This is not a rom-com: Why the Four Weddings and a Funeral series is such a disappointment to fans of the film

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Edit: the below is based at the first four episodes, which at the time of writing I was under the impression was the whole miniseries. There’s now 5 episodes out and according to iMDB there’ll 10 all up (miniseries?). Although it’s clear I’m not really enjoying the show, I’m happy to catch up when it’s finished to see if my comments about pacing and character development still stand. I’m really glad ‘the end’ was not the end.

Edit the second: I finished it. It improved, but I still didn’t like it.

Well, look at the image above. We have to give them some points for vastly improving the diversity.

But was anything else an improvement? Four Weddings And A Funeral is probably not in my top 5 rom coms (if you’re wondering at the top 2 spots, it’s When Harry Met Sally and Bridget Jones’s Diary) but it’s certainly in the top 10. I love spending time with the characters, but the execrable acting from Andie MacDowell puts me off a little.

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*head explodes*

I’m just saying this movie put me off Andie MacDowell until she popped up in the greatest film of the last ten years, Magic Mike XXL, and I was given no choice but to stan.

Spoilers abound for the series below, btw.

So it turns out that Andie MacDowell provides our extremely tenuous link to the original film, as the mother of Rebecca Rittenhouse’s Ainsley.  We don’t discover this until episode 3, when she turns up to cut Ainsley off from the family money. This is all terrifically mysterious as quite recently in the diegesis Ainsley had a failed wedding, crossing over episode 1 in to episode 2, which apparently her parents decided….not to attend? It was quite a large wedding. It makes no sense. But nonetheless, there’s your connection.
(Note: Andie’s character is credited as “Mrs Howard” and not Carrie so….who knows, tbh. Given Carrie and Charles’s daughter is somewhat-canonically Lily James…)(also yes that clip confirms Carrie and Charles never got married so let’s just say it’s only a cameo and this entire thing is unlinked and they should have just named the whole show something else that would not invite comparison)

It turns out that, particularly when you only insert easily the most charm-less part of the film, it is incredibly difficult to recreate the charm of the first film. Yes, the movie is filled with toffs who we should probably not feel a lot of sympathy for because they’re pretty much all rich. However, they somehow manage to exude warmth, a genuine bond, and they all (Kristin Scott Thomas and Andie MacDowell – a literal model – excepted) sort of *look* like ordinary people – helped along by the fact that 1994 was simply not an extremely attractive time in our history as a people.

The show doesn’t help itself a long a whole bunch by centring around a bunch of beautiful Americans – going so far as to cast the wonderful…British… Nathalie Emmanuel as a Yank – who inexplicably all met in the UK for university and most of them ended up moving there. Leaving the show to be set in London, with a British supporting cast, but unavoidably American. The main cast can’t seem to nail the dry, self-deprecating humour that seems innately part of a British rom com (particularly one penned by Richard Curtis).

Nathalie particularly suffers, I believe, by the Four Weddings and Funeral project sharing a lot of key staff from The Mindy Project – most prominently Mindy herself but also producers, writers and directors. In the end, it feels like they’ve made Nathalie’s character Maya – in many ways, the main character of the series, the catalyst whose return to London sparks much of the plot – in to a Mindy-esque protagonist. Fast-talking, flawed, funny. But it isn’t until you notice it that you realise a lot of Mindy Kaling’s charm is extremely specific to herself.

It’s not helped that our first impression of Maya is her waking up in the bed of a married man. It’s hard to engender sympathy in me personally for a woman who’s either 30 or closing in to it, who definitely knows better and definitely knows he’s married, who is carrying out an affair. Nora Ephron just managed it in When Harry Met Sally, but….a) no-one on this writing staff is Nora Ephron and b) Marie was not one of the very main characters of When Harry Met Sally. It’s there in the name.

The miniseries format seems to have presented a challenge to these writers, very few of whom seem to have worked outside the weekly series format. They seem to want to have characters who are somewhat unlikeable to start out with (intense and jealous neighbour Gemma, rude and conducting-an-affair Maya, pining and insufferable writer Duffy) and bring us around to loving them. In a rom com film, you pretty much have to start out with having the characters you want the audience to like being likeable. In a series, you have the luxury of time to develop and endear. The pacing of this miniseries is off. Very few characters have coherent journeys, nor make the trip for unlikeable to likeable.

Let’s talk about Maya’s love life. Over the course of about 3 hours, she pines after her married boyfriend, dumps him when she realises he’s having an affair, sort of observes her best friend’s fiance Kash from afar while having the occasional flirty conversation about Mamma Mia! (which the show’s trailers want you to think is endgame, even though it would be messy), then suddenly at the end she’s kissing Duffy in the rain. Duffy spends the first bit of the series pining after Maya (who he’s had feelings for since uni), picks up with a fellow teacher at his school, and all of a sudden the end he’s dumped the teacher and is professing his love to Maya on her doorstep. Why did he dump her? We’ll never know, apart from the fact that she’s not Maya, which he’s always known. Apart from a few conversations about the death of her mother, there is almost no build-up on Maya’s side towards deciding she wants Duffy.

This is not a rom-com.

Do not buy that this show is a rom-com.

One of the best things the movie gave us was absolutely no romantic development between Fiona and Charles. Fiona wanted Charles, and we felt for her, but Charles didn’t see her that way. Even if we, as the audience, kind of thought they would be a great match, sometimes love is simply unrequited. Fiona let him know her feelings, and he treated her with honesty and kindness. It’s a more realistic portrayal of what sometimes happens between friends than grand gestures that first go unnoticed and then are suddenly reciprocated from nowhere.

Suffice to say, I did not ship it.

The only character who has a semi-sensible journey emotionally and takes the turn from unlikeable to likeable is Gemma, the extremely posh neighbour who has developed a (deeply possessive) friendship with Ainsley. Her jealousy is off the charts when Maya makes her return. I think we’re supposed to side with Maya, but all in all the female cattiness just comes off as distasteful all round, and Gemma presents as a caricature despite being part of the core cast. She barely develops in to a rounded character – with an emotional life outside the scope of her friendship with Ainsley – until her husband passes late in episode 3, with some of the best work in the series being her send-off to her husband and handling her son’s grief.

By the end of the series, we are left with a broken engagement, a death, a break-up, a secret child and an out-of-nowhere coupling which is only telegraphed by a seemingly unrequited pining. As such, it’s a struggle for such a show to recreate the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you finish a rom com. In fact, I finished it by yelling ‘WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM’ at the telly.

Which might mean that the closest analogue is not a rom com, but a horror movie making a play for a sequel.

 

 

 

Why does The Bachelor casting skew so young?

A short bit of data nerdery today to support my main bugbear with The Bachelor casting.

Why in the world do they cast such young women?

Recently we were given the opportunity to learn about all 28 women cast to vie for Matt Agnew’s heart. Matt is 31 years old, by the way. What stuck out to me was how many bachelorettes have the number ‘2’ in front of their age.

Let’s pull out the numbers:

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There are in fact more bachelorettes under the age of 25 (7) than there are over the age of 30 (6). For a Bachelor who’s 31 years old. The average age is 27.4 or, if you’re one of those who prefer medians, it’s 26.5.

As much as we may claim that girls mature faster than boys, once you reach you’re thirties it’s pretty natural that you gravitate towards people in a similar stage of life as you.

This plays out in our Bachelors who have actually had successful relationships. Tim and Anna are the exception here, however. Lightning struck there with a 4-year age difference (out of curiously, I checked the average age of 30 year old Tim’s contestants and it was 27.9, which means they’re maybe moving further away from common sense).

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For the Bachelors we’ve actually come to like, coming on the show has generally been a reflection of a genuine desire to settle down (i.e the marriage and babies on this lot!)

Can we really presume that’s likely to happen when a bunch of fame-hungry folks in their early 20s are cast?

Drama is fun, but surely having several genuine possibilities to toss up between is even better?

If nothing else, it’d make the office sweeps more compelling.

Bachelor in Paradise 2019

Occasionally, I notice folks coming to binge-read my Bachie recaps, always a vaguely surprising event on my Stats page but nice nonetheless.

I wonder sometimes if they’re coming looking for more recent recaps. You might remember that last year I rage quit Bachelor in Paradise, abstained from Ali’s season because she was so irritating in BiP (she actually turned out to be pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed tweeting about her season) and also refused to recap Nick’s because he seemed like a drongo (a 100% correct assessment).

I had a bit of a think about whether I wanted to return to recapping that queer-baiting nonsense Bachelor in Paradise this year. I thought about how the Daily Mail had completely blown the possibility of an actual queer romance between Alex and Brooke with their pap pics on Alex’s return to Melbourne (I won’t spoil that, but if you want to Google ‘Alex Bachelor in Paradise park’ that’ll do all the spoiling you need). Nonetheless, BiP is still heavily leaning on the Brooke/Alex angle in their promos.

I thought about how the cast seemed to be stacked with mean girls from Nick’s  season and fuckboys from Ali’s. That I don’t care about whether 23-year-olds find love and don’t think they need a TV show to help them. That there was a random American and I literally watched his season of The Bachelorette and yet my mind only brought forth a blank. I summed up all my feelings when I looked at the cast photo:

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So anyway, I won’t be recapping Bachelor in Paradise this season. Keep an eye on my Twitter – I’ll livetweet when I have the opportunity.

As always, I highly recommend Jodi’s recaps at BookThingo. She’ll be doing BiP….sucker.

An Incomplete Guide To Terrible Netflix Christmas Romances Pt 3

Look, if Netflix is going to persist with this, I’m going to keep hate-watching. Like, hate-watching while low-key loving. You can find the 2017 editions with gems like the o.g A Christmas Prince and Christmas Inheritance here and here. I’ve watched a few of the newbies over the last few weeks, and there might still be time for another edition before Christmas. Spoilers embraced this time.

Hope you like single Dads because Netflix is betting on them this year.

The Holiday Calendar
I watched this one right when it came out – at the start of November. Early November is too early for Christmas movies y’all. Particularly really bad ones. Let’s lay this one out – Kat Graham can sell you a lot of highly unlikely shit. Although her character Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries wasn’t wildly…joyful, she is super charming and all those years of basically shrugging off vampire/witch/werewolf shenanigans really did a lot for her ability to sell some wild concepts.

And you know what? She sold me on an Advent calendar that can somehow predict two versions of reality with one toy item a day. But she couldn’t sell me on a girl not choosing Ethan Peck. It’s pretty easy to see he’s The Wrong Man, given how late in the game he’s introduced (a full 20 minutes in to the movie) compared to all the time we’ve invested in loving stares from her male bestie who quite clearly wants to join her family to ensure continued access to her Mum’s cookies (not a euphemism).

But. Come on. That voice. I thought maybe it was just me but even my many friends who have not had the pleasure of watched Ethan play sexy broody fuckboy with a heart of gold Patrick Verona in the 10 Things I Hate About You show were convinced she’d made the wrong choice.

Never mind that the reason they break up was that he didn’t put a lot of faith in the rather out-there idea of a sentient Advent calendar, meanwhile the guy she ends up with not only loses her job for her, he also reacted to her Advent calendar theory by accusing her of being an alcoholic. So.

