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Pop CultureOctober 23, 2018

Married at First Sight NZ power rankings: Good news, love is mostly dead

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From deep within her grave, Alex Casey delivers the power rankings for week four on Married at First Sight NZ.

Honestly, liquidate my heart, pour it into a Soda Stream, blast it with ice cold fizz and pour it out in the Adrenalin Forest, because I just can’t take this anymore. We are nearly at the end of the Married at First Sight NZ journey, and even a bespoke Samuel Levi watch won’t give us enough time to process whatever the fuck just happened. Before we get onto the madness, I’d like to give a special shout out to Three for this seamless episode crossover.

We’ve covered a lot this week – commitment ceremonies, dinner parties, vow renewals, the almighty reunion. It’s a lot to absorb and I think, story-wise, the MAFSNZ overlords have made a massive mistake cramming it all into 90 minute episodes, three nights a week. As time bends and moments get mushed together, the stakes feel lower and the facade more and more obvious. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry four (4) times though!!!!! I’m only a human just like Julia’s cat!!!!

All aboard the almighty log flume of love.

7) Wayne and Ksenia

They began the week, unsurprisingly, in dire straits. Which is fitting, because their dice really was loaded from the start. And I bet. And they exploded into my heart. It’s no surprise these two have been super cranky with each other, given all they have been eating is delicious, nutritious Tip Top white bread. Hmm, unless it’s for the ducks? Questions. Quandaries. 

“Do you like me?” he asked Ksenia, sunglasses on head glinting in quiet rage. “I don’t dislike you at all,” she replied. Despite opening up about her absent father at the dinner party, Wayne remained exasperated that she didn’t know his entire job history. He wore his hot dog socks to the commitment ceremony, but it was not enough.

The pair called it quits, both deciding to leave the experiment after Wayne refused to take photos of Ksenia under a beautiful tree in Cornwall Park. He’s off to find his perfect woman now, even if it means he has to go to Antarctica. Hey, Wayne, here’s a head start.

As it turns out, Wayne HAS found the love of his life, but more about that slightly later.

6) Ottie and Gareth

Again, this week we saw nearly nothing of New Zealand’s own Harley Quinn and Joker (Jared Leto edition, obviously). At the dinner party, Ottie said that “Crom” was beautiful which feels like a jailable abbreviation offence, until I realised that she was actually talking about Crom (fictional deity). According to Wikipedia “Crom doesn’t care if individuals live or die, and he despises weakness, therefore the name of Crom is typically only invoked during an oath or curse.”

The curse came soon after during Question Time, when Ottie refused to ask Gareth a particular question on the cue cards. She said it was something they had already discussed, and something that she wanted to keep private. But then this little teaser regarding the subject matter happened.

I’m sorry but, as an investigative journalist. I can’t leave this alone. Starts with A, sensitive in nature, not for sharing in a public forum? Folks, there’s only one answer here… it’s Ass Cream. Or… this? 

We may never find out what the real question was, because Gareth and Ottie also called it quits at the commitment ceremony the next day. The sticking point of her not wanting to have kids proved to be an immovable one, and she insinuated that Gareth was a bit sexist which seems unlikely because he has a huge woman face tattooed on the back of his head but OK??? Also extremely bold of her to write “GO” instead of the customary “stay” or “leave”.

Some people just want to watch the world burn.

5) Julia and Dave

Oh my god, there is so much to talk about here. At the start of the week I had planned a 1500 word, frame-by-frame analysis of the moment that Dave held up Julia by her bum cheeks, and then jiggled said bum cheeks, but I’ll have to simply break it down into four words: this was fucking crazy.

Also her cat eats with its hands like a human. Also she attributed this inspirational quote to herself. Also her friend looks like Ray Romano and I love it.

The amount of time we, as a nation, have spent listening to and thinking about whether or not Julia and Dave will ever have sex is really intense. “They think with the head, and I’m not talking about THIS head,” said Julia, to which her linen-suited mate replied “you never know till you try.” Those chances were looking slim on their return to Auckland, where Julia immediately left to catch up with Sam, while Dave watched from the balcony, smoking a dart.

Cue 1 x HUGE FIGHT. Dave was upset that Julia spends crucial time with Sam instead of him, and accuses her of being a totally different person. Julia says that she needs another emotional outlet, and that they have taken a very big step backwards. Also, she’s sensing jealousy, which made me wish for another James Mustapic joke for the road.

At the dinner party, the most important thing that happened is Dave quoted Family Guy, a show previously only enjoyed by The Spinoff’s television editor Sam Brooks. Everyone then jumped on the opportunity to neg Dave within an inch of his life, trying to decide if he looked more like Peter Griffin, or more like a Big Baby. Omg, guess what I just realised.

