When the rocket clock struck 7.30pm last Monday evening, people all over Australia could suddenly hear a giant heaving, guttural, squelching sound. It was Kerry Packer rolling in his grave, wondering why on earth he ever bothered to resurrect Channel Nine from its final death throws in the late 70s with his light bulb idea of combining a mind numbingly dull sport with misogynistic bogan culture, when all it did was eventually lead down this path of reality TV horror. Self-billed as “Australia’s most controversial social experiment”, Married At First Fright has all the hallmarks of trainwreck television- the drama, the nonsensical plot line, the slightly unhinged contestants. If you listen REALLY carefully, you can probably also hear James Packer rolling in his grave, but then you realize that’s the sound of him rolling over in bed and accidentally using Mariah Carey’s 85 carat blood diamond as a suppository.
The first episode opens with a bunch of miscellaneous despos being driven in the back of an Uber, telling the camera about how pathetic / arrogant/ amazing they are, while the panel of smug, self-congratulatory actors “experts” Freud, Nietzsche and Jung reel off their pompous qualifications, telling us that we need to do something serious about this worldwide pandemic of people not being able to find someone who tolerates them cutting their toenails over the kitchen table.
There’s a weird montage of bungee jumping, bitchy women and farm cows, and every single dramatic arc in all 48 future episodes, so I turn off the TV, confident that I have just watched all I need to watch to write these recaps, and I can just fill in the gaps with scenes out the Stephen King horrors I keep in my top drawer.
Ok so the first thing I notice is how eye-rollingly hetero this show is. Not one same sex couple in 10 couples? Come on bigots, I know Sam Newman sleeps under the desk at Nine Headquarters because his 21 year old ex girlfriend burned his Toorak mansion down, but I expected a bit more inclusivity.
The producers split up the despos into the wang pad and the menstruation pad, and the girls all cry and talk about trust and feelings, then compare boob and ass implants and bitch at each behind each other’s backs; while the boys ask each other if they want another froffie and high five each other about the time they cheated on their missus in their best Russell Crowe testosterone voices.
Now, because there are 400 despos and I actually have a life, I’m going to simplify by writing brief and completely inaccurate profiles on the entire cast of actors contestants. Dexter the robot from a Perfect Match is now the third person rolling in his grave.
Cheryl: Speaks like she’s swallowed too much Juvederm and Haggis. Says more “HOH MY GHODDDDD’S” than a bunch of Broadmeadows High School kids at a Halal Snack Pack eating competition. Her dad is the Goggo Mobile Ad guy. Favourite topics include how hot she is, and how she can probably date anyone she wants.
DESPO RATING: 6
LIKABILITY RATING: 5
Jonathon: Deluded self-professed “ontrapanewwwer” who speaks like his tongue is firmly shoved up his ass, Jonathon is a mixture between Patrick Bateman and Ricky Nixon. Probs goes bright red, sweats bullets and dies when he eats mild Peri Peri sauce at Nandos. Is a solid 3/10 WOULD NOT BANG, but only wants to date 10/10. Good luck m8.
DESPO RATING: 5 LIKABILITY RATING: -4
Susan: Sweet-as-pie Aussie boiler, who you just know would be the first person to break the kangaroo’s neck if you accidentally cleaned up skippy down the Pacific Highway.
DESPO RATING: 6 LIKABILITY: 8
Sean: Like Ivan Milat’s angelic brother, Sean is an earnest and likable dinky di bushranger who has never seen a living woman before in his life. Lives alone in an isolated outpost in the Australian desert, shooting Bunyips for fun.
DESPO RATING: 9 LIKABILITY: 7
Michael: Arrogant Stripper whose personality resembles the plastic containers that all his bland 30/ 30/ 30 % prepared meals are delivered in. Says he doesn’t drink, smoke, laugh, smile, snort drugs, or do anything fun, but I’m pretty sure this guy is actually an Ibrahim brother and he’s got an eight ball in his gym bag.
DESPO RATING: 5 LIKABILITY RATING: 0
Scarlett: Flaky American tart who probably only settled for this boobie prize show because The American Bachelor rejected her application. Likes pink and her own reflection. Pronounces Chameleon like “Charm-eeleon” lols.
DESPO RATING: 9 LIKABILITY RATING: 3
Nadia: Kate Cebrano’s incredibly boring sister. Doesn’t want to marry anyone who is as much of a dropkick as her own dad. She’s come to the wrong show.
DESPO RATING: 6 LIKABILITY RATING: 5
Anthony: Wants to date a human instead of a horse. Looks forward to calling his sexual romps with human like a horse race, with lots of references to having a lot of horse between his legs and a small jockey hanging slightly to the right.
DESPO RATING: 6 LIKABILITY RATING: 5
Vanessa: Sweet Italian girl with biological block ticking like a time bomb in her ear, Vanessa needs to find a man before the Godfather disowns her or marries her off to Sonny Corleone.
DESPO RATING: 9 LIKABILITY RATING: 8
Jordan: Amazonian ballbreaker used-car saleswoman single mum of one, looks like she eats small men up for breakfast with her morning protein shake.
DESPO RATING: 8 LIKABILITY RATING: 7
Andrew Fire Hose: 38 year old Firefighter who loves a lame pun about sliding down poles and putting out the hotspot in the bush.
DESPO RATING: 5 LIKABILITY RATING: 7
Nick: Skinhead farmboy who has let his shaved head grown out to appear socially acceptable for to the three people watching who didn’t vote for Pauline Hanson. Probably has the Southern Cross tattooed in five different secret hotspots on his body. DESPO RATING: 9 LIKABILITY RATING: 4
Deborah: Postmenopausal Bond Girl/ potential Cougar, Deborah either grew up way too hot to ever marry anyone, or has spent the last 60 years sitting in trees and talking to the elves.
DESPO RATING: 7 LIKABILITY RATING: 3
John: Silver fox old dude, who spends most of his time sitting on his porch with a M-16 rifle in case any bogans come sniffing around for his daughters.
DESPO RATING: 7 LIKABILITY RATING: 8
Andrew Army Dude: Regimented adrenaline junky army sergeant, who has pretty much done everything including climbed Everest to the moon. This life of adventure and adrenaline has made him super awkies around any babe that can’t get his heart racing to 250 bpms or remind him of imminent death.
DESPO RATING: 7 LIKABILITY RATING: 7
Alene: Conservative and caring Lebanese babe, who seems to have more faith in an shitty Aussie dating show arranging her marriage than in her Uncle Abdul arranging her marriage in Beirut to her cousin.
DESPO RATING: 7 LIKABILITY RATING: 8
Simon: Bogan Simply Red with heart of gold. I wouldn’t mind him singing “Holding Back the Years” in my ear all night in that laconic bogan drawl while I run my fingers through those curls.
DESPO RATING: 9 LIKABILITY RATING: 9
Jesse: Works at a fruit market in South Australia, and uses this as an opportunity to quip to the Sunday morning shoppers that he’ll give them his own fresh banana if they buy a kilo of Ladyfingers. Probs only using this show because he’s banged every babe on Tinder within a 50mile radius of Snowtown.
DESPO RATING: 3 LIKABILITY RATING: 5
Michelle and Shaz (Maz): Identical blonde Barbie twins who finish each other’s sentences. The hornbag Bachelors are going to Pray to Mecca they get to marry both instead of just one.
DESPO RATING: 4 LIKABILITY RATING: 5
FML, this show and Flawless who made me blog about it.