One last point of Sorry, I Can’t Buy This: as if any millennial who had a shot at it with absolutely no fucking training wouldn’t take a creatively unfulfilling office job where she had absolutely no chance of being fired, as opposed to a creatively unfulfilling casual job taking Christmas photos of pukey kids, while wearing an elf costume. SPARE ME KAT GRAHAM, go somewhere that’ll give you insurance.

Rating: 3/10, The ending was kinda cute but I can’t get over the terrible life choices.

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The Princess Switch

Ethan Peck given you a taste for hot single Dads? Well do I have the hot single baker Dad for you:

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Shockingly, Olivia is not played by Vanessa Hudgens.

Welcome, also, if you’re a Nashville viewer, to the uncanny valley of Sam Palladio speaking in his natural accent, which somehow sounds super fake?

What a great mash-up of genres this one is. A Parent Trap-style life swap and a royal romance? What more could you ask for, really? Oh yeah. CHRISTMAS. It’s got it all. Super-organised Chicago baker discovers the only person in the world with a bigger stick up their arse is the Prince of a small, probably European country (important question from Twitter: do you think Princess Switch‘s Belgravia and A Christmas Prince’s Aldovia have a voting bloc in Eurovision? I bet they both hate Montsaurai of Once Upon A Holiday, with its Dirtbag Princess Katie). He must learn the spiritual fulfilment of carriage rides and visiting orphanages which hang up mistletoe, a very normal thing to do in a workplace based on childcare. Meanwhile, a Duchess learns the pleasure of making out with a really hot single Dad who knows how to make cakes, and who only has one annoying family member (his cloying daughter) rather than an entire small country paying attention to him.

Anyway, my main problem with this movie is that it’s G-rated, and therefore when Kevin turns up in Margaret’s bedroom looking like THIS:

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She does not play any form of hide and seek with him.

A big ups to Netflix for refusing to buy any jewellery for these royal movies that doesn’t look like it comes from Lovisa (Americans: think Claire’s). This movie includes a corker:

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How many hot glue guns died in the making of that thing?

All in all, this movie is extremely silly and manages to pack in every cliche you could want, plus a baking competition. I can only imagine the environment in which it was written. I’m picturing a lot of eggnog and six seasons of GBBO on in the background.

Rating 9/10, deducting one point for not getting Kevin’s pyjamas pants off.

Christmas Wedding Planner

I’ve got two words for you: Charisma. Void.

That’s the only way I can describe the romantic hero in this movie, an extremely low-budget version of Michael Weatherly from NCIS. And he just kinda comes off like an arsehat? I read plenty of romance novel heroes with his personality type, but to translate it to the screen you really need to cast for charisma and chemistry with the heroine, because we have a lot of gaps to fill without the written word. And while the heroine does a bit of narration, she mostly uses it to yell “I am a fierce warrior”, a quirk disturbingly reminiscent of Anastasia Steele’s inner goddess. I’m not particularly surprised to find out this one is based on a Harlequin novel.

So, what’s Kelsey’s job? You may think it’s to plan Christmas Weddings, an extremely niche market if I ever saw one. Bloody millennials. In fact, she’s never planned a damn wedding before her cousin’s, and yikes. She needs to….make some interventions.

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Girl if you don’t think that’s gonna date your wedding, think about how it’s already dated this movie.

This is an extremely dumb movie with a heroine who on first appearance seems kinda charming but eventually just becomes so quirky it’s annoying. You know. The Zooey Deschanel effect. I’ve got a theory though. She’s so odd because she’s dealing with the fact that a ribbon is keeping her head on.

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Aesthetically, it’s a fascinating movie. Kelly Rutherford (what are you doing here? There’s actually good soaps out there to pay your bills!) is a sort of generically-rich aunt, and it’s just close enough to Lily Van Der Woodsen that it really shows that this movie….does not know how wealthy people dress. For example, not a lot of grown-ass women sitting around their homes in tiny lid fascinators and diamanté headbands, Lovisa strikes again.

The worst accessorising choice of all happens when Emily rips the ribbon from her cousin Kelsey’s neck for her wedding bouquet. A truly tragic end.

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Jk the biggest tragedy of this movie is (SPOILER ALERT), Kelsey decides to marry a Charisma Void she’s known for about a week on the spot.

Rating: 4/10, added one point for the heroine’s fabulous lipstick game.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

I, known A Christmas Prince hater, am back on my bullshit.

Because I hated this one too. It’s the only one of this bunch I abandoned so frequently that I was able to plan a trip to Sri Lanka and become obsessed with Ariana Grande in the three hours it took to watch it (I’m not joking, my screencaps have timestamps). If you can’t even sustain me on sheer bonkers trash, then that’s a sad indictment of your trash movie. There were some highlights, however.

Amber continues to be a truly atrocious note-taker and also journalist:

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Her Undercover Outfit? Literally Sunglasses At Night and the outfit she was heavily photographed entering the country in like, a week ago.

I really didn’t expect this movie to have a prominent plotline about The Power of Unions. I was truly disappointed that it turned out to be some good old-fashioned corruption and the end of the movie didn’t end with Aldovia turning in to a Socialist Republic. Maybe next time?

The plotline about press freedom didn’t hold a lot of water either. Did Amber end up keeping her blog that should have absolutely been killed about twelve months before the events of this movie?

We learned that the royal family attached Go Pros to the end of their toboggans:

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And that Amber, one of the most awkward people on the whole planet, was raised by one of Life’s Huggers:

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Amber cannot be trusted with a Hot Glue Gun:

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Great question, I thought I’d managed to travel in to this fictional universe to burn it.

Wisely, someone ripped off the Gryffindor ribbons before Emily made it to stage. Everyone on this stage is a scab btw, as the concert had been cancelled due to worker’s strikes.

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The workers! United! Will never be defeated!

We learned Richard can’t decorate for shit and Amber is a ginormous liar.

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Richard has also taken to referring to himself in the third person, so it’s kinda hard to be Team Richard in this movie. Read some Karl Marx, dickhead.

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This kid….has a boner. I’m sorry but he does. Blame Netflix.

50 Shades of School Play

Clearly, the greatest job on this production was to create the outlandish initial sketch for Amber’s wedding dress. I was very disappointed not to see the Cone of Shame at her first fitting.

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Everyone involved in this movie should have to wear one tbh.

And finally, Lovisa have got their claws in to another one:

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Golly, Aldovia’s budget really is in crisis.

Rating: 3/10, same as the first one.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 10

So you all remember how I cancelled Eden two whole episodes for finding it impossible to respect someone’s boundaries, right? Golly was it exciting to finally see Twitter catch up with me on Monday night.

While Apollo is just chilling out is his hammock like a handsome god, Michael is telling Megan that he has changed his mind about letting Lisa come to him. Megan is an excellent get-a-grip friend as always, laying it down on him like:

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And with the girls having the Power of the Roses this week, he’s probably not going to get Lisa’s.

My notes here say ‘some man-bunned idiot turns up’ and it turns out it’s Thomas, from the Canadian Bachelorette, and I have no idea how infamous he may be, but he designates himself as a international fashion model, immediately reminding me of the insufferable David Witko from Georgia Love’s season (who Leah went on to date! I bet she’ll be steering clear of this one).

Keira and Megan both think Tommy Hilfiger here is their type, which, sure, okay. They both go on about how they like rugged, manly guys, and then this fella turns up with a topknot.  When he announces that he’s Canadian, Tara responds with ‘we just got rid of one of you!’, which is delightful. He has a date card and takes Megan off for a chat, and he rambles about enjoying guitar and drawing portraits while Megan is sitting there like ‘Wow, you really don’t need a lot of personality to tempt me away from Jake, do you? Just some dark hair I guess. Wow, this is confronting’.

He takes Leah for a chat and she is essentially, again, ‘best of luck with your future endeavours’, a grand position to be with when you’ve got rose power but no romantic prospects.

While Sam and Luke romantically walk down the beach holding hands, Tara asks Lisa if she feels like she will be in a relationship at the end of the show (seems like a valid moment for the question). While they have not had ‘the chat’, Lisa’s feeling pretty firm about it. Meanwhile, Keira is urging Michael to look to any other girls that come in, instead of pursuing Lisa. Aww guys, you tried. Although Jarrod appropriate cops shit for his ‘Yeah, look at us!’. No-one wants to look at you Jarrod. Get some SPF 50+ immediately, you human tomato.

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But Michael needs answers with Lisa! He knows love ‘is sometimes not served up on a plate…I feel like in this situation you really need to fight for it’. Okay mate but really if someone has clearly made an alternative choice maybe you could just move on with your life instead. She hasn’t spoken to him in like three days, and has gone and spent all of her time with Luke. Anyway, he says that if he doesn’t get a positive result he’s prepared to walk away. He doesn’t get one, although Lisa is kind, but it turns out it’s not ‘walk away from this delusional fantasy where Lisa and I get married’, it’s ‘walk away from the entire show’. Here’s some footage of Michael’s exit:

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(this is never brought up again in the entire episode, like everyone on the island simply didn’t notice).

Back to Lisa and Luke. He’s yammering to camera about how he likes to take things slow, but Lisa is still feeling a little insecure. He seems to be a bit bad at words, but the grand gesture that is desperately needed doesn’t seem to be on the cards either. They’re cuddled up in a cabana and as always this is super unclear, but it appears she has decided to leave…and is asking him to come with her. Why she wants to leave her free holiday is completely unclear, although we have seen a LOT of rain so maybe Fiji in the wet season (which is indeed when this was filmed) just sucks. She ‘doesn’t want to waste any more time’, and accuses of him of just wanting more holiday time. This is….not exactly a crime, but when he confirms this, she just gets really upset. He feels pushed, although he’s terrible at expressing it because Australian Masculinity.

Eventually she comes back to the conversation and apologises for making him feel pressured, but it turns out he’s relented. She’s the one he came here looking for, so they will leave together.

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(Turns out Luke probably cheated on her – they’re being vague about the ‘broken trust’ thing, but they broke up – after they were home so nice work dude)

Elora gets a date card and finally has an opportunity for some time alone with Apollo, and you can basically see her dangling the keys to her sex dungeon. Simone is going in to a tiny rage spiral, being rude to Thomas when he tries to talk to her. She’s determined to have her day ruined. Apollo and Elora go an extremely short distance (rain! again!) to have high tea where they bond over such things as both being carnies (sorry, ‘travelling entertainers’). Elora tries to take the Keenest Bean title from Jarrod at one point by encouraging Apollo to ‘deepen his throat’. But while Apollo thinks Elora is an amazing person (very kind assessment from a kind man), he’s thinking about Simone because he doesn’t want her to be hurt. He tells Elora that he’s looking for someone to travel with, with a lust for life, and that he doesn’t like drama, or people who complain about things. Sounds like Tara to me but okay!