Just when I thought I couldn’t scream-laugh any harder, Julia decided to visit a CLAIRVOYANT who lives in a CARAVAN to tell them if they should STAY TOGETHER. The psychic communicated with some weirdly horny angels, whose only piece of feedback for the pair was that they have clearly not consummated their relationship. Then, we got the most incredible piece of editing on the show yet. Whoever did these flash-forwards deserves either a pay rise or to be hurtled deep into the recesses of space. Perhaps both.

At the vow renewal ceremony, Julia walked in weeping, which is always a reassuring start to marital proceedings. Big Baby had clearly just had a bottle and a nap, because he was totally assured and steadfast in his ending of the relationship. Julia wept some more, and they hugged for so long that the ice caps melted around us and Wayne finally caught a defrosted barracuda to marry. Can I be honest though?

This is the most depressing episode of Family Guy I have ever seen. [Can I direct you to the episode where Brian and Stewie get locked in a bank and reminisce on the meaning of life? – TV editor Sam Brooks, thoroughly skewered]

4) Monique and Fraser

Okay, deep breaths, love doesn’t exist and you will never be truly happy because Monique and Fraser have decided to call it quits. I thought it was all going so well! They held hands on the way to Cakes and Ladder, where they played Mancala and Robot Fighting and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THIS TINY SIGN THAT SAYS “DIX” ON IT WTF?

Did you see his dix tho?

There was also this beautiful domestic scene before the dinner party: him wearing what can only be described as a waistcoat, her potentially making fake champagne using only a Soda Stream and good ol’ Kiwi ingenuity. Hang it in the Louvre.

A gorgeous wee piece

The commitment ceremony was tense, and Fraser was wearing his feelings on his t-shirt that featured an angry emoji and the statement “EVERYONE DENOUNCED YOU” which I am going to guess is something from… a game. But yes. The spark wasn’t there, he felt he had invested too much, he claimed to be running on empty. They went to Rainbows End to save the relationship, but it just ended up looking like Fraser having an existential crisis alone on the Log Flume.

I’d also like to seize this opportunity to talk about the time I saw Michael Murphy playing ‘Blurred Lines’ to nobody at Rainbow’s End and it was very chilling and I still feel like there’s time for it to lead the 6pm bulletin even though it happened over three years ago. Things ground to a halt, ironically, under the corkscrew coaster. Even if the relationship is in turmoil, Fraser’s pristine TV-crying ft. black fade out should win an Oscar and probably a Pulitzer for good measure.

“There’s no scientific formula to finding love, people should be aware of that.” Too little, too late, Monique. I gave my all to this relationship, now you’re telling me you are just going to be FRIENDS and only get married (again) if you’re both single at 34?! I’m too depressed even for Fraser’s bow tie to cheer me up.

3) Sam and Tayler

Sam’s walls have gone up and down like a prairie dog in the desert this week. Tayler was grinding his gears (do you not watch Family Guy?) with his annoying hangover, but it wasn’t annoying enough to distract from the extremely cool fact that he was clearly reading about himself in this here magazine.

At the dinner party, Sam’s first bit of praise for their relationship was that they had “won New Zealand over from the start.” Hmm, I found a powerful pic of New Zealand on Google Maps the second that moment happened, and it really speaks volumes. Wow. Just wow.

Two or three wall demolitions and constructions later, the pair decided to leave the experiment and spend some time apart. They returned for the reunion special looking stronger than ever, claiming to have spoken every day they were apart. I am extremely confused and yet, happy for them. Who would have thought?

2) Wayne and Gareth

There were a lot of unfunny gay jokes made about this “bromance” (drown masculinity in moisturiser tbh), but I’m happy these two have got something out of this. Besides, at least Wayne’s World got a sequel. Party on.

1) Dan and Yuki

These sick freaks are so in love that they wear the same clothes every time they hang out and now I wear exclusively ripped jeans and flannel shirts too. They entered the experiment giggling together and they will almost certainly leave it giggling together. I want to shout out Yuki in particular for indulging in one of national beers and influencing me to buy 10 gallons of Asahi.

Take me money

During their final date together, Dan looked at the menu and said “shit almighty” which just about sums up everything that has ever happened. Yuki joked about ordering two “happy ending” cocktails, a dangerous jape causing Dan to laugh so hard that it sent a meteor off course and headed on a trajectory straight towards Earth, where a young budding astronomer named Elijah Wood is gazing up at the stars through his telescope.

Dan, probably cracking up at the latest climate change report

Thank christ we got at least one fairytale ending. “Any challenges we face we will get through it together,” said Yuki, promising to be a best friend and a travel buddy to The Laughing Electrician. If there was one criticism I could offer, I feel like we could have got a better kiss, but that’s a pretty weird thing to say about two people you’ve never met so I’ll probably just keep that one to myself.


Shout out to Jared Wilkinson for forever immortalising the moment of the season. Maybe it’s the best moment in television history? Heeeeeeeeeeere’s Samuel!

Keep going!