One of the seven new couples joining 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days is meeting up in Turkey.
Despite some overlapping plans and a familiar name, Caleb Greenwood and Alina Kasha will be nothing like those other two.
Caleb and Alina are childhood friends who recently reconnected, and between Alina’s disability and some questions of trust, we’re excited to see their storyline.
Ahead of this weekend’s season premiere, we’re already being treated to a sneak peek clip.
Caleb and Alina are both 27 years old, and were first friends as teenagers before losing touch.
Thirteen years later, they have found each other again through a coincidental match on a dating app ahead of Caleb’s planned trip to Russia.
Though that trip fell through, sparks have been flying between these adults … but will they have the same chemistry in person?
As this sneak peek begins, that is exactly what Caleb is wondering.
The emotional bond that he shares with Alina cannot be overstated.
We can even see hints of that in their messaging history.
But he is clearly getting impatient to see if they remain as close in person, which is why they are taking the trip to Turkey.
Russia’s borders are closed — so they have the same reason for holding back as Steven and (the other) Alina did.
As we noted, this story will be very different from those two.
In the trailer, we see Alina modeling in a glamorous burlesque look.
She looks amazing, and it’s wonderful to see that her friends are there to support her.
Asya and Elijah are ooh-ing and ahh-ing as their friend’s photoshoot continues.
Alina explains that her interest in burlesque is recent, and is in part rooted in burlesques embrace of different types of bodies.
She was born, she explains, with diastrophic dysplasia.
This is a rare form of dwarfism, and can lead to numerous medical complications that more common forms generally do not.
Alina is unable to walk or to stand for long periods of time.
She relies primarily upon a wheelchair for mobility.
“I don’t think disability is a problem,” Alina remarks. “In many areas of my life, I try to do everything, really.”
Alina is also in a band, BFF Band, with two of her besties.
Her friend Elijah is also part of that band, and the two are currently roommates.
In fact, we already know from previous trailers that Elijah will be accompanying her on her trip to Turkey.
The plan is that Caleb and Alina will meet up in Turkey and spend two weeks with one another.
During that time, they will figure out if their emotional connection remains intact in person.
There is some subtext here that is familiar to many in the disabled community who try to navigate the dating world.
Sometimes, ableism is a force stronger than love, and a combination of beauty standards and lifestyle habits keeps two people apart.
It is very natural for someone with a visible disability to worry about two things: rejection and chasers.
There are no indications that Caleb rejects Alina upon seeing her in person or that he is fetishizing (or “chasing”) her for her disability, so that is good.
Considering the kind of appalling portrayal of Ella from the trailer, we’d probably know by now if that’s where there storyline is headed.
Meanwhile, it looks like their actual story is going to include real questions of trust.
We’re excited to see it unfold … and we hope that audiences are kinder to Alina than they have been to so many other women from the show.
Season 5 premieres on Sunday, December 12 on TLC and on Discovery Plus.
Caleb and Alina are just one out of seven brand new couples, meaning that we’re being introduced to 13 new stars … and reintroduced to Usman Umar.
It’s time to get excited!