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Whilst everyone is very happy when they come back that Elora finally got her date (and can now shut up about it), Sam observes that Apollo essentially makes a beeline for Simone. They have some cute little lines about how they missed each other, while Elora looks on with an expression that could probably melt steel beams. While it’s ‘a dagger to [her] heart’, she still plans on giving him her rose:  ‘I’m not someone who gives up’. Because that went so well for Michael, y’see.

The next day, Megan is yammering to Keira about her confused Jake/Thomas feelings, while he tells us he’s going to to ask her on a date:  ‘We had a connection, good eye contact…everything you want’. Yep, that’s what we want.

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He asks her and she rebuffs him on account of the Jake-ness of it all, showing him she loyal (only fair considering that’s what he did with Elora, I guess, although Megan would have taken that Elora date in a heartbeat). Thomas tells us ‘I didn’t get this date card not to go on a date…I’m getting a rose tonight, and many more roses’. So he asks Leah. And she shoots him down. So he asks Simone. And she shoots him down.

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In the end, a very odd cheer-up plan is concocted. Jarrod has ‘planned a date’ for he, Thomas, Apollo and Sam to go on. Long story short, they all end up shirtless in a milk bath together, while Apollo is rubbed in lotions and they drink cocktails. It’s very odd but it definitely seems to do the job of taking Thomas’s mind off the fact that no women on the island want him. Also…

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We’re finally up to…. wait I think…. is the final drama for the day. Elora tells Ali in the lead up to the cocktail party that she received a little love note from American Jared. Ali, having no chill, spills this to Jared at said party, telling him how sweet she thinks it is. Yeah, Jared hasn’t been writing any letter. Actually, he can’t even read! (no, jokes). Their suspicions immediately turn to Sooky Old Simone, and Jared shows much greater faith in her that me by exclaiming ‘Nobody’s that stupid!’.

Tell you who is that stupid though? Eden, who thought he was pulling a hilarious prank. Eden tells Jared ‘You should be thanking me’ when confronted (why???), meanwhile Megan has the shitty task of breaking it to Elora, who is appropriately hurt that she was messed with, for no other reason than apparently Eden is a fucking child. Eden asks Elora for a chat and when she tells him she needs a minute, he responds with ‘it has to do with me, so…’  and basically pulls her away, once again fucking refusing to respect someone’s boundaries.

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He tells her it didn’t come from a place of jealousy or malice, so good luck with your comedy career mate because your sense of humour is fucking terrible.

All the usual suspects pick each other at the rose ceremony (Leah chooses Jared), and the decision at the end is left for Elora to pick between Eden and Thomas. I’m not sure why this a choice, except that Elora wanted her chance for an Oscar acceptance speech after all the boys got to do one the other week. She announces: ‘I’m very hurt, by what have you done. But in no way will will I let anybody change who I am. And Eden…I did want you to find love. So I choose you’

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Thomas is out, and we really, truly, barely knew ye. Barely got to know how garbage you could become. Megan thinks this has all cleared some stuff up for her, that she is looking for something deeper and meaningful. Too bad Jake is a puddle.

 

Bachelor In Paradise Australia: Episode 8

 

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Very tempted to leave the recap there but I guess if you’re here, you want to know what happened.

And to be fair, it was quite dramatic, although still a complete indictment on the editing of this show that we were not deeply invested in the things that came crashing down to earth.

Laurina’s departure is briefly covered – apparently she left without saying goodbye. The girls note that this means if the numbers stay as is, this means only one girl will leave at the rose ceremony. Although they’re a bit unsure of who Jarros and Michael will give their roses too, Keira already seems like a likely candidate for departure, what with screaming the entire island down the night before and everyone’s eagerness to be rid of Jarrod/Keira drama. In fact, Megan says that ‘Keira is the reason I hate dating girls…I hate drama, I just don’t have any time for it’. Hmm.

But no-one is quite willing to let it go yet. Keira decides to pull Jarrod aside for a chat, to once again lie and say she wants him to pursue other people. I have never wanted to murder two people more as they sit there trying to score points over their various Ali-and-Daniel-shaped flirtations. Neither of them are particularly likeable and I sincerely wish this show would just let them both go, Elsa-style.

Tara walks in with a date cards and we are reminded that poor old Simone never, ever got to go on a date with Matty J, which meant her uterus was protected, at least. Well, someone out there likes her (or do they?), because her time has finally come. She is thoroughly ribbed (Leah telling her ‘You keep looking at him, just ask him!’) prior to asking Jarrod to join her on the date. Jarrod’s joy could not be more clearly about getting one up on Keira: ‘Jarrod: happy, Keira: not so happy right now, so Jarrod winning right now’.

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Keira is completely convinced he will get his heart broken. I don’t think there’s a situation where Jarrod doesn’t get his heart broken, given his insistence on putting women on pedestals and also pursuing you, Keira. But YMMV.

Simone tells us that Jarrod is not her usual type – the guys she goes for usually eventually lose interest in her, and if nothing else….she knows Jarrod’s interested in her. Meanwhile Jarrod’s over here telling us that the more he leaves Keira, the more she comes back. Not that he’s thinking about Keira on a date with another girl, of course. Never.

In a date that was surely thought up using some sort of mad libs system, Simone and Jarrod are going to be doing yoga on stand-up paddle boards. Jarrod decides to give her a piggyback to the boards, and…look, I can’t improve Simone’s words, but you really must imagine her Northern accent too: ‘The bloody idiot just drops me like a fat whale’. Fortunately, she’s the kinda girl that gets a laugh out of it. The ‘yoga’ is a bit weird, and I have some serious doubts about the qualifications of the instructor, as it mostly just involves them miming oral sex. I kinda hope that this woman just wandered in off the street and production assumed she was their gal. Anyway, Jarrod describes it as ‘erotic and sexual’, and all over Australia vaginas did this:

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Simone has a much better word for it: ‘confronting’

Keira and Michael are off having a chat. She is moaning ‘Why doesn’t anyone like me?’ to which he very aptly responds ‘JARROD LIKES YOU’ and is very restrained in not flipping a table and marching away. Truth is, this chat is not for once not actually about Keira. It’s about Michael, and how sad he is that so far he hasn’t given a rose to anyone he really likes. I feel like that’s a bit inevitable on a show when your options number around 8 at any given time. If you put me in a room with eight people the chances of me really liking one of them is pretty fucking low. But I suppose our Michael is much more open to love than me, which is why he keeps going on reality dating shows and I have deleted all my apps.

The crux of this is that Michael is keen for Lisa and wants to get to know her.

Meanwhile, two simultaneous FORESHADOWING chats are happening. In one, Nina is telling Grant how much she misses Daniel and is disappointed he’s not here. Remember him? Canadian sex pest? Three women had to unite to get rid of his dirty arse? She’s apparently keen to contact him when she leaves. I don’t know why. I will never comprehend. In another corner, Eden is chatting to Elora. He tells us he’s attracted to her, with her exotic looks and curves (horrifyingly referred to as a ‘bit of meat’, which is really quite a disgusting way to describe a woman, thanks). I’d argue that Nina has both those things but I guess we can’t control who we’re attracted to.

Simone and Jarrod are chatting now they have escaped their instructor’s perverted fantasies. Simone is really happy to see Jarrod relaxed, and given how fucking intense this dude is, word. They talk about how comfortable and easy it all is while his hand ever-so-casually rests on her leg, but eventually it becomes clear he’s a bit nervous, which she pays him out for. Why?
Jarrod: ‘Because…I would like to kiss you’
Simone: ‘Then kiss me then!’
They do. There’s a flower behind Jarrod’s ear for this entire conversation, for some inexplicable reason. Jarrod says it was ‘complete distraction’ and he wasn’t worried about Keira at all, which sounds like something someone who wasn’t worried about Keira at all would say.

Osher comes in to announce the rose ceremony, which prompts a ‘What else could go wrong at this point?’ from Keira. Oh honey. So many things.

Simone and Jarrod return for the cocktail party and Megan observes his grin approximately as wide as Australia: ‘He is keen, keen, keen’. Thank you Megan, this is why we call him The Keenest Bean Who Ever Lived. Everyone sort of hits the panic button when Keira turns up at the cocktail party, with Tara telling us she’s scared because she doesn’t want to have to hide again. Michael observes that Keira is ‘wearing everything’ demonstrably untrue when it’s a miniskirt topped by transparent gauze, but she has indeed dolled herself up. Everyone is just wishing they’d get it over with.

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Keira is realising she needs a miracle to get a rose, so goes off the pursue Michael, while Jarrod snarkily comments ‘It begins…’ in the background.  Keira sneakily hints she wants his rose and he gets in to a full rant about how this ‘isn’t Survivor’ and blah blah blah connection. He doesn’t want to give away his plan but indicates that ‘If no-one was in a relationship, I would give it to Lisa’. Keira vehemently warns him off giving her his rose, probably the only sane thing she’s done in several episodes, but come on. We’ve all seen the promos for this episode.

Lisa and Luke are finally given some air time for their death knell because this show hates us. They’re bantering over his rose and she tells us she is’100% invested’ and wants to see where it goes. For some reason that can SERIOUSLY, ONLY be producer shenanigans, Megan decides to drop in to their convo to ask them what would happen if someone else they were interested came in. Luke’s response is wholly innocuous, indicating that they owe it to everyone who walks in the door to get to know them, and if there was an attraction he’d talk to Lisa. This seems…super insane to me, but to Lisa this is interpreted as bitch ain’t loyal. After dropping that bomb, Megan just walks away, and presumably someone in production slips her a $50 or arranges for her to get the next date card. Lisa suddenly wants to know where Luke ‘is at’ and thank you masculinity for teaching this dude to slip right back in to his shell at the vaguest hint of confrontation and forget to use his words. He just responds with ‘You know where I’m at’. Not good enough. It’s enough to drive Lisa away, but Luke is still under the impression that this is a misunderstanding and he will give Lisa his rose.

Michael, like any opportunist, takes a primed Lisa away for a chat. She eventually draws out of him that he is in to her, and indicates that things may have been different if he’d been a bit more forward earlier in the piece, and she feels a strong connection with both Luke and Michael (despite the fact that this is possibly the first conversation we have ever seen between Lisa and Michael). She doesn’t discourage him re: the rose ceremony, however, with a: ‘If you know what you want, just go for it’. The depart with a secret handshake, something we have never seen them practice because this show hates us. Michael tells us ‘I think we’re going to wake up to a very different Paradise tomorrow morning’ so golly, who can guess what he’s planning to do?

Eden’s talking to Grant, who apparently deeply cares about the happiness of every man in paradise but could not give a fuck about the women, leaving hem free to be harrassed by Sex Pest Daniel. Grant thinks Eden and Nina’s relationship is not even on both sides, and indeed, Eden is frustrated by the lack of intimacy. At Grant’s urging, Eden takes Nina off for ‘the talk’.

He indicates that he is getting frustrated re: intimacy and is finding it hard, which, I’m sure.

