Married At First Sight has made for shocking but compelling viewing this season, more so than any other.
Like someone about to walk into a pole because they’re distracted by their mobile, or a lion mauling a gazelle in a nature doco, it feels wrong to stare with gawkish glee… but how can you not?
From partner swaps to toxic masculinity and jealous women ganging up on each other, the latest instalment of this pursuit of television ratings – sorry, I mean everlasting love – has been truly eye-opening.
Here are my five take-aways.
1. I should invest in a cosmetic surgery clinic
There comes a tipping point in the search for medically engineered beauty when you go from ‘new and improved’ to ‘cat features with a side of paralysis’.
It’s not even a fine line – it’s a big, thick one drawn in texta that you can literally see a mile away. And yet some push the silicon-filled envelope to the extreme.
From Tracey’s lips, now totally incapable of keeping saliva in her mouth, to Davina’s ageless face, right up to Sarah’s… everything, I feel a pang of sadness whenever these overdone ladies flash on my screen.
I just want to scream. Who hurt you? Why are you doing this to yourself? Do you own a mirror?
2. Weirdos can win
As something of a closet oddball myself, I’ve always believed that stark normality is unfortunately the key to success in society. Without it, people tend to steer clear of you. And so, us weirdos have learnt to hide our cray with careful practice Then the being that is Troy came into my consciousness.
That grating laugh. That weirdly over-exuberant teeth-brushing. His chasm of a mouth when kissing. He brings new meaning to being unashamedly yourself, and good for him. If he can find love with his creeper conduct, then there’s truly hope for even the most hopeless of us.
3. The producers like watching people get ready
About one-fifth of this season was just vision of people waking up, showering, and ironing their clothes and getting dressed. I get you need filler footage for voiceovers and whatnot, but this was just overkill. It was like they weren’t even trying. And why doesn’t Dean know that you’re not meant to iron a suit jacket? Why?
That whole sequence of Carly and Troy in bed together sequence made the most gory of horror films look like an episode of Playschool.
4. Nasser is not a nice guy
In the show, fitness trainer Nasser looks like your favourite loud, over-enthusiastic but ultimately harmless uncle. But it seems to be all BS.
There was the revelation that his on-camera reaction to wife Gab’s alopecia was put on. He was sweet and caring to her face, but then she overheard him expressing his disgust to producers off camera.
And then in a media interview recently, he claimed to have bedded more than 1000 women in his time. Firstly, no he hasn’t. Secondly, gross.
5. “Boys will be boys” is a tired excuse
I am a bloke. I like blokes. I’m even marrying one next month. But that whole boys’ night episode made me sick in the stomach.
What well-adjusted adult carries on like that? Seriously? I’m all for a bit of drunken fun with my mates and love talking crap as much as the next fool, but there’s a difference between larrikinism and douchebaggery. And those dudes were kinds of the douches that night.
Talking about your partner’s attributes, comparing them with someone else’s significant other, talking about who you might trade them for… that’s just not normal. Neither is it respectful. The justification that it was all a bit of fun or a joke is a cop out and we need to do better at calling it out.
I know that’s five already, but I feel the need to include a bonus sixth observation. And that is:
6. Dignity is dead
Dead, buried and cremated, as our budgy smuggler-wearing former PM would put it. There is little to no dignity in this show, and it is bloody entertaining to watch.
What will fill this shameful void of mine now?