-old Indian man who worked in a call center.

That didn’t deter Jenny, who finally Skyped with Sumit and thought he was pretty cute. She still didn’t tell her family that she was lied to about his identity and now, she’s trusting this man enough to sell everything and move across the world.

While meeting with her financial planner, Jenny revealed that she only has about $6,000 in savings. Not only that, but her plan to apply for social security and live off that might be derailed if she gives up her U.S. citizenship.

All in all, the financial planner tells her that she may be able to survive in India for about six to nine months on what she has. Rather than rethink the move, Jenny decides that, at 60 years old, she’ll just have to find a job once she gets there.

Cut to Sumit, who is 30 years old and still lives with his parents, grandparents and brother. He explains that if he were to get married, his parents expect him to move his wife in with them. Of course, they’d never expect him to marry a white woman from the U.S. who is twice his age.

In fact, when Jenny did come to visit, his family didn’t approve and even told him to get here out of there.

So instead of telling his family about Jenny, Sumit decides to lie to his parents about having a new job in another city so he can move there with Jenny and start a life away from them.

Sumit does tell the truth to his friends, though, and they think he’s crazy. His friends think Jenny would be too dependent on Sumit and he worries that she won’t adjust well to this new life.

With just one week before her move, Jenny meets up with her friends to let them know she’s moving to India. Naturally, they think she’s just as crazy as Sumit’s friends do and even joke about how they have kids older than him.

Tiffany and Ronald

Next up is Tiffany from Frederick, Maryland. She’s a makeup artist with an eight-year-old son who fell in love with a man in South Africa. Now, she’s planning to move there to be with Ronald, whose huge — as yet undisclosed — secret they have been keeping from her family.

Tiffany’s own big shocker is that, right before her eighteenth birthday, she gave birth to a baby boy that she didn’t even know she was pregnant with. It seems pretty unbelievable but, apparently, that can and did happen.

She met Ronald in South Africa after deciding to tag along with friends during a trip abroad. They hit it off really fast and quickly fell in love, but now Tiffany needs to come clean to her family because Ronald has a past and they’re probably not going to like it.

Despite still not telling Ronald’s big secret, Tiffany continues her plans to get married to him in just two weeks. Of course, they’re getting married in South Africa because he can’t even come to the U.S., which upsets her mother, who can’t be there for the wedding due to the cost and her own sick mother at home.

Cut to Ronald, who comes clean to 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way viewers about his secret…he has a gambling addiction that led to some jail time because he had an even nastier habit of robbing his own mother in order to fuel that habit.

Oh, but that’s not all! He also spent time in jail for a DUI conviction and they don’t even know where they will be living yet. This sounds like the perfect situation for Tiffany and her son.

The bigger issue here as that while filming the TLC show, Ronald had a relapse and had to head back to rehab. Because of that criminal record, the odds of him ever getting a U.S. visa are pretty slim. While she wants to bring him to the U.S., Ronald is resigned to spending his life with Tiffany in South Africa instead.

Tiffany finally sat down with her mom and told her the truth about Ronald. While her mom admits that this worries her even more, she seems to take the news really well. A lot better than most parents would.

Tiffany’s mom also takes it much better than the immigration lawyer that she visits, who seems to think that Ronald’s chances of getting into the U.S. are pretty grim considering his convictions and his admissions of guilt. It’s really looking like if she wants to be with him, she better get comfortable in South Africa.

Evelin and Corey

Corey is a 32-year-old Mormon who lives in Mill A, Washington on a compound with his parents. He fell in love with Evelin, a woman from Ecuador who lives in a small, poor community that doesn’t have great electricity or hot water.

Evelin has been staying with Corey in Washington for six months but doesn’t want to move to the U.S. so, instead, he’s giving up the comfortable life to go live with her in a town that he describes as “very third world.”

The two have been together for four years and Corey admits that he has been very generously helping her and her family in Ecuador and he’s invested $40,000 into their relationship and into businesses that he hopes will sustain them once he gets there.

As proof that Evelin and Corey are from totally different worlds, he starts talking about his Mormon faith and how important it is to him. Then she says she will never convert, not even for him.

At a family dinner, the subject of religion comes up again and Evelin makes it clear again, even using the c-word, as in cult.

Another point of contention in their relationship is her insistence that Corey should be the provider even though she doesn’t want kids.

Karine and Paul

Notorious 90 Day Fiance couple Karine and Paul are back on our screens in the newest spinoff, The Other Way. While we already know these two quite well, that doesn’t stop Paul from retelling their story.

Now that Karine is pregnant (or was during filming), there has been renewed interest in their story and all the quirks that make Paul (affectionately referred to as Pole by many 90 Day Fiance fans) just as entertaining as ever.

It turns out that Karine and Paul are staying in Brazil, at least for now. While it was looking grim for them right after their wedding, once Karine learned she was pregnant they decided to stick together and raise their baby as a family.

While still in the U.S., Paul is still working to eventually bring Karine to live there. The problem is, he’s not financially stable enough to meet the financial requirement and he’ll need a co-sponsor but his mom won’t step up. She tells him that she doesn’t want to sponsor Karine because she’s already “sponsoring” him.

Paul’s mom just might be more entertaining than fellow 90 Day Fiance star Colt Johnson’s mom Debbie in terms of entertainment value and telling it like it is. Because of his mom’s response, Paul tells her that he’s moving to Brazil and he’s never coming back.

Then, when it’s time to board the plane for Brazil, Paul learns that he can’t bring all of his stuff without paying some ridiculous fees so rather than leave some things behind, he cancels the whole ticket and puts his trip off for another 30 days so he can make sure to take everything with him as he still has no plans to ever come back.

We only met four of the six couples this week, and already 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way is off to a great start. Some of the new cast have qualities that remind us of other couples we’ve been watching for several seasons. Comparisons have been drawn to Nicole and Azan already, as well as Danielle and Mohamed.

It’s safe to say that watching these Americans give up everything to tough it out in some pretty questionable situations is going to be our new guilty pleasure, and already there are some clear signs that there will be a few train wrecks worth watching compulsively.

90 Day Fiance: The Other Way airs Mondays at 9/8c on TLC. 

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