To those of you who have followed my blogs I greet you all and welcome you to my MAFS 2021 blog series. I must confess that I have opened my mind towards this ‘entertainment’ spectacular, despite my prejudices against reality TV. I would love to share with you my reasons for shifting my opinion. I had prepared my TV viewing room with all the accoutrements required for a reality TV binge-watch. New rubber walls, 3 vomit buckets and a special reinforced jaw guard to protect against a sudden jaw drop induced by the sheer stupidity, banality, and/or outrageously pathetic comments which will be made throughout the season.
I really enjoyed a certain aspect of the first week of the show. When I drilled down I found a simple joy in the expressions of aspirational love captured in the wedding vows. The couples (hereinafter referred to as ‘love bunnies’) spoke in many different voices but it was surprising to me how many common values and themes were embraced by all. The love bunnies collectively articulated some of the most beautiful and authentic sentiments which are the building blocks of love and which make it the most powerful force in the universe. I have to concede that this moved me.
Irrespective of their socio-economic background, position or life experience they all spoke in unison about the challenge of life and the frustrations and disappointment in the search for true love…I have summarised their sentiments.
They spoke of the excitement of “the journey”, of prior broken hearts and past experiences moulding their personalities; a readiness and openness to commit to a life partner; love requiring selflessness; working as a team, submitting to the program as a vehicle that will deliver true love and deliver them to the final destination in their life's journey; the strength and the confidence required to undertake the extraordinary adventure of the ‘experiment’; commiting to the other person absolutely and unconditionally and making that person your number one priority in life; vulnerability, and an awareness of the risk of opening one’s heart to a stranger in the pursuit of creating happiness as a couple together; offering to describe yourself to a complete stranger and promising honesty, trustworthiness, self awareness, a capacity to listen; the excitement of exploring their new partner and getting to know them and what makes them laugh; participating in a journey that will make each love bunny the best person that they can be for each other.
All bunnies burst with love to give and all express their desire to meet a like minded bunny to receive it.
As strangers to each other there is one thing in common, and that is the craziness to marry on national TV, taking a risk in taking each other's hand and walking together towards a joint future. Each love bunny made vows of supporting each other to make each other's dreams come true and taking this moment in their lives to put themselves first for love.
My heart strings were further pulled when some of our love bunnies expressed that they have come from places of darkness in love and see this program as a chance for redemption. What is common is that our love bunnies profess a willingness to fight for love and promise to make each other laugh everyday, to cherish and respect each other, to be faithful and have patience, tenderness and abide by the virtue of self improvement.
Most love bunnies had given up on love after experiencing heartache and disappointment. Honestly acknowledging the sad elements in their life, inner loneliness and despair. We heard how they long for a “best friend” and a shoulder to cry on and are willing to do whatever it takes to make this work. Tired of being alone, going to bed alone and waking up alone. They all see the journey of love as a pathway albeit a rocky road.
Many of the love bunnies are riddled with self doubt and low self esteem and are willing to put it all on the line in the prospect of finding real love on this program. They search for an all consuming and unconditional love. They see a new ‘forever’ beginning today with their fellow bunny.
It takes courage and trust to embark on this journey and they vow to give every part of themselves to one another to assure success.
In the introduction to the first 7 couples in the quest for love, the audience is given it’s first taste for the sensational “drama” that will be manufactured by the manipulative forces within the production dynamic. It begins in earnest during the vows of Bec and Jake.
The producers mischievously interrupt Jake’s vows and through clever editing, interpose Bec’s criticism of his nail biting and lack of formal dress. This deliberately frames her as a somewhat superficial bitch and knowing his life experience my jaw restraining device was delivering in its first real test. It is the first gut punch in a series that promises to consistently deliver controversy and studio enhanced drama. I was not let down as the honeymoons began with revelations from Alessandra AKA Carmen’s honesty box. In an “exclusive” to JD’s MAFS blogs we have obtained confidential footage of a production meeting amongst the creative team which clearly demonstrates that there is no compassion to be exercised when it comes to sensationalism and ratings.
Meet the experts…
Never in the field of human endeavour has so much been said that was so meaningless by so few. Without a doubt our “experts” have reduced stating the “bleeding obvious” to a new artform. We welcome to team the ‘sexpert’ Alessandra Rampolla AKA Carmen from Puerto Rico the land of sexual expression and herpes. In my first interview with Carmen I asked her what her advice would be to a groom in search of love and she wistfully burst into song to express her response.
I was lucky enough to meet John Aiken, mansplainer extraordinaire many years ago when he was perfecting his formula for love matching. Here he is mansplaining it to me in layman's terms. It is amazing what studio make-up and botox can do these days...
But the most forgettable for the three “match-a-tears” is Mel Shilling, definitely a shilling short of a pound. She commenced her life as a couples counsellor by experimenting with dogs, dalmatians in fact. In her first MAFS interview for the pilot many years ago she demonstrated her extraordinary eq and compassion.
Make no mistake, in sad contrast to the magnificent aspirations expressed in the love bunny vows, the next few weeks will see the wheels well and truly fall off the MAFS stretch limo, and a mountain of footage on the cutting room floor with more splicing and dicing than the TV shopping channel.
I have a new crash helmet (and nose plugs) on the way which I hope will protect me from the drama of the shit storm that is coming our way… As gravitational ratings forces take hold and are consistent with the “no prisoners” production values, we will see over the coming weeks every unattractive and distasteful human foible including jealousy, mindless rage, moodiness, bullying, infidelity and every gradation of disrespect of which human beings are capable.
Australia hold your noses…the leap of faith into the MAFS sewer is about to begin!
Never give up on love - JD