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He wants to know where she’s at. And I must say, while I am extremely frustrated with Nina for having even a vague attraction or affection towards Sex Pest Daniel, she proceeds with some of the most stunning boundary-setting that I have seen on network television. She’s told Eden since the start that she wasn’t planning on kissing anyone until the end, and that is not going to change. She’s made it really clear, and she doesn’t want to feel pressured to do something she doesn’t want to do. Eden is off muttering about how he ‘has needs, and it’s true, Maslow addressed this directly:

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But really honey, you don’t. I know you really want to kiss this girl but it’s going to be all of three weeks or so. Pretend you have glandular fever. Walk the dog five times a day. Do not make it her problem. I have spent many years not pashing people I’m attracted to and I live to write this recap. And yet, he has the gall to accuse her of being self-centred.

I honestly don’t know how they end up hugging this out, but it’s tense as fuck and made me really dislike Eden.

Rose ceremony time!

Eden’s up first and gives the kind of speech that I wish an orchestra would interrupt about blah blah openness and honesty and blah blah hardest rose ever. Net result: choosing Elora, who he does not even make eye contact with. Nina is surprised to say the least: ‘What the hell just happened?’

Grant chooses Ali

Sam chooses Tara

Jakes chooses Megan

Jared chooses Leah (with the least enthusiasm I have ever seen from two people)

Jarrod chooses…..Simone! Must feel good to be Blonde of the Week.

Michael is definitely convinced this is the Oscars and he needs to give a nice long speech. There’s a lot of callouts to the idea of selling out, and being aware of the repercussions of his actions. Anyway. He chooses Lisa while heads explode all over the rose ceremony, and she steps forward to accept with what one might call a small triumphant smile?

Sam opines that the bro code has been DECIMATED, while Tara lets out a slightly more subtle ‘that’s hectic, man’. Michael breaks down in tears and sobs to Jarrod about ‘dogging his mate’, and dude if you actually felt bad about it you wouldn’t have done it, so just own your fucking decisions to choose someone else’s girlfriend and wear white capris while doing it.

Luke is stressing out because Lisa won’t even look at him while this is happening. But he does throw her a wink when he steps up to the podium. He announces to the room that everyone deserves a second chance, and for this reason, he’s choosing….Keira.

I have absolutely no idea what Keira has done to deserve that second chance over
Keira, and one must assume that the producers didn’t want to give up the juicy Keira/Jarrod drama. Meanwhile Keira’s crying and hugging him, Luke is getting teary and Lisa’s over there having a little cry too.

How did the rose ceremony where Blake just got Laurina’s name wrong get the prize for the MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER.

We have time for one last bout of pettiness, as Eden approaches Nina to say goodbye and she spits at him:’I have nothing to say to you’. On her exit she says she’s been nothing but open and honest and has been clear about her values, and leaves with a slamming indictment of Eden: ‘If you’re not gonna put out, he’s sending you home’

I will say that you need to see Wednesday night’s After Paradise for Eden and Nina’s reunion, which is one of the most awkward things ever put before my eyeballs.

This Sunday: APOLLO IS COMING. And I won’t be home to watch. I could bloody weep.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 7

I want to start this recap with a little statement.

Mostly, that the people I write about in this recap are essentially characters, brought to life by producers and editors. I try to use people’s own words as much as possible, lest it all becomes my own interpretation, but I know that their narratives are created by those making the show. It means my perception is limited by what they choose to screen. I know I can get super-judgey, but it is intended against the ‘characters’ and the story the show is telling about them, and not the people. ‘The Edited Version of X Which We Are Being Shown’ is just a lot longer to type than ‘x’.

I say this, mostly because on Twitter I was judging Laurina’s behaviour at the end of this episode as ‘bratty’. The context that both the people on the show and to some extent production, certainly at the time and possibly right up until after the show last night, that was missing was that Laurina’s brother died a month before production. It casts her behaviour in a different light.

In addition, whilst I’m going to have a rant about Keira in any case, a conversation between Jarrod and Grant, and a subsequent conversation between Keira and Grant, seems to have been so heavily edited in such a way that it again robs people of vital context – including exactly what it was that Grant apparently quoted Keira as saying, e.g that Keira thinks Jarrod is a terrible kisser (a theory that I actually think is quite likely). Apart from ignoring actual relationships in favour of drama, the editing is not bringing any clarity of circumstance to viewers.

With all that said, this is the story of Paradise we were told last night…

Eden is celebrating the current post-ceremony cruisy vibes, and tells us that the good news is, ‘the men have the power’. This has never been good news in the entirety of human civilisation, Eden.

The show starts telling the story of The Magical Disappearing Laurina, aka She’s Having A Nice Holiday And We Are Not Happy About It. I think to some extent the show is trying to draw parallels with Brett, who was very much here to have a chill in Fiji with his girlfriend. Once again, context, she was grieving and needed time out and a gentle reminder that dealing with Blake would be an excellent cause to go off men permanently. Jared would like to get to know but can’t seem to actually find her. She’s probably not interested then, mate.

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There is so much more Jarrod and Keira nonsense in this episode than anyone could ever want or need. And I think I deeply just need to accept the editing shenanigans here, but the long story as short as possible seems to be that she gave him a rose not because she wants him for herself, but that she wants him to find love. She has told him this, and he feels ready to ‘mingle’ on that account. But every time he makes an effort to actually mingle, Keira gets annoyed and jealous. There is some serious wanting her cake and eating it too vibes. It’s annoying and hypocritical and I just want them to sort themselves the fuck out, preferably with at least one of them going home.

The girls are having a chat and Tara asks Leah if she’s been making good choices. No she has not…’Have you pashed and someone’s dashed again?’. Oh dear, Leah really is a little bit unlucky. Not that I think she’s a particularly kind and lovely person, but apparently she tried to pash Michael after a few wines post rose ceremony and he wasn’t having it. And indeed, Michael is here to tell us he feels no romantic connection to anybody and he’s just waiting for his girl to walk in.

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Which brings us to Elora! I wasn’t really a fan of Elora on Matty’s season, but I am kind of excited on Megan’s account. Elora is currently our only option for saving her from the clutches of Jake….according to the promos, at least. Elora comes in with a date card and Tara tells her she has to ‘go on chatty-chats with the boys’, determined that they not tell her off the bat who’s in relationships….mostly to give Sam the chance to decline her. Elora first approaches Luke (who tells her he’s solid with Lisa), and Jake, who lets her know he’s close to Megan and wishes her luck on her future dating endeavours. Elora then approaches Megan and the entire island flips shit at the idea that Elora might be asking her out
Keira: ‘Taking a girl on a date???’
Elora: ‘Maybe….’

Jarrod: ‘I hope that’s what I think it is’.
Settle down, perve.
All the fuss was enough for me to know she wasn’t going to. Megan is a bit further behind, getting her hopes up, but Elora is just getting permission to approach Jake again. Elora made fun of his ‘sexy squint’, so I’m not sure why she’s pursuing this one so hard. Laurina tells Jake: ‘Megan’s face doesn’t look impressed, but that’s just her usual face…’ Well if people would stop being so deeply unimpressive…

So Elora pulls Jake aside, and tells him to really only go for it if he’s open to meeting new people, but yep she would really like to take him on this date. He is flattered and thinks it would be fun, but ultimately lets her down. When he returns, Megan is pleased. She thinking it’s a big turning point in their relationship, and hopefully it’s the turning point where she dumps him because a better option is there. Hey, one can hope.

Elora sets off the flames on the side of Leah’s face by eventually approaching Michael, who she will go on the date with. Leah thinks Michael can’t even see what’s standing in front of him! Okay, Leah, he has seen you. He’s not in to it. I thought he wasn’t rugged enough for you, anyway?

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Elora and Michael are off to do some glass blowing! I thought Michael was just being a ridiculous person when he referred to is as kinky and sensual, and then I heard the instructor telling him ‘Blow blow blow, go for it, harder ….and stop’ and I maybe changed my mind. The show plays some very subtle saxophone music over this entire scene.

Leah is ‘exhausted from chasing Michael around….next, moving on’ and Nina points out that she is pretty low on options, at this point. Guess who’s completely unloved by the Aussie girls, though? Thunderbirds are go! Leah wants us to know that she finds him ‘genuine and lovely’, which arguably means he is a terrible match for Leah.

Oh god, it’s back to Jarrod and Keira. Jarrod is creepily noting Keira’s nude-coloured top when in walks Simone. Simone got caught up in the Great Matty-J Slut-Shaming Scandal with Leah, a fucking low point for this entire series. She’s blonde, if you recall, which means she has Jarrod’s immediate attention, describing her as ‘a blonde bombshell in a  little red number’. He mentions to Keira that Simone reminds him of his ex-girlfriend, and yeah…you could probably say the guy has a type, right?

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It’s like a peroxide-heavy game of spot-the-difference.

Keira is happy to rant about how it would be ‘downgrading’, but she clearly feels threatened knowing the guys have the roses this week

Leah has a chat with Simone and starts selling Jarrod: ‘He’s so, so funny’ (is he???). Simone had presumed he was with Keira, which Leah shoots down. This chat has lasted approximately five seconds when Jarrod The Keen Bean screams across the courtyard: ‘Leah, are you going to share Simone around or are you going to keep her all day?’. Settle down petal. Funnily enough, this buys him some time with Simone, which she mostly spends laughing nervously and experiencing genuine confusion about the term ‘vineyard’. Jarrod’s feeling like a prince what with his vast knowledge of that place wot where grapes are grown. He tries to explain the thing with Keira, which Simone describes summarily: an absolute mess.

Just to really rub this in, Keira is off questioning how genuine Jarrod’s feelings were in the first place, because he’s off talking to Simone. This is what you wanted him to do.

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Michael and Elora sit down to have a very dull conversation that mostly serves to remind me how pretentious she is. ‘I do much more things than other people’ she says, and she’s really easygoing. She boasts about her wanderlust some more. I just find it so hard to believe that someone who’s so self-consciously easygoing actually is easygoing. Accurately, Michael isn’t really feeling the chemistry, because there is none, but he would like to hang out some more. When he returns, he greets Ali, Grant, Luke and Lisa with a ‘What’s up, couples retreat’ and lets them know that she’s a ‘top bird’ but not for him.

Leah aggressively does not care because she’s over here talking to Jared, thanks. She tells him that he seems to be there find love and he says ‘he’s here for the experience and to hopefully form a connection’, which I think we can all agree is a very different thing
Leah: ‘I think you and I connect’
Jared: ‘Yeah….yeah’
Leah: ‘You’re cool, this could be fun’
Tell Ali to call off the search, I’ve found her sparks.

There’s a bit more negging of Laurina’s solo time here that I don’t care to recap, although it does feature an amazing dance routine from Tara, Keira and Laurina.

Now it’s time for the ridiculously heavily-edited conversation between Grant, Ali, and Jarrod (with Jared hanging off the side, presumably to escape his overwhelming chemistry with Leah)
Grants asks who Jarrod will give his rose to, and Jarrod feels like Keira is already jumping down his throat for talking to Simone. Grant decides to give it to him ‘straight’: ‘as sweet as she is, she’s wishy-washy. She doesn’t know what she wants…don’t string someone along just because you wanna stay here, you know?’, the most gentle straight-talking I’ve ever seen. Jarrod seems blinded by his honesty, and has maybe finally acknowledged he is being taken advantage of, which he probably is.

