This season looks set to be a doozy. We cop the usuals in our intro montage – “I’m 29”, man with questionable sleeve tattoo, single mum with fresh lip filler. We follow our single mum first – her name is Sam, and she’s been through some shit. She’s got two little boys and tells us that she spent their formative years buying furniture from the tip because she had $1.50 to her name. I’m immediately rooting for her, of course – mainly because she goes for THIS RSL-pour of champers:
She’s joined at the inaugural hen’s party by Belinda, who tells us about 350 times that she’s 29 and has never had a boyfriend. I do not think there is one screen moment of Belinda where she doesn’t tell us she’s never had a relationship before. Sam is completely blown away by this fact which is… weird? I know heaps of people who haven’t been in relationships in their late 20s? Let us not judge the woman who has encountered every f*ckboy in Australia, ok?
Also, a moment to acknowledge Belinda’s FANTASTIC hair.
Over at the buck’s party, this flop arrives. I’ve pre-decided he’s a flop because he marches in bellowing “WHERE’S MY WIIIIIFEEEE” and also has this pants/shoes combo on. I can’t, guys. Is he Hugh Hefner?
His name is Bryce and he tells us he thought he’d be married by 30/31, but he… is 31 so I feel like you’re not reeeeally in dire straits yet, my dude. Two other guys - one who looks like Justin Bieber and one who looks like a dodgy politician, enter.
Then we meet Patrick, who is CLEARLY going to be the sweet baby angel we all root for. He’s nervous and tells us he doesn’t get much attention from women. I’m already crying. We also meet Coco, this wild pilates teacher or something who says she’s psychic, and Belinda, the classic gal-next-door who just wants babies and that is all, please and thanks.
But then we meet THIS GUY.
I missed his name (there are a LOT of names, ok?) but my god, I’m not feeling good vibes. He tells us he attracts “vulnerable people” and then their issues overshadow his own so he spends all his time helping them and not himself??? I smell a selfish prick, friends. It doesn’t help that his montage is just this:
And even more of this:
I mean. I just foresee some truly toxic behaviour but maybe I’ll be proven wrong!
Next we meet Liss, who is almost certainly the Connie of 2021. She’s nervous, she hates crowds and attention, she one thouuuusand percent should run for the hills and not participate in this show.
After that, the experts arrive to run the parties through what’s about to happen. It’s clear they’re all getting steadily trashed because before too long, Coco and Sam are butting heads. Basically, Sam tells everyone that her ex-husband was 33, and she was 17, when they got together. Coco is all “hmmmmm someone call the cops” and Sam was off it entirely. Not that we caught a drink-throwing incident yet – they worked it out (kind of) in a heated chat, where Coco apologised and Sam begrudgingly accepted her apology.
The first couple to get paired up are Liss and Bryce. The experts say they’ll be a good match because Liss needs someone confident who can support her, since she is a delicate flower. Far too delicate to be on a show like this with all these other people who will almost definitely rip her to shreds at the first dinner party, but what would I, a loyal viewer, know about THAT.
The next match? Jake, a former AFL star who left the sport due to mental health battles, and now heads up a mental health charity, and Rebecca, this terrifying woman who seems to love the gym and also loves leaving dates after five minutes if she’s “not feeling it”. She’s self-confessed sassy, in fact she calls herself a “sasshole”, which is “half sassy, half asshole”. I feel like this could trend soon, to be honest.
However, the experts say she actually has a vulnerable side, and they feel that this match will work because Jake obviously is sensitive to deeper stuff like, you know, feelings. I do wish they had used a non-serial-killer headshot of him, though.
The first wedding we get is Liss (Melissa) and Bryce. Liss honestly looks like she’s going to throw up all over her very pouffy wedding dress on the way to the ceremony.
Bryce, meanwhile, seems heaps calm and it seems to help Melissa when she gets to the ceremony. She says she felt at ease because he made eye contact with her, and like on one hand, the bar is on the floor but also I was smiling the whole time? So they got me good.
The next wedding is Jake and Rebecca. Things don’t go as swimmingly as Melissa/Bryce’s ceremony. For starters, Rebecca feels like Jake was ripping her clothes off with his eyeballs instead of being blown away by his instant love for her. Frankly I’d be stoked if the guy I was matched with thought I was hot as hell. He doesn’t even know you yet, Rebecca! Give the man a chance!
Things get worse. She doesn’t like that he’s left his shirt open to show off his (questionable) chest tattoo. Their interactions are stilted and awkward. But their friends seem to feel they’re a good match, so maybe they’ll warm up to each other?
Over at Bryce and Melissa’s reception, things are going great guns - Melissa tells him she’s a Vans and black jeans gal, not a fancy lady, and he is into it. But it all goes a bit pear-shaped when she mentions it’s “been a while” since she was in a relationship. He naturally asks her how long and she goes all stressed and weird. Like, why did you bring it up then Melissa! Just don’t talk about it! Who cares how long it’s been!
I was expecting her to be like:
But in the end she says 12 years, which is ages but honestly, does it really matter? BUT, then Bryce drops the bombshell to end all bombshells. He was engaged… up until SIX MONTHS AGO.
Melissa’s face is all of our faces in this moment.
She convenes with her Aunt and bridesmaid, and is really mature about it which was nice to see. She tells them she can’t be closed off and needs to keep an open mind, both for her sake and his sake. Maturity?? On MAFS? It’s different but we love to see it!
Over to Bec and Jake, and things are just crashing into a burning hellfire of crap, really. Bec seems to be grilling Jake’s family, and they then in a roundabout way call her high maintenance. She naturally is pissed off, but was kind of being super standoffish so I also don’t feel like the judgement was entirely off from his fam, either.
Thankfully, her best friend sits her down and essentially tells her to stop being a judgy bitch and start giving Jake a chance, since she barely knows him. She seems to take this in because later, they sit down after their reception and she sees a different side to him. Here’s hoping Bec can put her judgements aside… and also that Jake isn’t a stone-cold douche. Hey, if he is I’m going to enlist Bec to make snap judgements on all my future relationships.
The love story comes from Melissa and Bryce, who are totally besotted and share a kiss. PLEASE LAST AND FALL IN LOVE, GUYS. I need this.