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Pop CultureAugust 11, 2016

Jane Yee on The Block: An emotional final farewell to Meadowbank


With The Block NZ all but wrapped up for another season, Jane Yee discovers that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

I thought this was going to be the best day of my life. I imagined feeling a huge weight lift off my shoulders, a sense of liberation like I’d never known. Eleven weeks I’ve spent riding the Block rollercoaster, desperate to alight. Today, the safety bar lifted. Today, I should be rejoicing.

Yet here I am, cold and alone. Hollow and directionless. The thought of houses 1-4/95 St Johns Rd sitting empty (but still warm thanks to their top notch Homestar rating) pains me in a way I never anticipated. This is the reality of addiction, and as I lie fetal in this pit of despair there can by no denying, I am a Blockaholic.

I can barely believe that in Week One I didn’t think I’d ever know my Dyls from my Dylz. I had no idea who Glyn the Council Inspector was, and I had nay heard the phrase “life’s a garden.” Now I’m clinging desperately to the memories. Niki’s dancing, Big Bad Bobby, the chux cloth, the solar shower, the goddamn schist wall. All I have left to hold on to is auction night – where my BFFs will rendezvous at the Rendezvous, dressed up in fancy clothes with their hair and makeup done all swish, and I’ll feel like I don’t even know them anymore.

Nobody said it was easy
Nobody said it was easy

It’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, really. I was taken captive by this seemingly innocent little franchise, then pummelled night after night with torturous drone shots of cars driving about, absurd challenges, flimsy storylines and far more costumery than is acceptable for a factual show featuring actual adults.

It was all so monotonous, repetitive and other words that mean the same thing, but somewhere in the madness I fell in love with that ragtag bunch of rascals. I didn’t realise it had happened until Wednesday night when they were driving away from site for the final time with tears streaming down their cheeks, and I could feel my own eyes welling up. What the hell was that about? I was supposed to be happy to be rid of this giant townhouse in my side! Why did I have feelings about it all?

the block
No one ever said it would be this hard

I guess over the last eleven weeks there’s been a certain comfort in flopping on the sofa four nights a week to watch Big Dyls lose his shit at The Wolf. I loved witnessing Tiff robotically fulfilling her duty to the sponsors by mentioning Freedom when she actually did all her shopping at Indie Home Collective. I lol’d at Sam and Emmett’s casual approach and witty repartee. I’m sure Emma and Courtney did stuff that I enjoyed too.

But now, like ceiling gib installed without insulation, it’s all been ripped away from me. The Block NZ 2016 chewed me up and spat me out without me even realising it and if I didn’t have The Real Housewives of Auckland to look forward to, I doubt I’d be getting out of bed tomorrow.

It’s safe to say a piece of my heart will forever reside in Meadowbank. The rest will be on the road doing moisture tests with Glyn.

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