Making Life Bigger, Brighter and Bolder. Changing Rooms is Back!

Image: Network Ten 2019

For those who are old enough, what do you remember about the original Changing Room series that began in 1998? Is it host Suzie Wilks in her tight T-shirts, work shorts and blundstones? Is the feeling of love and light and stories of friends and family doing a nice thing for each other?

Let’s be real, the ONE thing we remember about Changing Rooms is the disasters. Or more importantly, the looks of the homeowners faces as they try and force a smile when their once semi-boring beige lounge is turned into a retro diner themed living space.

Now Changing Rooms is back, this time on Network Ten and with Natalie Bassingthwaighte as host, transforming the homes of everyday Australians with the help of their neighbours, friends or family members.

Each week over two episodes, two couples swap homes and are tasked with making over three rooms in five days with a $20,000 budget. The participants – either family, neighbours or best friends – will give up the keys to their most prized possession, their home. The very place they call their own, where they have shared their most treasured memories and where they can escape the world and feel the most content and safe. Halfway through the makeover, and after two room reveals, the couples will meet for dinner for an open and honest discussion, where they can bring to light any major issues or concerns for their final room reveal. The couples are then given a surprise $1000 gift to put all the lessons they have learned into action for one last standout design feature in the final room reveal. The designers will introduce colour, texture, flair and affordable tips and design hacks that everyday DIYers can try at home. With a little know-how and a splash of confidence, homeowners can transform their home into a livable masterpiece.

There will be shocks, surprises, laughter and tears as homes are transformed and lives changed.

Changing Rooms begins tonight, Feb 13th on Network Ten at 7:30pm

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MKR Round One Look Back – Home Schooling, Fillers and Lúcuma

With the end of the first round of instant restaurants in MKR’s 10th anniversary season, the first thing that comes to mind is not the socially inept home-schooled brats who mask insolent and bullying antics as ‘telling the truth’ or the magnificent galah-inspired hair on Jodie-Anne or even what the heck Lúcuma is and how can I get it, but in fact a question to ponder….

Has Manu lost his touch with the ladies of MKR?

The usual episodic flooding-swoon of the female contestants as Manu enters the room was virtually non existent, with the minor exception of Jodie-Anne in episode one who earned a French Ooh là là wink. No nervous flirty giggles, no grown up food puns involving words like wobble or moist, no happily coupled women prepared to ditch their better half the moment Manu flashes a look their way.

This behavior has become so imbued in us over the course of ten years that no one flirting with Manu is actually quite glaring. Perhaps Manu will have double the amount of pre-menopausal flirting in round two?

Round one started off with recently engaged Stacey and Ash and their restaurant named “Staché” which is supposedly a mash on their merged names but really sounds like it’s missing the word ‘porn’ in front of it. The food is avocado based, right down to the desert (chocolate avocado mousse) and the only real drama in kitchen is just how small it is and how is Ash going to possibly cook 16 pieces of Salmon to perfection.

The reality of it all though is that this episode was our first introduction to reality TV gold, home-schooled brothers Josh and Austin, who managed to insult the table on numerous occasions right down to throwing in some casual racism followed by telling the table their first impressions.

Cut to words involving lesbian, gay best friend and mail order brides.

In the end, the entree was good, mains better, the avocado desert terrible. Total score of 73 out of 130.

Night two brought us to WA and siblings Amanda and Blake (who apparently has a hat fused to his head). Their “JerseyProudy Shore” restaurant offered up the first 10’s of the season with their pork belly mains but just as MKR had aimed for, Josh and Austin were the stars of the night.

Total score 96 out of 130

Night three…. well it was bad. Karito & Ian’s “Carnavalombia” restaurant was a complete failure with their Suspiro Limeño or slow cooked caramel with port infused meringue for desert which barely scraped a one from each of the judges. In true form, devil incarnates Josh and Austin were more than happy to point out failure after failure.

Total score 38 out of 130 – yikes.

Night four and we’re in QLD with flight attendants Chris and Lesley and their “Riviera Jet Set” first-class themed restaurant. There’s money in this house (whomever it may belong to), but not enough money to purchase a gas bottle that won’t run out halfway through cooking the rabbit mains. Lobster and herb tortellini scored tens from Pete and Manu while Josh and Austin scored Karito a minus ten for her effort the night before.

Total score 82 out of 130

Night five and Andy and Ruby are treating us to a cavalcade of Peruvian cooking in their restaurant “Pachamama”. They’ve been overtly vocal through the previous dinners about their abilities in the kitchen but you forget it all when Josh and Austin are edited into the scenes, shit stirring the worlds biggest pot of shit.

Turns out Ruby and Andy can ‘back it up’ and rip out course after course of delicious meals that even has the born again christian brothers singing their biblical praise. Tonight though is all about the lúcuma which I still have no idea what it really is, I just know it’s amazing and should be shared with the world. Perhaps lúcuma can end wars?

Total score 110 out of 130

Night six with Jodie-Anne and Mick and “Port and Weir”. I missed this episode thanks to a real estate agent who never showed for their pre-booked inspection but a quick search reveals the food was baaaaaaaaaaaaad. Something about liver and raspberry jelly? Did Mick and Jodie-Anne find Josh and Austin’s home-schooling lunch menu cook book in their hot little hands?