Keira is watching this happening and getting antsy. She says she is in Grant’s ‘bad books’ which is why she wants to know what is happening. If you check the link near the start Keira has essentially said that after the last rose ceremony, Grant cornered her and abused her for sending Daniel home, which is a very bad look for Grant, because Grant was a fucking sex pest (and it turns out the girls basically agreed to send him home on account of sex-pestiness). In addition, apparently he passed on a comment that Keira thinks Jarrod is a bad kisser. So while she’s being paranoid, perhaps there’s reason for it. She pulls Jarrod aside, and he won’t tell her what they were discussing. Keira is determined to get to the bottom of it, and wheedles him. He quite reasonably says he’ll discuss it when he’s ready to talk about it, and he wants to sleep on it. She is very drunk, and tells him she doesn’t need to know what was said, just what it was about. Yeah, alright.
In any case, she decides:
‘I need to go talk to someone’
Jarrod: ‘Don’t talk to them about it’
Keira: ‘I will’
Cue the deepest sigh ever.

She very obnoxiously grabs Ali and Grant, and their whole conversation is a mess, much as she is. We’re never actually allowed to know for sure what it is that Grant said he was essentially quoting Keira on (we now have her word for it), but her main point of offense seems to be less about Grant warning Jarrod off Keira, than Grant assuming he can speak for her and her thoughts. Then again, ‘You think he’s a safe bet. And you feel like he’s Mr Right, but I don’t know if you want Mr Right. You might be in between Mr Right and Mr Right Now’ does not seem particularly flattering.

Keira goes on a drunken rampage, screaming at him and threatening to throw her drink at him. That one’s not editing, love. She tells us ‘When I feel slightened or hurt, it just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m very reactive’. She’s very good at mangling the English language, our Keira.

Probably the worst part is Jarrod’s weird, patronising reaction where he accuses her of ‘chucking a tanty’ but finding this cute and adorable rather than a sign of someone whose drinks should probably be watered down. Anyway. He’s still hanging on that thread, it seems.

We’re now on Laurina chilling out with her under-eye mask when Megan runs in with a date card. I should emphasise it is dark and at the very least, Keira is drunk so it’s probably not very early. Megan screams that Laurina has the date card, and has ten minutes to get ready. ‘Nah, I’m not going’. Look, you can see here that without the knowledge of what’s going on with her, forcing her to spend some time with someone is not a bad idea from production because it looks suspiciously like she’s using the show for a holiday, but it is the date equivalent of a ‘u up’ text at 1am when you’re in your jammies. Sam’s reaction that this ‘is a dating show, not a sleeping show’ seemed okay in context, and he really didn’t know, but an apology probably wouldn’t go astray now (nor would it go astray to comparing her to a 300-year-old demon, either). No-one comes off particularly well from the ensuing scenes – production seems insensitive, the others seems a little mean, and Laurina comes off as a bit disingenuous with her excuses – when the context is added in.

In the end, Laurina gets weepy and accuses production of being disrespectful, before deciding to leave. I think everyone can agree it’s for the best. Apparently she’s in love now, and I bet he doesn’t even where stupid braids in his hair.

 

 

 

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 6

In episode 6, nothing makes any sense, can someone please edit this show properly, oh god I’m exhausted release me from this nonsense.

Mostly I’m exhausted by Jarrod, because he is a dude with a lot of emotions, and they are all insufferable. He thinks that Grant and Daniel are ‘taking all the women’ which is clearly not a situation happening against the ladies’ will so maybe you should just chill out, dude. Keira is off massaging Daniel very much voluntarily, so maybe it’s just time to get a lock down on your emotions. Megan enters get-a-grip friend mode and reminds Jarrod that actually, everybody is talking to everybody. Daniel is of course gross so when Keira asks if he’s attracted to her, he responds with ‘I’d have sex with you right now’ and a great gagging is heard throughout the land.

Jake thinks another ‘sausage’ is due to arrive, and here is Jared Haiborn, another US Bachie veteran who has apparently been very hot property in the American iterations. Not sure I get it, as I can’t unsee this:

I’m sure he’s very nice but he doesn’t seem to be a hit with the ladies when he goes around for a chat. Megan describes their talk as ‘average’ and Ali thinks he is ‘seems gentle and caring and beautiful’ (which seems like a lot from a brief chat) but did not feel her elusive ‘spark’ (I gotta say, as someone with the surname Sparkes, Ali’s mission to find me is slightly odd to watch).

Sam quizzes Ali on whether Jared ‘made her mountains crumble’ which is an interesting turn of phrase, and she very subtly indicates that no, she is in to someone else. Who in the world can it be? Turns out it is Grant – who last episode went on a date with Leah that definitely made her mountains crumble – and there is some very aggressive setting up of this from the group they are sitting with. I think everyone wants both Ali and Grant otherwise occupied. They go off for a chat and it turns out Grant had assumed she meant him. HOW? They have literally never spoken before. Their entire relationship, which seems to move at the speed of light after this, is a complete failure of editing on behalf of Channel Ten, because they were so hyper-focused on a non-existent love triangle that Ali was in BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T EVEN FANCY ANY OF THEM.

This show hates romance.

Apparently he and Leah are looking for different things relationship-wise, with the implication that Leah is less serious than him. I’ll remind you that it was Leah who asked the one practical question of ‘hey how the fuck would this work with you in America’, and he who brushed it off. Leah is also grossly unaware that Grant feels this way, and will make her feelings extremely known about him just picking up with Ali without even trying to chat with her first. Leah doesn’t seem to have the greatest relationship with other women, so of course it is first Ali that cops her ire, telling us  ‘everything about her is big’. I disagree. Sure, she’s got big tits, big eyes and big lips, but her personality seems absolutely minimal.

Back to poor old Jared, and for some completely unfathomable reason, he decides to use his date card on Megan. She’s taken aback, and tries desperately to squirm out of it, pulling him aside for a chat while telling us the awkwardness is somewhere around a ‘9.9999 out of ten’. Approximately. Apparently Jared does not understand the old polite rebuff, where she says she was surprised that he asked her on account of the fact that she didn’t really feel like they had instant chemistry, and she would hate to get in the way if he was attracted to anyone else….Anyone? Bueller?

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Somehow he wears her down with the power of aggressive blandness. All she wants to do is stay on the island with her mojito and be a get-a-grip friend to the literal dozens of people who need one right now, and here’s this powerfully-jawed American come to take her away. Jared does get the point though, and whinges to Grant that he wants to go home. How about talking to…any other girl?

Blake states that Megan is out of Jared’s league. Megan is indeed a sensible hottie with no interest in Jared, but it is intriguing that this statement is coming from Blake, who currently has no romantic connections on the island after getting the name wrong of the only woman who would give him the time of day, oh, and assaulted a guy.

Poor old Jared and Megan are now stuck on a boat for the most awkward date ever, which she is using as an ill-advised test of her relationship with Jake, to see if she can connect with someone else. Honey. We have already established that this is not going to happen with this particular Thunderbird. He makes movie references and it almost seems like an elaborate lie to get him to stop talking when she tells him that grew up in a super religious household and wasn’t allowed to watch movies or TV shows, so has seen very few movies (it’s actually true). Just keep referring to the Chrissy gif for the general vibes of the whole encounter. When they return from their date Megan indicates that it was ‘probably…as expected’ and that ‘He’s up for grabs, ladies’.

Jarrod does an astounding number in hypocrisy this week, ranting and raving over and over again about how he doesn’t like being second-best in Keira’s heart. Despite, of course, throwing over Keira to pursue Ali and making sure she knew she was his second choice at the first rose ceremony. I cannot emphasis how much he has earned every little bit of this insecurity, but I must hasten to add – Keira does not help this at all. She doesn’t get a get-out-of-jail free card. However, she is not a total manbaby about it.

Nina talks to Ali about how she is feeling torn between Eden and Daniel, something I have never been more confused about in my life. I had Nina pegged as so sensible, and Daniel literally could not be more of a fuckboy, growling about how he wants to take her dress off while in the middle of doing the rounds of flirting with every girl on the island. Ali is as surprised as the rest of us to find out that Nina and Eden have not even kissed, so at this stage they are really formally Just Friends. Jarrod has a whinge to Nina about wanting to throw in the towel over Keira and Daniel’s flirting, which Nina relays to Daniel. Daniel – in probably the only time I can empathise with him on any level – doesn’t give a fuck. Nina is utterly torn about the whole thing, and is worried about getting hurt. I can think of one guaranteed way to get hurt and its name starts with Daniel. She’s there crying while he tells us: ‘They call me Gepetto because I make women my puppets’.

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Keira takes Jarrod for a chat, and when he describes himself as struggling she tells him ‘I know how you feel, I’ve been there’. His amnesia about the Ali situation is genuinely so frustrating. When she tells him that she is genuinely interested in Daniel, he goes off, insisting that he should have been told this earlier. A reminder is issued that this time she’s been spending with Daniel has actually been her deciding that. Keira is not a fan of the idea that this is solely Jarrod’s decision to make. Turns out he has no time for all this: ‘I don’t have time to stuff around – I have a vineyard to run… I have a busy life’. Spoiler alert: he has SO much more time for stuffing around this episode.

Grant takes Ali off for a mini-date, and Eden accurately assesses that they are ‘they’re zero-to-one-hundred’, so maybe it’s not all just bad editing. They appear to have a requisite five minute conversation about the spark, before Ali is reading to get her pash on. Well, that’s your one frog. Hope you’re happy together. Leah’s head meanwhile is exploding, as Mack is thoroughly enjoying it all. Leah thinks they’re both ‘a bit mentally twisted’, and that the Americans are ruining her experience, with a special shout-out to Daniel’s manipulations. It is clear that every single person that is not being manipulated by him can blatantly see what is going on.

Keira has momentarily flipped back to Jarrod and indicates to him that she thinks she was running away from something genuine. He inexplicable compares her to Madonna, I’d be more tempted to compare her to heroin but okay. Daniel sees them go off together so decides to try his luck with Laurina, who doesn’t mind because she enjoys a good flirt. Keira and Jarrod are off in a A Second Location where she is opining how much she knows that he has her back, and that she trusts his intentions – which at the very least he could not make any more clear. Eventually she tells his ‘You can have a kiss now. On your lips’ and I can only think that this weird pash negotiation happening is because of the consent issues with production.

Leah and Michael have a bit of a chat – Michael fears that she is more interested in him than he is her, but she’s not exactly out here making heart eyes at him. I’m not too concerned about another love triangle there.

Keira has returned to the group and realised her kiss should have been with Daniel, a pretty damning indictment of Jarrod’s kissing ability. Tara gently tries to indicate that while Keira is enjoying the power now, she may not want to give Daniel her rose and give him that power next time. Meanwhile Jarrod is off talking to the guys and staring at her moonily at Keira, while they try in vain to get him to chill the fuck out, as Daniel will reveal his shittiness. Michael delivers some of the greatest words of wisdom ever heard on television: ‘You can build a body in the gym, but you can’t build a heart’

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For some inexplicable reason, Keira thinks it’s a great idea to sneak in to Daniel’s hut and have a pash with him. Honestly, she cannot justify it. ‘It’s hard to resist! What’s a girl to do? I don’t want to disrespect Jarrod, but you just gotta go for it’. It should be really easy to resist, because Daniel is so clearly a goddamn sex pest.

