viewing guide

Which 90 Day Fiancé Spinoffs Are Worth the Subscription?

Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photos by discovery+

Last year, I put together a carefully crafted and researched guide on the universe that is 90 Day Fiancé. Back then, we knew a world of new 90 Day spinoffs were in the works on the then-brand-new streaming app Discovery+. Now that Discovery+ is fully out in the world and all six new series have had time to make a name for themselves, I’m back with my own spinoff of that guide, to help usher you through even more new 90 Day Fiancé content.

First things first: If you’re here, you probably want to know if it’s worth it to pay an extra $4.99 a month for extra 90 Day Fiancé content, and I’m here to tell you that if 90 Day Fiancé is your favorite show or obsession, it’s absolutely worth it just for the extra footage and interviews. But if you’re content watching the original versions of the show as they air on TLC and you don’t need to know about the hand job Julia gave Brandon during season eight, there isn’t much that stands on its own.

Still, there are enough incredibly entertaining moments to make it at least worth the seven-day free trial. I have watched all of these new shows to help you make the most of that seven days, and to determine whether you want to continue on this app-based leg of your 90 Day excursion, though as before, it’s probably best (healthier) that you plan your own journey through this new world of 90 Day Fiancé. So let this be your supplementary travel guide through some of the best moments these spinoffs have to offer — or, if you insist on going the chronological route, the next steps in your full 90 Day Fiancé watch challenge.

90 Day Bares All

Premiered: January 4, 2021
Catalog: 14 episodes
Episode recommendations: 1 (“Brandon and Tarik”), 4 (“Molly, Rebecca, Jenny, Sumit”), 6 (“Darcey, Stacey, Cortney, David”)

The usual season-ending Shaun Robinson–hosted “Tell All” events have been expanded into a weekly show: Bares All. The Tell Alls are the best part of any season, so obviously Bares All is the best new spinoff. Airing after each Sunday’s new episode on TLC, Bares All feels like an aftershow where old couples comment on current couples and current couples talk about the latest episodes. Plus, since this is a streaming platform and Robinson is an incredible interviewer, things also get X-rated and awkward.

The above episodes will guide you through some of the season’s best moments: Cortney trying to explain mukbang to a thoroughly confused Robinson; Cortney trying to order chicken from an Italian restaurant; the above-mentioned Julia and Brandon hand job; David literally falling on his face; Robinson dutifully dancing as Tarik performs a rap song for her; and some wild scenes that were cut from Jenny and Sumit’s story line. If those names mean nothing to you, this isn’t the spinoff for you; Bares All requires a Ph.D. in 90 Day Fiancé history to be properly enjoyed.

90 Day Diaries

Premiered: January 4, 2021
Catalog: 6 episodes
Episode recommendations: “Life Goes On,” “Quarantine Baby,” “Ready, Set, Go,” “In With the New,” “First and Foes”

90 Day Diaries is based on the most unhinged spinoff, 90 Day: Self-Quarantined, but it isn’t nearly as wild. 90 Day Diaries continues to let couples film themselves as they navigate life during COVID-19. Since people aren’t doing very interesting things in lockdown, the show isn’t very exciting, but if you’re curious what arguments Andrei and Elizabeth or any of the couples have had in quarantine, 90 Day Diaries will tell you. There are some updates from couples we haven’t heard from in a while, like Syngin and Tania, but unless you’re just dying to know what these people have been doing in the house, there isn’t much to engage with. Although, if your favorite part of the franchise is tense arguments between people forced to stay in a contained space, this is the spinoff for you.

90 Day Journey

Premiered: January 4, 2021
Catalog: 16 seasons
Season recommendations: Danielle & Mohamed, Nicole & Azan, Jorge & Anfisa, Darcey, Angela & Michael, Chantel & Pedro, Ed & Rose, David & Annie

By now, most people know the best way to watch 90 Day Fiancé is to pick a favorite couple and follow them across the universe of the franchise. The problem with that is, in the process, you still waste a lot of time watching hours of couples you don’t care about. 90 Day Journey solves that problem by pulling some of the show’s best couples into their own seasons and just cutting to the good stuff. Seasons range from five to 19 episodes, so it’s still a time investment for sure,  but if you want an easy way to understand all the Darcey and Tom jokes or what Big Ed’s deal is, this is the best way to jump into the series for new viewers. If you’ve been wanting to start 90 Day Fiancé, but you require more background than the seasons currently airing on TLC provide, 90 Day Journey is worth the subscription. Also, it’s probably the best way to indoctrinate your friends into the 90 Day Fiancé family.

The Other Way Strikes Back

Premiered: January 4, 2021
Catalog: 8 episodes
Episode recommendations: 4 (“It’s Possible”), 5 (“Out of the Frying Pan”), 8 (“No Translation Needed”)

We covered the Strikes Back spinoff in our other 90 Day guide, and back then I wasn’t completely convinced The Other Way Strikes Back would be better than the Happily Ever After or B90 variations. But the success of Strikes Back depends on how funny and clever the participating cast is. With TOW Strikes Back, Kenneth and Armando and Jenny and Sumit do most of the work to hold the season down. The format hasn’t changed — it’s still couples responding to tweets and opinions shared about them on Pillow Talk — but it’s a nice continuation of The Other Way’s best season.

Love Games

Premiered: February 14, 2021
Catalog: 17 episodes
Episode recommendations: “Booty Play”

Love Games is 90 Day Fiancé’s answer to The Newlywed Game, except couples aren’t just quizzed on each other, they also sometimes have to answer random trivia about U.S. history or geography. Love Games suffers the most from its Zoom-recording format — it’s hard not to get the sense while watching that this would be a lot more fun if everyone was in a studio together. But at least this lets a lot of old couples, like Kyle and Noon, Larry and Jenny, and Brett and Daya, come back for updates. Sukanya Krishnan makes a great host and keeps the energy going, but frankly, even as someone obsessed with 90 Day Fiancé, there are simply things I do not need to know about these people. In “Booty Play,” for example, we learn Michael was breastfed until he was 10 and this is an important factor in his relationship with Angela. I will spare you the details, because I could’ve gone my whole life without knowing this information. If you read that and went, “Well, actually, I am very curious about the details of Michael and Angela’s boob play,” then this is the spinoff for you.

90 Day Fiancé: The Single Life

Premiered: February 21, 2021
Catalog: 8 episodes + Pillow Talk
Episode recommendations: “Slay as a Divorcee”

90 Day Fiancé struggles when it chooses to focus on couples who aren’t interesting or believably in love, and that choice plagues Single Life. It doesn’t help that most of the dates in the show feel staged. Colt attends a speed-dating event where you can almost feel producers begging him to share his shortcomings. Brittany could barely pull off her fake relationship with Yazan on The Other Way, and her acting falls short here as she pretends to be interested in two guys she clearly doesn’t care about. There is some good, though, and that’s entirely thanks to Big Ed, Molly, and Danielle. They’re all incredibly genuine, but when it comes to Big Ed and Danielle, it’s almost too hard to watch their awkward dates. Although in the recommended episode, Danielle has a reunion with Mohamed that’s perhaps one of the least cringey scenes they’ve ever shared. Molly comes out as the champion of the show. Her journey to open herself up again in a new relationship while dealing with kids is truly inspiring. Especially after we saw how badly her ex ruined her life in Happily Ever After. Oh, there’s also Pillow Talk episodes with this spinoff, and those are honestly better than watching the actual episodes, if you just want the highlights with fun commentary.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the current episode counts.

Which 90 Day Fiancé Spinoffs Are Worth the Subscription?