The penultimate episode – number 15 for those who have been counting. That’s more than twenty-five hours of your life you have given over to this, if you have been watching from the beginning, and for me (shudder) it doesn’t bear thinking about.
And having changed over to another channel last night, I can’t help but think it could all be so much simpler – and shorter.
True love was found on First Dates last night over on Channel 7. Princess Jasmine and Prince Jim Junky managed to connect over a single meeting: a steak, the world’s second largest piece of broccoli and conversation (which was an assault to the intellect and an affront to the English language).
It can happen people! No sky-diving, no pig chasing, no…Osher.
The Osher bit has certainly diminished this season since there were no more date cards to be handed out, and he has been dispensed with again here.
Instead, Matty is standing on the beach, surfboard under arm, gazing out on a waveless ocean. He paddles out into the waveless ocean, and catching no waves, walks along the beach, trying to put on a brave face.
As the surfing is crap, he decides to go on a date with Laura instead.
He picks up a blue Cobra and takes in the views of the Sea Cliff Bridge, just north of Wollongong, at least a drone picks up fantastic views of Matty driving across the Sea Cliff Bridge. Now, I must be honest here. From the minute I first saw the Sea Cliff Bridge, I had it on my bucket list, (not that high up, but on there just the same) to drive across it. How magnificent it would be!
This year, I got to drive across the Sea Cliff Bridge. What a disappointment! For those of you wanting to do it, based on all the spectacular photographs, have a bit of a think about how you have envisaged it: from a helicopter, from a mountain, from a drone? I bet not once you pictured it from the passenger seat of a car, and from road level it’s as exciting as…crossing a bridge.
This doesn’t deter Matty. Having picked up Laura and pashed her (Sea Cliff bridge posing tantalisingly in the background) he starts the date by driving her backwards and forwards across the Sea Cliff Bridge about forty-seven times. Like she’s not from Sydney and she hasn’t done it before anyway.
Finally, the novelty wears off and they pull up atop a cliff, where Matty announces they are going hang-gliding; tandem hang-gliding, but not with each other.
Not for the first time this season, Matty has taken his girl on a date where she is strapped to another man, and he likewise. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, depending on how tight the harnesses are strapped.
Anyway, Laura is so impressed with the view that she finds religion:
“Holy shit!” she exclaims, or maybe this is because she has been made a human drone and has finally caught a glimpse of the Sea Cliff Bridge.
Suddenly night falls and Matty takes Laura into the nearest backyard for a debrief. He reminds her about their first date, where he drew the picture of her that resembled a Mr Potato Head assembled by a two-year-old.
“I’ve been taking lessons,” he proudly announces, before producing a new portrait of Laura.
I can only assume that he has been taking lessons at the Police Identikit Face Piktya School, because while at least this one resembles a woman, it could be any one of half a dozen Bachelorettes. I guess Matty was hedging his bets.
It works. Laura tells him she is definitely falling in love with him. They kiss.
All of a sudden it is morning, and we are somewhere west of Sydney where Elise is waiting for Matty on a railway platform. Elise is hoping for a steaming date. Matty is hoping Elise is smoking hot. Neither is disappointed as he arrives in a puffing engine. He disembarks and embraces her.
“This is just like a scene from a movie,” he says – one where the hero arranges for his date to be standing outside the ladies’ loo at Thirlmere Station.
Off they head for their date. Matty suggests they go outside. I think back to every Bachelor date ever, and think that Elise is the first one to do the whole “King of the World” thing, not from the front of a boat, but from the back of a train, and where you can’t stick your arms out, lest they be lopped off by a tree.
Ah the romance of steam travel! After a mere ten hours, the train arrives at the next station, and since Elise already reeks of smoke, he decides that a camp fire is the perfect night-time date. He has set up under a ghost gum, which is very unsafe.
Ghost gums are notorious for dropping their limbs, potentially crushing anyone beneath it to death. How I wish I was camped under one while watching this!
There are a whole lot of f-words being used.
“I can see a future with us,” says Elise. “I am falling in love.”
“I feel it. I’m falling too,” replies Matty.
Seriously, where’s that effing branch?
And we are off to an ad break. Sponsored by the Coalition for Marriage. The mob who think that same-sex marriage will lead to boys wearing frocks (like Jesus didn’t) and all marriages are monogamous.
Hmmm. Is the irony on this purchase of advertising space lost on everyone but me?
Finally, it’s Date Three – Tara.
She recalls how sad she was when Matty left, how she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, because the alternative is growing old alone, and sharing a bedroom with her brother, Troy.
They meet at a pier where Matty is standing in front of a sea plane.
“Oh…WOWWWWWWWW! I always wanted to go on a SEAAAAAA PLAAAAANNNNNEEE!” shrieks Tara.
I smell bullshit. I think that should be a Family Feud question:
It’s sudden death. We surveyed one hundred people and the top answer is on the board. What is the top of your bucket list?
I’ll go with “riding in a seaplane”, Grant!”
There is way too much kissing on this episode for it to bode well for Tara. Matty has figured out that she can’t speak if his tongue is jammed down her throat.
Suddenly the pair of them are teleported to the deck of a yacht.
“What are you thinking now?” asks Matty.
“That I shouldn’t have worn a pencil skirt on this date.”
They pull up on a pontoon with no chairs and spend the next few hours watching the boat bob up and down.
When the sun finally sets, they sit down for a chat and all of a sudden the “Dads for Kids” music starts.
Tara gets to sit down on a couch with Matty. Matty says he can see Tara eye-to-eye. Hahaha.
For her part, Tara says she can see herself falling in love with Matty “so soon”.
In the words of The Smiths: How Soon is Now?
On that ominous note, it’s back to the mansion for the rose ceremony. Osher manages to tell the girls that there are two roses and three of them, in a sentence so long that would be worthy of a Peter Carey novel.
Matty enters, pained, like he’s eaten a dodgy prawn and swigged it down with a glass of clean-skin Riesling.
“Laura. Will you accept this rose?”
She accepts the rose.
Elise accepts the rose, even though the producers have managed to make her look both dowdy (despite gold lame) and cheap with red lipstick.
Osher re-appears to tell Tara that she didn’t receive a rose. Thanks, Osher for stating the beleeding obvioue. That’s why no-one wants him delivering cards anymore.
Matty tries to make sweet with Tara:
“You’ve made this amazing: from the tandem bike to the camel.”
And as Tara stumbles across the lawn, there can be no better parting word than those.