So….she goes and dumps Jarrod. He is confused AND SO AM I. When all your choices are bad just go and make new choices, Keira. Stop flim-flamming between these two garbage men. She mentions that he is gentlemanly when he like, picks something up for her, and he spits out ‘I’m gonna use that gentleman-like-ness on another girl’. Okay. We all know you’re not, because no-one wants a giant manbaby. He also tells the others that he doesn’t want to approach another girl because they’ll think he’s just trying to get a rose, which would be clearly true but is at least semi-reasonable.

Unsurprisingly Leah mentions that Jarrod’s ‘red-ometer goes right off’ when she casually drops in conversation that Daniel and Keira kissed, and it’s true, he is a human tomato. Vastly awkwardly, this happens right when Keira is standing behind him. Sam asks her directly ‘Have you kissed Daniel yet?’ and she responds with a grin, a sip of a drink and ‘No’. Which is quite clearly a yes. A stunning display of maturity, she then chooses to go off at Sam for asking it in front of Jarrod rather than maybe blaming herself for her terrible decisions. She doesn’t want to hurt Jarrod, you see. I know Jarrod is a terrible manchild but a way to avoid this would be to not make really bad decisions that will definitely hurt him.

Thank god, Osher is here. We just need to get through a cocktail party and then we can have our precious rose ceremony.

Keira is discussing her rose decision with Laurina and Nina. Laurina says she would like to give her rose to Daniel, but he’s a free agent and they all acknowledge that they’re interested. Keira would like to give him a clear indication she’s interested in rose form, which Laurina shoots down with a ‘You’ve gone up and kissed him on the lips, I think he knows you’re interested’ .

In the only snippet of Luke and Lisa we see all episode/season basically, she pays him out for wearing a rose print shirt to the cocktail party: ‘You think you’re gonna get a rose?’. IT’S CUTE AND I WANT MORE OF THEM.

Daniel creepily asks Keira if he makes her moist, and a ten-year vaginal drought is initiated Australia-wide.

Sam thought that Nina and Eden were super loved-up, which seems misguided because they have not yet kissed, but urges Eden to show Nina his big heart. His gesture is not so much to….talk to Nina…but to talk to Daniel. He urges him to treat Nina with respect. It’s an admirable attempt, but I don’t think Daniel actually understands the basic concept of respecting women, so maybe the time could have been better spent.

Jarrod makes some creeper talk about the Australian women being ‘innocent and genuine’. Just wait til the rose ceremony, mate.

First up, Leah tells us that she wants to get rid of the arseholes and keep the nice guys here. So she chooses Michael. I’m not a fan of Mack but honestly all Leah’s choice does is make sure he goes home. It does nothing for the many other pricks here.

Tara chooses Sam. They smooch and I can’t even begrudge this anymore given the constant parade of deeply garbage me.

Lisa chooses Luke.

Ali chooses Grant.

While Daniel opines on voiceover that ‘ If I haven’t kissed her, he sure as hell ain’t gonna kiss her’, while Nina chooses…..Eden THANK CHRIST. However, if she’s not seeing him as more than a friend, I hope she gives someone else the opportunity to hang out with him.

Laurina has been built up to be the one to choose Daniel, as ostensibly agreed earlier. So she drops a bombshell when she chooses, in her words ‘American Jared’. I think even Jawbreaker over there floored by that one. Turns out Daniel said something ‘slimy and derogatory’ to her at the end of the cocktail party, and when you think about all the disgusting things that Daniel has been shown saying, you’ve got to think it’s pretty bad for them not to show us, right?

Megan chooses Jake (DON’T WORRY MEGAN ELORA IS ALMOST HERE)

Keira steps up to the plate for the last rose, muttering ‘I don’t know…’ under her breath in a great show of confidence. Eventually she settles (in every sense of the word), for Jarrod.

This means a big old DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD to Keen Bean Mack and Cheese, Convicted Assaulter Blake, and Probable Assaulter Come On Daniel.

See you in a couple of days for the end of this godforsaken week.

 

 

 

 

 

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 5

Channel Ten’s Week of Torture – i.e four episodes in one week – got off to quite the start on Sunday, with tears, triangles, and more than one accusation of dogging (not that kind).

The episodes begins with a tiny recap of what’s happened recently. Nina actually gets some screentime for once and tells us while things have been cruising along with Eden, she’s not really feeling like he’s putting a lot of effort in to woo her. Mack has somehow acquired the nickname of Mack and Cheese since he threw everyone for a loop and gave Ali his rose when Jarrod (and to a lesser extent Michael) had already done a wee on her and marked their territory. Jarrod is ‘disappointed and peed off’ that someone went right ahead and exercised their free will, and has now decided to focus his attention on Keira. Funny that. Now that the girls have the Power of Roses.

Osher is greeted by an incredibly handsome American by the name of Grant. He was on Jojo’s season in Bachie US, which means nothing to me, and actually got engaged to someone he met in Paradise US. For some reason he has come back because he ‘trusts the process’, which I suspect is code for ‘I trust the amount of money they were willing to pay for me to appear and make all these Aussie blokes feel insecure about their abs’. I quite liked Grant upon first appearance because he was very polite to everyone including Osher, but as the episode went on I started getting a bit suspect of how damn smooth he is.

Anyway. He starts a small frenzy when he walks in, date card in hand. Just imagine this, but en masse.

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The only one of the ladies who’s not feeling it is Ali, who finds him very ‘American’ and showy. Yeah the hot firefighter (yes, really) is a real problem, Ali. Anyway. Her love life is more than complicated enough, I think she can afford to leave Grant to the others.

Grant chats to the fellas first and it is a veritable parade of male insecurity. Michael does charming things like vowing to “fight for their Australian women”, which isn’t a creepy and loaded sort of thing to say at all. Grant then spends a bit of time chatting to a bunch of the ladies, trying to work out who to take on a date. Leah’s getting impatient. She is HOT FOR THE BOD and she doesn’t give a fuck. As he goes to talk to Keira she straight up intervenes (Keira is only a bit bothered: ‘As long as he takes his shirt off later to make up for it’). It’s not a bad move – Grant is the kind of guy who appreciates her confidence. He ends up asking her on the date after about 30 seconds of her making the fuck eyes at him.