Total Score 45 out of 130

Speaking of, never one to scoot around appropriate topics of conversation at the dinner table, Josh brings up those who’ve had plastic surgery. Andy (or is it Ruby? I have no idea who is whom) admits to fillers and Botox (shock horror!) while Romel, he of the smoothest skins known to man, confesses that he is needle free.

MMmmkay.

Night seven and cheek piercing Ibby and smooth skinned Romel have to prove that Ibby has no advantage in the competition due to his owning a bunch of cafe’s and restaurants. Clearly they fail at that as the food is good. Like REALLY good. Like four 10’s from the judges good leading the teams to question the honesty of Ibby’s confession.

Their “Najah” restaurant actually served up an entree that was ripped right from Ibby’s Instagram page.

Total score 109 out of 130

Night eight. THE NIGHT. The one that this first part of the instant restaurant rounds have been building up to – Josh and Austin.

AND THEIR KIDNAP BUNKER THEMED INSTANT RESTAURANT.

Their menu of chowder and bread, chicken lollipops and lemon domes is pretty basic and because they spend all their prep time on entree, their mains are four hours late. It doesn’t help their bunker kitchen is only designed to cater to three kidnapping victims at once so trying to cook for 16 was never going to work.

The chowder is so so, the chicken lollipops raw and the lemon domes their only saving grace. The table revels in delight.

Total score 31 out of 130.

So it’s Josh and Austin vs Karito & Ian in a battle to remain in the competition which will see both teams in Kitchen HQ cooking for the next round of Instant Restaurants!

My Kitchen Rules airs Sundays through Wednesday’s from 7pm

Netflix Celebrates Valentines’ Day with Dirty John


2018 Bravo Media, LLC

For most people, living a life of lies and deceit isn’t a lasting one but for John Meehan, he turns it into a house on the waterfront, access to copious amounts of money and a lifestyle he could only have ever dreamed of.

Taking shockingly brutal and unbelievably incredible tales of true crime and turning them into binge-worthy documentaries really is the flavor of the moment. From Making a Murderer to The Keepers, The Staircase and Evil Genius there seems to be a story for everything. And it’s only been recently where those stories have been glossed over for scripted television and and sometimes it’s good (The People vs OJ Simpson) and sometimes it’s not so good (The Assassination of Gianni Versace – unpopular opinion I know)

The next ‘glossed over for TV’ story is Netflix’s Dirty John (via a full season run on America’s Bravo channel)  based off the hugely popular L.A Times Podcast of the same name that follows well-off but unlucky in love interior designer Debra Newell (played by Connie Britton and her fabulous hair) who, with four failed marriages to her name, decides to get back on the online dating train and after a slew of disastrous dates, John Meehan (Eric Bana) with his cargo shorts, sweet demeanor and good looks arrive at the perfect moment in her dwindling love life to sweep her off her feet.

Though red flags begin to appear by the end of the first date, that doesn’t stop Deb and we watch as she dives very quickly into a new relationship with the mysterious John and it’s not long before the people in her life, including her children, start to realize he may not be the perfect man he is making himself out to be resulting in a devastating attack that threatens to destroy the lives of everyone Deb loves.

Netflix, in either a cruel joke (or delight for those who hate the day) are dropping the entire eight episodes of Dirty John for us to binge on Valentine’s Day aka February 14th. Check out the trailer below.

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Mego Corp Gains Access to the Secret Vault of Stan Lee

Mego Corp have been keeping very tight lipped about a major announcement they were to make, causing fans of the vintage toy company to ponder just what was in store. From international distribution news to possible new licenses that involved everything from Gilligan’s Island to Melrose Place, Bionic Woman to Star Wars, we were all wondering what it could be.

And while we were repeatedly informed it was NOT a deal with Marvel (as fans were hoping for) what we did not see coming was a deal with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment. In an announcement made today via Mego Corps social media channels, the new licensing deal allows Mego Corp to delve into the secret vault of the late Stan Lee – an untapped reservoir of never-before-seen characters created by Lee and introduce these creations to fans in the form of either 8″ or 14″ collectible action figures.

From today’s press release, “With Stan’s vision, I always told him that I’d follow him anywhere,” says Marty Abrams, co-founder and CEO of Mego Corporation. “It’s with great responsibility that I can carry on his one-of-a-kind creations and reveal the characters that he had envisioned. I have tremendous pride in showcasing the work of a long-time friend. Our nostalgic action figures of Lee’s conceptions will now introduce new memories with more characters originated by Stan.”

The news however has had a very mixed reaction from Mego Corp fans from those excited to see new characters from the mind of Stan Lee to those confused as to why Mego would risk on such a license, just as they make their comeback, on characters that no one has heard of or have the backing of a cult following / fan base.

Mind you, this is not the first time Mego Corp have delved into left-of-the-middle licenses that left fans scratching their heads. Last month, among the announcements of new Star Trek, DC and Pop Culture Legends figures, they announced a new line of Impractical Jokers 8″ figures based on the hidden camera reality comedy series that airs on TruTV.

That said, new Mego, in whatever format is still welcome!

Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment is a multimedia company founded in 2001 by Stan with his friend and business partner Gill Champion, its president. The company has been and will continue to be the guardian of Stan Lee’s legacy, and is excited to roll out new projects and adventures Stan had been working on.

New figures from the Mego/POW! Entertainment announcement are due later in 2019. And as for the news of Australian distribution talked about recently, there is still no official word.