Tag Archives: Channel 9

The Block 2017 Heads to Auction

Wk1 Josh and Elyse working_32
Josh and Elyse are the hot tip to win The Block 2017. Image: Channel 9

It has been a season of highs, high drama, lows and low bank accounts for The Block 2017 and it’s contestants as the past 12 weeks have seen the five couples completely transform old, dilapidated houses into modern and spacious luxury family homes in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.

With the homes transformed and the annual “open for inspection” done and dusted, there’s only two things left – auction order and the Block Auction which takes place this Saturday before airing Sunday night on channel 9 in what is expected to bring in major viewers for the network.

While the season has seen teams consisting of Josh and Elyse and Ronnie and Georgia virtually clean sweep the weekly room wins, who will win the Block auction isn’t going to be as crystal clear with viewers backing almost every team.

Jason and Sarah, who came scarily close to being booted off the show for poor fund management and failing to deliver their master suite on time have suddenly found themselves being touted as the ‘dark horse’ of the series with their end product featuring a massive wide open entry hallway, low maintenance and family friendly yard and winning stellar kitchen.

Wk1 Jason and Sarah Working_10
Jason and Sarah are being touted as the ‘dark horse’ to take the auction win.  Image: Channel 9

But that’s not to say the other teams consisting of first time renovators Clint and Hannah or best mates Sticks and Wombat don’t have the chance to take the win either with both teams also claiming some wins and fans along the way.

How important will the auction order be in determining who could take the win and will the decision be made drama free?  Most are expecting Ronnie and Georgia to put up a strong fight for their auction placement preference with the experienced team being very vocal about their understanding of The Block being a ‘competition to win and not make friends’ and as seen in last years series which (as per the norm) saw the teams unable to compromise and determine their own auction order, host Scott Cam had to step in with a suggestion for fiery couple Julia and Sasha to take up the first auction only for them to blatantly refuse because their agent recommended going second.

Wk1 Ronnie and Georgia working_51
Ronnie & Georgia are expected to be harsh when it comes to auction placement. Image:Channel 9

The team that eventually went first – Will and Karlie were also the team to take out the win for that series.

The Block goes to auction in the series finale this Sunday from 7pm on Channel 9

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Here Come the Habibs Courts Unfair Criticiscm

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Here Come The Habibs: Source, Channel Nine

 

I’ll happily admit that when the first promos for Channel Nine’s Here Come The Habibs went live, I was immediately put off. I Did not want to watch it, thought what I had seen seemed crass and happily joined the throngs of those condemning it on social media. So much was my nose point out of join by a 30 second promo that I a) did not really want to watch the first two episodes provided for review and b) had a whole spiel mentally prepared about “who at Channel Nine thought this was a good idea?”

I guess that’s what happens when a bad promo for what turned out to be a funny two episodes, is given out to the public.

Judging it by it’s cover we all are.

Lets get into the nitty gritty of Here Come the Habibs.

FouFou Habib (Michael Denkha) and wife Mariam (Camilla Ah Kin) have found themselves able to “live the Australian dream” and to move into the rich and swanky suburb of Vaucluse after a rather hefty ($22 million) lotto win – but they aren’t telling anyone about their windfall, not even their children Toufic (Sam Alhaje), Elias (Tyler De Nawi) and Layla (Kat Hoyos).

Neighbours Olivia O’Neill (Helen Dallimore) and her castrated husband Jack (Darren Gilshenan) are not too keen on their new Mediterranean neighbours (well mainly Olivia) and a war erupts between the two – Olivia wants them out, FouFou wants to stay.

The script, written by Phil Lloyd is tight and full of zippy one liners and throws casual playful punches at multiculturalism, terrorism, greedy family members and the Cronulla riots. The fish-out-of-water premise is very reminiscent of shows like the Beverly Hillbillies and even the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and right from the outset, the loud and brassy Habibs are not the focus of ‘being made fun of’ instead, it’s the rich white privileged that takes most of the hits and should take most of the bullets from the viewing public.

A scene in episode two where Mariam is attempting to join the local yacht club but is thrown a curve ball by Olivia that leads to public embarrassment, will leave you hoping the snotty cow gets hers in a later episode.

While the pilot took a bit for me to warm up to, by the time a turf war was established between the newly rich Habibs and their snotty neighbours the O’Neill’s, I was full on humble pie.

Here Come The Habibs is Channel Nine’s first foray into locally made scripted comedy in over 15 years and personally, I’m picking that the Habibs was actually a wise choice for the network to work it’s way into bringing back some good Aussie comedy. Granted though, Nine isn’t doing itself any favours with how it is choosing to market the show that has resulted in public outcry from an outrage addicted audience and calls for the show to be pulled due to claims it’s racist. Let’s not forget, this show hasn’t even aired yet!

Shows currently airing like Fox8’s (American import) Fresh Off the Boat and SBS’s The Family Law both offer a humorous look on multicultural families and the Habibs is no real different. Able to poke fun at itself while ensuring we’re laughing with and at them at the same time, plus Habibs is actually a bit more engaging than the two shows mentioned above.

While Australia is still trying to find steady ground when it comes to scripted comedy, Here Come the Habibs will hold it’s own against the haters and those trying to tear it down before they’ve even seen an episode. I was like you, then I watched and saw what the Habibs was actually offering.

Here Come the Habibs begins Tuesday night, Feb 9th @ 8:30pm on Channel Nine.

p.s – keep an eye out for the wretchedly funny Pippa Grandison as Olivia’s best friend, who is more than happy to stir the pot when it comes to poking Olivia’s buttons and her new neighbours.