Mack and Ali decide go for a swim in the rain, and by swim I mean walk in the water to their knees. Mack talks about how the conversation just ‘flows’ with Ali, and I must call this out as delusional bullshit. They clearly have no chemistry, only able to muster up conversation about how the nice the water is at first. Apparently the conversation ‘flowing’ amounts to him doing 90% of the talking (reeks of the old study done by Dale Spencer about perception of female dominance in conversation…) and her paying him one compliment. As the group scream ‘kiss!’ at them from shore (once again…Schoolies), Ali finds this an appropriate moment to mention that she is not planning to kiss a lot of frogs on her Paradise journey. In fact, she’d like to only kiss one frog. The implication that this will not be Mack is mostly lost on him, although there is a small glimmer of self awareness: ‘I’m not sure if she’s falling for me the same way I’m falling for her’. She’s not bro.
Keira and Jarrod are chatting and it is clear she is seeing entirely through his utter bullshit – ‘I’m so intrigued that you and Ali aren’t even interested in each other anymore’. Well, we never had any confirmation at all that Ali was interested in Jarrod, but he sure was a keen bean for her. Apparently, he just woke up thinking of Keira, and this was some sort of epiphany for him. She very pointedly mentions that she feels like men only talk to her when they want a rose, and that he should not feel safe – if someone comes in that grabs her eye, she won’t hesitate to pursue it. I think I like Keira now?
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Maybe I just hate fuckboys, and Jarrod truly is the worst kind. He deeply seems to believe his own bullshit.
Leah and Grant go on their date and they are a couple of thirsty birds for each other. They ‘decide’ to go for a snorkel in the rain (were they in Fiji in the off-season?) and Leah straight up rips off his shirt, with all the female viewers secretly sneaking her a high five. He compliments how she looks in her bikini and yes, thirsty thirsty thirsty. Leah is basically feeling on top of the world as they go for a chat after their swim – she feels very relaxed around him (seems obvious from the shirt-removal). And I start to think maybe he’s a bit of a slippery bugger as he effortlessly dodges her first question about what happens if he genuinely meets a girl he wants to be with on the show – it’s a long way from the US to Australia. Spoken like someone who’s truly never considered the fucking soul-crushing difficulty of a long-distance relationship – particularly between people who don’t know each other particularly well – he thinks if two people want it to work, it’ll work. However, he says he’s not just here for fun and that is enough for her to have an almighty couch pash with him. She has a schoolgirl crush (and a thirst for days).
Michael’s big romantic gesture to Ali (after a decade of angst about being roommates with Mack) is to force her to walk through the rain to have some winey cheesey time. Last week these two didn’t get much time together, but did confirm their mutual interest. Ali mentions that she is holding back a bit because it is ‘not finished’ with Mack. As they leave to go back to the party, Michael gives her a lingering hug, and Ali seems to be struggling with her ‘rule’ about pashing,  because she’s worried that she might go back to the party and get talking to Mack, and want to kiss him! It is clear to literally everyone that she has no chemistry with Mack and will never want to kiss him, so I don’t know if this is some convenient get-out-of-awkward-situations free card, or what.
Mack ruins any chance of any woman ever wanting to kiss him by being deeply passive-aggressive on their return. Michael pushes Ali and Mack to chat because he thinks she might finally let him down, and Mack launches in to some creepy nonsense (after essentially shaming her for talking to Michael) about how he could introduce her to his family. Everyone at home is screaming SHE’S NOT INTERESTED but before she’s forced to be direct with someone for once in her life, there’s a new arrival.
Canadian Daniel is here. I saw Canadian Daniel on the last season of Bachelor in Paradise, where he basically pretended to have feelings for Lacey to get her to sleep with him towards the end of the season, and then ditched her after the show. He’s done other garbage, misogynistic things that I have not witnessed in other seasons (he has been in both Bachie franchise shows and at least one other dating show). He is not a legitimate contender for anyone’s heart and he makes it clear in his first to-camera, where he essentially says he’s here because the Canadian women are in hibernation for winter. Personally I would go in to hibernation in 40 degree heat if Daniel decided to approach me. No doubt the man has formed himself in to some sort of Greek god in the gym (Jarrod refers to him as a ‘unit’), but honestly it’s grotesque and lumpy, like a statue made by someone who’s never actually seen a man with their clothes off. The arrival of Daniel kind of ends their conversation, or is it Mack bitterly muttering ‘He’s probably going to like you as well’?
Golly we’re not even halfway done with this episode. And I’m reluctant to spend a lot of time on Daniel, because on top of being a huge arsehole who refers to the women like objects (referring to Lisa, he says to Luke ‘Is this yours?’), he also refers to himself as a wolf and I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t understand consent and I just don’t like wasting a lot of typing energy on that. Anyway. He makes an impression on Keira, and slimes all over all the other girls while winding up the boys about ‘stealing their women’, and ends up approaching Nina for a date. She accepts, presumably to put the wind up Eden’s arse because such a sensible-seeming girl cannot actually be interested in such a skeeze. I honestly thought she was trying to purposefully bore him when she told him she plays competitive netball 3-5 times a week, but the man has seen an opportunity here.
Megan and Jake have a pash but she’s pretty convinced it’s lust, not love. Just hanging out for Elora, I’m sure. Jake may get a stay of execution at the rose ceremony depending on who comes in next – Megan doesn’t seem to have bonded with anyone else.
It’s bucketing down for Eden and Nina’s date and after making a gross comment about taking a hike to claim her ‘hot spring virginity’, he then attempts to murder them both by crossing a flooded river. Rather than actually just having any sort of OH&S in place (and Osher is so clear about their duty of care on Twitter!), some local bloke has to intervene and tell them they’re being huge fucking idiots. They end up at some slightly more civilised hotel hot tub and Daniel leers down Nina’s sensible swimming costume. However, given she hasn’t even kissed Eden yet (how?), it’s safe to say she is not going to pash old Rapeface over here. He’s disappointed because he ‘likes to go from zero to one hundred real quick’, like a sensible romantic prospect we should definitely put on our dating show, over and over again.
It’s slaughterhouse time. First, Ali has to dump Mack. She fucking flim-flams around it for an eon, talking about wanting to feel a spark. Mack has definitely felt a spark, in his pants region at least, but the most Ali can muster for him is a ‘sparkle’. Because he cannot get the fucking point he asks what it would take for that spark to happen. Mack….
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She has a gigantic teary on his shoulder because she doesn’t like hurting people, while he just stares off like he’s dead inside. Maybe if you’d just put any effort in to reading signals you could have been spared this pain. Again.
She then goes off to chat with Michael and hurrah, it is on! Michael is looking forward to getting a rose from her! No. No it is not on. She mentions again that she’s looking for that spark, and when he leadingly asks if he has that with her, she must respond that no, she’s not feeling it. Bit unexpected. Time to break out the capris and woo a new girl, I suppose.
Laurina explains that she would not feel a tiny bit bad about dumping Blake because he called her by the wrong name in the last rose ceremony. I would also consider an extremely valid reason to be that Blake has started doing his hair like this, while implying that Daniel is a dickhead:
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She pulls him aside for a chat. While she feels that they have affection, they haven’t got much of a connection, and that if there was one it would have emerged by now. And in this environment of honesty, she wouldn’t feel right giving him a rose.
His response: ‘So….okay’.
He thinks that he’s a very loving person, but shows this more physically than with words. You know. When he’s not criminally assaulting people.
He’s taken by surprise and takes Tara and Sam off for a chat. And now it’s my turn for a surprise, because Sam is actually way better at this than Tara. Sam tells him ‘Acknowledge it for a second, and then move actively forward’, while Tara just wants to know who Laurina will give her rose too. Maybe not the time, love.
Oh, and now Sam is taking Tara on a date. Tara says ‘Sam and I have been getting along really well as friends’ and they have only hugged so far, but speculates that maybe they will kiss. I am horrified at this but also kind of horrified that somehow, Sam is one of the better options on the island. Tara, like myself, thought he came off like a bit of a dickhead on the telly, and I will go so far and say he seemed a lot like a dickhead, loudly announcing that he was staring down Sophie’s dress and then trying to educate her on the music industry. And I am not going to start forgiving him for that, however, when the other options include Daniel and Jake, I can see how this might come about. I just hope Apollo arrives before it goes to far.
And he is appropriately swoon-y over Tara, telling us he thinks she looks like a supermodel at 9am in the morning. So I must give the man credit for admiring my queen, who is severely under-appreciated on this island. Their date is to make drinks for each other based on their personalities – he thinks she is fun, fresh and fruity, while she thinks he is an acquired taste (understatement). Turns out they’re both pretty crap at it, him plying her with booze while she’s a little bit deluded on this one: ‘I think I’ll be great at making cocktails. I make drinks for myself ALL THE TIME’. There’s some people playing romantic music and I think we work out why Tara would possibly not make a great Bachelorette: she’s bloody allergic to romance. Sam tries to cajole her in to a slow dance but is refused, much preferring to make awkward, self-conscious banter and over-planning their kiss. They make about 30 minutes of fuck-eyes at each other before they smooch, and I think this feeling inside me is not so much joy but sheer relief that these two people got out of their heads for five seconds.
I don’t want them to fall in love.
Because this show doesn’t actually care about romance, we do not end the episode on this. We go back to the boys, sitting around the campfire. Everything’s changing in the camp, and Mack doesn’t think it’s because of the two Americans making everyone feel narky and insecure, but because of the ‘dynamics changing’. But really, the issue here is Mack and Jarrod. Keeping in mind Jarrod is apparently not even thinking about Ali anymore and focusing on Keira (although presumably this conversation happens after he’s heard Ali has ditched both Mack and Michael), he would really like to have it out with Mack over ‘dogging’ everyone by choosing Ali first last week. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on, including his argument that Mack has somehow made a bad impression on the girls by using the rose ceremony exactly as it was intended – to choose the person you think you are most likely to have a romantic future with, as delusional as it may be – and after about 30 seconds of arguing, everyone just leaves. Send’em both home, tbh.
BRING. ON. APOLLO.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episodes 3 and 4

Well, it’s tough times for those of us who tuned in to this show to watch people fall in love, given it’s not something Channel Ten is the least bit interested in doing. What have Eden and Nina or Luke and Lisa bonded over? Are they talking about futures outside the show? Who would know. It’s only a good time for lovers of…

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Most of the drama is focused on love triangles. Of course, the show is set up entirely to create them. A bunch of hot, drunk people on an island, with a perpetual gender imbalance? Yeah.

We exorcised ourselves of the Jake/Flo/Davey triangle last week, only for poor old Flo to find herself dumped in another one this week. And then there was the love quadrilateral that emerged later in the week, but we’ll get to that…

Episode Three

First up, Keira has a date card. Sam obnoxiously announces that ‘She’s not taking me, I already know! We had a chat’ and yeah Sam, we know no-one wants to take you and your bizarre birdsnest hair for a date. Keira has the hots for Michael, and she’s taking him. No-one in the world has been more pointedly and vehemently not butthurt than Tara: ‘I haven’t even kissed him’.

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She then does something that mortifies me. She starts hanging out with Sam. They are jokingly ‘distraught’ but agree to be one another’s rebounds. There’s nothing explicitly romantic, but I don’t want my wonderful queen being sucked in to his vortex.

Keira is mega socially-awkward on their date, and not just because they have to wear stackhats covered in leaves to ride horses on their beach. She keeps making weird comments about how romantic the situation is etc even when Michael seems to spend half their date talking about how beautiful Tara is. In fact, her complete inability to read his signals means she could be the perfect match for….Jarrod!

He turns up while Michael and Keira are still on their date, and the entire island flips their whole shit. Like so:

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Not necessarily a glowing endorsement, perhaps summarised by Florence’s to-camera ‘Is that….Pot Plant Jarrod? Fuck me’. Her hopes of someone to come and sweep her off her feet are dashed (Florence ended up giving Jarrod some brutal honesty on After Paradise, and tells him she thought he was creepy!). Blake, of course, picks up a pot plant to greet him with, hopefully un-pissed-in, while Leah calls ‘Did you bring us some wine?’, surely something Jarrod hears wherever he goes. Sam and Tara flirt (about his balls????) and I cover my face in revulsion.

Promptly following Jarrod is Season One Ali, someone who established herself as a bit of a keen bean by trying to pash Tim on the first night. She is happy to be the stage-five clinger of the series, but she’ll have some bloody stiff competition from Jarrod, who forms an instantaneous and overwhelming crush on her. So much for taking it easy and mingling, mate. Flo is not exactly kind when Ali turns up and Jake gives her the eye, saying of course he likes her because ‘she looks like someone from the Gold Coast’ and accuses her of looking like a Malibu Barbie: ‘her face doesn’t move’. None of this is kind, but it is also quite true. A tanned blonde with bolt-ons, big pouty lips and saucer eyes? It’s enough to make any gal a bit insecure.  And indeed Flo seems a bit intimidated in other aspects, namely that Ali is gunning for a husband and kids, while Flo seems to be quite happy having fun (and not husband-hunting in the worst environment possible!). Somehow Jarrod has heard Ali has ‘the most beautiful soul…inside’, and I’m not sure where else she would keep it (nor…who has been saying that?).

ALSO  joining, with a very purposeful stride which I admire, is Megan from Richie’s season. Megan’s a little infamous with the Daily Mails of the world as after she left (refusing a proffered rose), she went on to conduct a very Instagram-friendly relationship with fellow contestant Tiffany. Megan’s pretty clearly not a big fan of labels (which is something I empathise with) but is clear that she’s interested in both guys and girls, and is open to getting to know anyone on the show – in particular Jake, who she’s met before, and Elora, who she just presumably thinks is hot (spoiler alert for this episode AND next – we already know Megan and Elora get to know each other from the salacious promos). The next part is a bit vague but basically Megan gets a date straight away before she enters the resort – but doesn’t explicitly get to choose. Instead she chooses from a ‘menu’ of personality traits, and then the person who ostensibly best matches them is picked. I don’t actually believe this…at all, because Jake is whisked away for the date, and he doesn’t actually have any good personality traits.

Ali is being swept up in a sea of thirst. Unluckily for Jarrod, the 5-10 minutes of Sophie’s season that she watched were the ones where he got dumped, but they bond over their families being in the wine biz. Old mate Mack jumps in for the cockblock, inspiring some jealous noises from Leah about Ali’s husband-hunting. Mack and Leah both need to sort themselves the fuck out to be honest, but that’s a story for later. Mack is overwhelmed by the simple fact that Ali is asking him questions about himself (not exactly a glowing endorsement of Leah, who he’s usually shown speaking to) and asks one of the most annoying questions on earth: ‘Why the hell are you single?’

(I’m pretty sure the only way to answer that question is to take a leaf out of Bridget Jones’s Diary and reply that underneath your clothes, your entire body is covered in scales)

The Keenest Bean Who Ever Lived is pounced on by Keira when she returns from her date (Tara hissing: ‘Jarrod’s here, Jarrod’s) – they’ve had some interactions on Instagram (ah, modern romance). She is very blatantly checking him out, and starts complimenting him as soon as he starts talking about Ali.

Because this show will never release us, there’s more:

Michael returns eager to talk to Tara, not really picking up on the vibe well at all. When Ali asks Michael what he looks for in a woman, he openly gestures to Tara. Finally he takes her aside. While she initially just seems standoffish, making a point of what a great time she had with Sam, as she sits there in his ridiculous horseriding stackhat it is clear that she is incredibly drunk, and this could not be a worse time to have a meaningful conversation. Michael feels like he’s come back to a different woman – and he kinda has. He’s comes back to Very Drunk, Very Annoyed Tara. She is definitely passive aggressive, but he certainly should have picked up the hint earlier and left it to the next day. Ah well. Tara and Michael are looking cancelled….leaving her wide open for Sam.

