Australia’s Perfect Couple

apcBut really, Jules, what’s the point of it all?

That’s about all I kept saying at my television set as I watched the first episode of Australia’s Perfect Couple.

Here’s another variation on the dating / reality genre with 8 couples competing for a big cash prize and the title of ….Australia’s perfect couple. It is based on the US series Here Come the Newlyweds.

The couples are young, mostly white Anglo-Saxon and mostly heterosexual (wait, am I watching homeMADE again?). They are all assembled in front of a rambling rural estate (no it’s Farmer Wants a Wife) ready to face off against a series of challenges to test their devotion to one another (hang on, it’s Temptation Island).

On offer is $100,000 and more thrown into the kitty for each correctly completed challenge, up to $250,000 by series’ end.

Host Jules Lund explains their first challenge will see the men blindfolded and kissed on the cheek by the women, but can they correctly guess which is their lady? Rivetting stuff. One of the gay guys faces an identical challenge as he is swiftly pecked by a bunch of male models and his partner.

Next we watch Lund hosting a ‘getting to know you’-style chat in which some of the couples talk about their backgrounds. Funnily enough, this is the most interesting part of the show. Hearing¬† Harps and Nav, who are practising Sikhs, talk about overcoming a family tradition of ‘arranged marriages’ was both enlightening and fascinating. Shame they weren’t afforded a one hour doco of their own.

Same sex couple Robbie and Dan also had an interesting story to tell. Being together for eight years and having a 12yo foster daughter breaks stereotypes about gay couples only having short relationships. They can’t help but mention the inequity in Australian marriage law that exists for them, which elicits sympathetic comments from their new-found friends / competitors.

Lund asks the couples a series of trust questions, along the lines of “how many sexual partners did your partner have before they met you?” or similar. These have the nasty ring of a wish list from The Moment of Truth.

Next challenge involves one partner hooked up to some electricity -I kid you not- who is subsequently zapped each time their partner fails to navigate an electric ring through a maze of metal. Maybe this is Moment of Truth after all,¬† but at least that lie detector didn’t zap anybody back.

By the end of the episode the couple who had accrued the most points wins either elimination ‘Security’ (think Immunity), or a wad of cash.

Linking all of this apology of ideas together was a dance / pop soundtrack, seemingly determined to keep the mood buoyant.

One other very curious addition was a kind of bedroom-cam that eavesdropped on couples chatting candidly about their rivals. It had all the hallmarks of FOX’s trashy Paradise Hotel.

As a result the overall tone of the show is inconsistent. Is this about couples who love each other, or are prepared to bitch and fight for money? Am I watching the aspirational heart of Farmer Wants a Wife or the backstabbing of Temptation Island?

The casting of the show also skews too young. Why couldn’t somebody who has been married for 35 years be considered Australia’s perfect couple? And why are they all so photogenic? They look like they have been shipped in from The Hothouse.

For his part, Lund does a good job with the slight material he is given. He presents as a nice guy and his ease relaxes the contestants. You can’t help but wish his agent worked harder before agreeing to gigs on Big Questions, Hole in the Wall and, alas, Australia’s Perfect Couple.

The biggest issue remains the lack of an end point. Idol gives someone a recording career. Farmer brings strangers together for romance. Loser gives overweight people a physical makeover. Project Runway kickstarts a design career. But Australia’s Perfect Couple appears to do little more than reward the pursuit of money. And how long till a tabloid newspaper dishes the dirt on ‘perfect’ couples anyway?

Really Jules, what’s the point?

25_starsAustralia’s Perfect Couple screens 7:30pm Wednesday on Nine.

42 Comments:

  1. Another mediocre whitebread effort from the Nine Network … obviously aimed squarely at its usual demographic, with bland, white couples. Almost entirely white of course.

  2. This show was advertised like a flop, sounded like a flop, felt like a flop and is a complete and utter mess of a flop. The ads were calling couples “the boys” and “the first timers!” Why didnt nine just say “Australia’s Perfect Couple! Another flop for the former still the one network! Tonight on nine!” Even a preschooler could think of better shows than nine. If i could make nine listen to me for one minute, i would tell them to drop their reality poo and put something entertaining on!
    Thankyou and goodnight!

  3. This show is a shocker….why have a gay couple and not show the kiss.

    Make mine Airways – for two reasons
    1. its factual
    2. its one seven

  4. lets just say its a s**t show .. u cant define a perfect couple!!! and to the virgins- what a load of crap! Also, its a bad representation of our religion. Harps does not know anything about it obviously. Love marriage has been around for a long time and we are accepting of it. dont make our religion something its not harps just cause ur not educated enough. it makes me sick. hope they get kicked out cause losers shouldnt win. channel 9- for u to accept these people is way to below ur mark. on a good note- Go the honeymooners.

  5. I have a great idea for channel 9s next reality show.
    Australia’s DUmbest TV Producers.
    You put a bunch of Ch 9 producers into a room and get them to come up with ideas. When some bright spark says “How about Australias Perfect Couple?” Donald Trump can jump out of the closet and say “You’re fired”. Then you can add a few surprise elements….a gun perhaps so that if one of them is so terminally stupid enough to say, “Lets do another Big Brother?’ Donald can shot them. Or better still, they can have their eyeballs superglued to a tv screen and be forced to watch Dance Your Ass Off.
    And the prize…the winner can get a makeover by the same funeral palour that does Burt Newtons makeup.

  6. So glad the Yuppies went what a bitch!!!

    Liked most couples…. They boy’s should have got more air play and the kiss was cut out??
    Light entertainment and keen to see more.

  7. well the 1st episode was….interesting. im happy at who got sent home- i didnt like the lady straight away… seemed a bit up herself. i guess now i just hope the girls have to put up with some sort of pain (and not just the men) im glad theres a gay couple… but wheres the lesbian couple?

  8. Oh cmon ch9, isnt there better entertainment then greedy whingers, being perfect (if such a thing) and reality shows ‘where you vote’ ? Id like entertainment on tele, yep the dvd collection sounds good. Seriously, if you want viewers, forget the bitchy ‘hard life’ stress reality tv crap. Please put something tasteful on, fun education tv like history, trivia, comedy or documentaries! Cmon ch9 your better than this. Cmon viewers speak up! Keep life simple, QLD viewer.

  9. I liked the show but I was so disappointed as I taped the show and missed out on who got elimiated. Can someone please tell me?????? I think the show deserves a chance.

  10. Watched the first segment, ended with a mighty quick flash of the male models being asked to kiss the guy on the cheek and then an ad break. Expecting to see the boys turn after the break and they had decided to go straight to the results!? Funny how they showed each woman kissing each man on the cheek. But it was odd when reading out the results, they went to the gay couple and said he was person number two, but the audience had no idea because they did not show the gay kisses. Based on this, I had to switch off – if you are going to include a gay couple on a show like this, don’t skim over them, treat them as equally as every other couple on the show. Surely a kiss on the cheek is not that offensive to most viewers, geez. I’ve seen worse on either Footy Show.

  11. wow – like the others here, the name should be changed to ‘do you think you are white enough?’ … boring white bread tv for the same market. And whats with the gay guys ?? -again could you get any more stereotypical – cheesy white guys with waxed eyebrows and losing their hair ? … note : not all (or many) gay couples want to get married and have children.

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