“This is not a game. This is The Proposal,” says host Luke Jacobz.
“This is for real. This is for keeps.”
I don’t really believe him but hey, welcome to Seven’s newest dating show where couples don’t meet at the altar for TV weddings, but instead choose their partner game show style and wrapping with a marriage proposal.
Based on a US format, this shiny floor show is a producer’s wet dream and very probably a doe-eyed romantic’s guilty pleasure. If you were to cut and paste The Bachelor introductions with a Perfect Match gameplay you’d probably wind up with something resembling this, except for the gauche set that looks like it has been flown in from the Hollywood Hills.
“This is an Aussie love story in an hour,” Jacobz tells the studio audience.
“You’re going to witness something incredible….Everyone’s here because they want to get married.”
In the first episode is Jessica, an attractive single mum from Lakes Entrance who has two teenage daughters (both in the audience) who say their mum doesn’t spend enough time heading out to meet men.
“I just want to find a really down to earth Aussie guy that’s going to love me, and maybe look after me for a change,” Jessica explains.
“It is my greatest dream to be married. I’m looking for the one.”
Luke, in a tux, tells her, “Welcome to the wildest hour of your life,” before asking her to sit concealed in the “Commitment Ring,” an odd module in which she can watch proceedings with 8 men only able to hear her voice.
Down the staircase they file, Nathan the ambo, Zane the property manager, Nesh the police officer, and even Liam a marriage celebrant himself (for real). Watch out for wacky props and producer-inspired ideas, such as a dog trainer bringing a dog, another carrying a brief case & tool box, or getting the NZ Samoan to do the Haka.
With that, 2 guys are instantly cut before the remainder are back in swimwear with slow camera pans on pecs.
“This is not much to leave to the imagination,” mumbles Nathan.
“I don’t know why I’m licking my lips,” giggles Jess.
One bloke says he is on a “a great prur-suit of happiness.”
More guys are eliminated with Luke Jacobz telling, “There will be no proposal for you tonight.” Yeah cheers, mate.
In the “Dealbreaker round” the remaining guys get more questions, including “How many times should a married couple have sex in a week?” before they learn Jess has two teenage daughters who are suddenly on stage with their own questions, most of which feel pre-written by producers to maximise the drama.
There’s a bit of laugh track and applause sweetening in the audio (but not likely to be noticeable to most punters), lots of reactionary shots of the daughters, and even one bloke’s parents in the audience. Luke Jacobz is on a short host leash not given much room to stray from the format -he’s actually better when he is off-script.
It has to be said Jess is dream casting as sweet, beautiful and along for the ride. She is only revealed to the final two blokes, both of whom will get down on bended knee. I won’t give away the ending but there is line in the script that indicates “Will she say yes?” which suggests there could be episodes where a marriage proposal is rejected and everybody loses.
But while this is ripe for recappers, Daily Mail clickbait and Gogglebox, the show will only work long-term if marriages do proceed as they have for Perfect Match, Farmer Wants a Wife, The Bachelor (MAFS is yet to make it happen).
And in 2019 will Seven demonstrate equality with women proposing to men, and same-sex proposals given we are approaching 2 years on from legal gay marriages (Take Me Out failed on that front)?
The Proposal is highly-produced and could benefit from more authenticity, but its gloss leaves 10’s Perfect Match reboot looking like a pilot pitch.
If you’re looking for your next TV drinking game, this could be right up your alley.
The Proposal is coming soon to Seven.