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Megan and Jake’s date closes out the episode. She’s appropriately cynical about him – presuming he’s already got himself in the drama – but the mutual attraction is obvious. Having met when she was in a relationship, they’ve stayed in contact. By which I mean talked on the phone. WHO DOES THAT? Before entering the resort, they have a proper damn pash. Uh-oh.

Episode 4

Oh mate. Flo is on rampage. Ali is no longer on her radar, now Megan is here: ‘ ‘I don’t know much about Megan, I thought she was a lesbian’ (there’s a whole spectrum out there, Flo dear). And would she like to chat to Jake? ‘Why the fuck would I chat with him? What would I have to chat about?’. Anyway, she goes and chats with him. She says that she enjoys talking to him, although there is absolutely no evidence of this. It is incredibly tense and passive-aggressive. She notices Megan’s makeup on his shirt, and he tells her ‘It was a hug mark. We’re mates’. That’s the key part of this convo.

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Various parts of the gang are breaking it all down. Keira and Ali know that they both have a little somethin’ going on with Jarrod. And the man himself, sporting a fedora because of course, tells the boys that while he had an instant connection with Keira, he doesn’t want to get locked on to the first person. Considering the first of the two he chatted to was Ali, I daresay he’s gonna fail badly here.

The interminable Flo/Jake nonsense continues. Eden dobs Flo in to Jake, sharing that she’s been saying he’s two-faced. Meanwhile, Nina relays to Flo that Megan is being quite open about the fact that she and Jake kissed. You can see the steam come out of Flo’s ears here, and it’s not just the humidity. He must think she has an IQ below 100 to not find out about this business, she says. She starts resigning herself to going home.

Florence is feeling ‘single af’ as Lisa and Keira go through the list of couples out loud. This cuts to a shot I nearly shrieked at, of Laurina and Blake cozied up in bed.

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And now we enter love quadrilateral or pentagon or whatever territory. It starts with Mack and Leah, who have an odd vibe happen. Well, it’s not that odd. Mack is thirsty for her, and she’s entertaining herself with him until someone better comes along – but is neither so detached to not get butthurt if he pays attention to anyone else, nor so open about it that he feels he can do so without hurting some ‘loyalty’ he owes her. I don’t think it’s a game, which is he way Mack frames it. A game implies he has some chance of winning. She just likes the attention and doesn’t want to lose it. Anyway. Mack is part of the Ali Thirst Crew.

The centre of the Thirst Vortex is feeling Michael – she says he’s a ‘sweet soul’. Michael would like to talk to her thanks to their mutual background in property, which we all know really makes the panties drop. Ali thinks Jarrod is sweet, genuine, caring – a nice guy, but she feels no romantic connection, and he’s not her physical type. Good thing he’s got a date card and is about to ask her out, then.

The come upon some Fijian folks doing some traditional song and dance, which Jarrod compares to the Lion King, an intriguing choice there given the location of the Lion King in fucking Africa. They get roped in to dancing, and Jarrod is extremely Dad-like. Ali: ‘Jarrod’s dancing…I dunno. But he was definitely trying’. The date is essentially a cavalcade of Jarrod being way, way more in to Ali than she is to him, which is part of the reason I think he and Keira might be a perfect match. Despite him essentially implying her entry was heralded by angels, the best compliment she can muster is that he’s very genuine. He really does put it all out there. He continues to lay it on extra thick while she holds back, saying she wants to take her time and not kiss multiple men on the show (i.e YOU JARROD). Jarrod also doesn’t want to go around kissing guys or girls….’except for you, at some point, if it does continue down…’. Yeah very subtle bud. In the post-date interview, you can almost here the producers high-five each other over Jarrod’s soundbite  ‘If we’ve started out well now, who knows what could happen down the track. Nothing can destroy us’. Chillllllll.

Next up, it’s time to cancel Mack. Leah is finally being honest – she would take Michael on a date if she had the opportunity. Mack responds to this very normally and not at all gross and possessively: ‘If anyone is going to take you on a date, it’s going to be me taking you. If anyone’s going to kiss you first, it’s going to be me… You can’t go off with Mikey after I’ve been like…about 5 or 6 six days’. When Leah tries to tell him that their hanging out doesn’t necessarily have to be that fucking deep, and it’s Paradise, where they’re encouraged to test the waters and she doesn’t want to regret her experience, he graciously tells her ‘You can still talk to every person here’.

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Sam breaks it to Florence, who is chatting with Tara, ‘I just had a chat with Jake. He’s happy to continue having really good chats with you’
Flo: ‘ Don’t I feel honoured?’
Flo thinks he is malicious enough to tell everyone else he’s going to give her a rose so no-one else does. It’s not exactly a wild theory, he is a garbage person. Wais the bartender tells her she is living with the consequences of her actions. I would add that she is also living with the consequences of her terrible taste in men, because Davey was not a prize peach and everyone needs to stop pretending he was.
Megan and Jake discuss their sexual chemistry while sitting several feet away from each other. She empathises with how difficult it can be to date women. I promise it is harder to date Jake, please run away from this loser Megan.
It all goes off again. Michael sits down with Megan and Flo and asks Megan what Jake had said about other girls. Megan says Jake was open about the fact that he had taken out Florence, ‘but it was very much friendship’. Flo is floored and starts ranting about how he couldn’t stop kissing her and telling her how much he likes her. She then storms off to confront him in his bungalow, which unfortunately happens off-screen but with sound on. Things get heated ,with him denying Megan’s comment, her calling him narcissistic and then things get a little unclear, because I don’t know if production added in the sound effect of a smashing glass. Florence either threw the contents of her champagne glass at him, or the whole damn glass.
And look, the former is mostly a dream for any soap lover and a hilarious gif (provided the receiver is an asshole):
giphy (13)

But if it was the latter….if you’re going to go around accusing someone of being emotionally abusive (which Flo had), you probably don’t want to follow that up with being physically abusive yourself. Just a thought.

On Jarrod and Ali’s return from their date, Megan pays out Ali and Jarrod out for giggling, Sam obnoxiously (redundant) screams ‘Jarrod I want a download! How’d it go’, Mack is jealous and Ali somewhat shows her hand by going straight to Michael. But before things can get interesting, our boy Osher turns up to announce the rose ceremony that evening. While I think that’s extremely good news because it means this godforsaken episode is coming to an end, Leah tells him ‘Can you just give us some good news? Just casually. That’d be fantastic’.

Keira brings it a bit out a left field and starts pressuring Mack to keep her. A somewhat unlikely scenario – Mack’s life is fucking complicated enough.

Unlike the girls last week, the boys split up to discuss who will get roses. Turns out to be a tactical producer move. Jake is talking to Jarrod, Eden and Blake, while Michael is talking to Sam, Mack and Luke. Jarrod says Keira will hate him, but he plans to give his rose to Ali. Michael also has Ali in his sights for his rose. But he knows there’s a thing with Jarrod, and he knows Jarrod won’t react well if he gets in first with the rose.

Meanwhile in ladychats, Lisa thinks Jake will stay loyal to Flo. She thinks Jake loved getting a drink thrown at him. Which is a pretty hilarious interpretation, but the truth is, there’s not a lot of tension here with Jake’s rose, as we know very well from the promos that Megan stays.
Flo waltzes in to the cocktail party and Jake asks if she wants a drink.
Sam: ‘Maybe some champagne?’
Look, that’s probably the only thing I’m going to give Sam credit for in the course of the whole show.
Flo and Jake go for a chat and make nicey so the show can make us think he picks her.
Ali enters the party in a ~*~*dress*~*~ and half the men in the place flip shit. Jarrod abandons a conversation just to run over and tell her how good she looks (I REMEMBER THIS NONSENSE WITH SOPHIE). Ali chats with Michael, a grown man in capri pants, and they confirm their mutual interest. Mack corners her and freaks her out by telling her he’s thought about her a bunch over the last 24 hours. He insists he could talk to her all night, while she gently pushes to go back to the group. He feels like a comedian around her because she has a well-established awkwardness-coping mechanism of just laughing, which she did with Jarrod as well. Oh my god just let the poor girl have a cocktail in peace. The men are supposed to have the power this weak but they’re all ensnared by one girl.
Jarrod attempts to gently break it to Keira that he plans to give Ali his rose, which is pretty thoughtful. She’s immediately defensive, and when he talks about their connection growing she says ‘If I’m still around’ a bit sarcastically, and I wasn’t really buying her ‘I appreciate it’ when he says he wanted to explain it to her. Anyway, Keira goes off to have a massive teary about being loved for her, etc. You’ve seen the promos. That was this. Over Jarrod, of all people.
It’s almost rose ceremony time. Jake opines ‘this is a situation I didn’t want to be in’ even though he put himself in it, thoroughly. And Michael refers to the ‘love triangle’ where he, Jarrod and Mack are boning on for Ali. Not a triangle, mate.
Rose ceremony time! It is quite dramatic as far as these things go. Excellent work from the producers, putting Mack up first. He sends them all in to a tailspin by choosing Ali. Apart from Michael and Jarrod’s peevishness, Leah is there wondering what’s wrong with her? Is it because Ali reeks desperation? (probably not, hey).
Jarrod’s up next and gives a pining look to Ali before choosing Keira. She knows she’s he’s second choice, so one can pretty easily forgive her ‘Never thought you’d ask’ response, and the ‘…take what I can get at this stage’ thrown over her shoulder as she returns to the group.
Michael is stressing out because he doesn’t know what to do, while Jake (next to him), VERY unsubtly pressures him to choose Flo. Says he HAS to choose Flo. He lays it on so hard even though this is clearly not Michael’s decision to make, nor does Michael feel good about it.
Meanwhile, Eden chooses Nina and Luke chooses Lisa, we are never allowed to know anything about them or become invested.
Blake, Garbage Person, calls Laurina ‘Lenora’ during the rose ceremony. All the girls crack up but Laurina is done with him. Who the fuck is going to pick you now, dickhead? Get off my show.
Michael chooses Leah, which should please her. If he could just be a bit more rugged and manly (capri pants not included), he’d be just her type.
Once again, no tension because we know Megan stays, but oh god Jake does this in a fuckboyish manner, mournfully muttering ‘Willyouacceptthisrose’ without eye contact. To be fair, Megan was probably muttering ‘PleaseletEloraturnupsoon’ to herself.
As you can imagine, Flo takes this very graciously, and definitely doesn’t accuse him of being soulless, fake, and cold-hearted. Let’s hope this ends her fuckboy addiction for good.
Next week, Channel Ten goes full-on psychopathic with four episodes, Sunday-Wednesday. Once again, I have a real actual job, and I didn’t sign up to fucking recap the equivalent of the Return of the King: Extended Edition every week (plus I am interstate at the end of the week), so we’ll just have to see how we go.