TV Watch: Married At First Sight

Two random strangers get married on 9's Married At First Sight
Two random strangers get married on 9’s Married At First Sight

There was a very off-putting whiff floating around channel 9 last night as it put to air the ‘punch-in-the-guts’ reality show Married At First Sight.  Blow me down, there was never a chance I was going to give this show a second of my time, I mean would I seriously consider sitting down with my long-time boyfriend and watch two complete strangers get married while I am currently not allowed to call my boyfriend my husband because that would tarnish the ‘sanctity of marriage’?

What a fucking liberty!

At least (for the most part) I was not alone in my actions…

When talking about a television show, I’d normally go and talk about the premise of the show and bla bla bla but I can’t even bring myself to attempt.  I’m THAT put off by the whole thing.

Sadly though, this wretched show rated so bloody well that after the premiere episode last night, Channel 9 goes and gleefully announces, in all their gay abandon, that a second season has been given the green-light to go ahead.

sigh.

Australia, you really suck right now.  Channel 9, you suck even harder.

Call me when a show called “Been with my boyfriend for 5 years and now we can finally get married” is created.

The Block Triple Threat Kicks Off

The Block Contestants Mark and Jess.  Source: Provided
The Block Contestants Mark and Jess. Source: Provided

Talk about bursting out of the gates like a bucking bull – well, Block contestant Anastasia sure did taking an epic fall right into Scotty’s work bench early on in last night’s first episode – I feel ya girl.

Yes, The Block is back for another season, with 6 brand new couples and no sign (as yes) of last years delightful Dee and Darren.  After some rather awkward introductions, we’re introduced to our six couples who are informed they have one week to renovate three rooms – a bedroom (the worlds smallest), a living/dining and a bathroom (what no kitchen in these places?) and that’s if they make it to the final room.

Room by room, one of the 6 couples will be booted off the show to make way for our three returning couples from previous seasons – Dee and Darren, Matt and Kim and Bec and George before moving into the actual block.

First look thoughts on the teams:

Aimee and Brooke….the two seemed more interested in performing pop hits in the car (and for the camera) than actually making it to the challenge destination and taking 40 minutes to find their allocated apartment…i’ll bite my tongue here.  If they happen to make it through, those girls will have the biggest tradie bill to date.

Anastasia and Tim…well Ana’s epic fall gets her right into my good books, though someone may need to show her how to run in heels and Tim, we didn’t see much of him at all so no comment.

Ayden and Jess…he took her keys and left her stranded at Mitre 10. Sort of a bumbling duo that you’d find in a bad 90’s fat guy/hot wife sitcom though Ayden seems to know his way around an Ikea flat pack.

Josh and Charlotte…I literally do not remember this couple…wait is she the ‘food stylist’?

Luke and Ebony…i’m still waiting for the sibling rivalry to kick in as this brother/sister duo seem to be getting along a little to good for my liking.

Mark and Jess…Gotta feel for Mark.  The missus dissolves into thin air – or just went shopping – for HOURS with her phone and his! Actually, it’s probably a smart move so there’d be no phone calls about colors or patterns or sizes.

Tonight we get our first room reveals – the bedroom big enough for a toddler and we loose one couple to the depths of former reality TV contestants.

The Block Triple Threat continues tonight, 7:30pm on Nine.

Amazon Original Transparent Premiering on Channel 9

Jeffrey Tambor in his award winning role on Transparent
Jeffrey Tambor in his award winning role on Transparent

Channel 9 are set to use Golden Globe winning Amazon Original drama Transparent to promote the launch of it’s streaming subscription service Stan.

The critically acclaimed and award winning drama will have it’s first two episodes aired on the network before moving exclusively to the streaming service which launched yesterday to selected users.

Transparent follows Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) and his sometimes delicate and sometimes frustrating journey in transitioning into Maura Pfefferman.  His adult children (played wonderfully by Gabi Hoffman, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker) are so self involved and ego-centric they fail to see any sign of Maura emerging.  Mort/Maura must find a way to not only let those he loves in on this change but also navigate the world in a form that feels right.

Easily one of the best dramas to come out of 2014, and easily Tambor’s best work to date, Transparent will probably ruffle some feathers of those who like their milk on their cereal and not next to it.  The plentiful amounts of language, sex and nudity is sure to offend some.

Transparent’s first two episodes will air Tuesday, Jan 27th from 10pm before moving to Stan.

Original Source: Nine Network to premiere Golden Globe winning drama Transparent – nelbie.com

Pilot Review: Stalker on Channel 9

Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q hunting stalkers.  Source: Provided
Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q hunting stalkers. Source: Channel 9/Provided

“Stalking Stalkers is all very Stalkerish”

I’ll just come out and say this….I HATE Bones, Castle and other weekly crime procedurals where a male detective solves crimes with his female partner…..and then they marry.  You all know what I’m talking about right?  Crime solving becomes second focus behind all the sexual tension between our leads….I swear everyone was waiting for Benson and Stabler to throw off their SVU suits for wedding attire.

Okay, now that rant is over, another weekly crime procedural is coming our way, but thankfully, the likelihood of our two leads hooking up seems pretty slim (I’m 8 episodes in and zilch sexual tension exists between our two sluethy leads) leaving for a rather creepy and torturey (my new word) crime show.  Now to be blunt, Stalker wasn’t that well received by critics when it premiered back in September 2014 in the US.  Words like ‘nasty’ and ‘worst’ were used however, I still gave the series a shot, and now, it’s become a weekly must watch for me.

Starring Maggie Q (Nikita) and Dylan McDermott (Hostages), Stalker follows Lieutenant Beth Davis (Q) and new partner Detective Jack Larsen (McDermott) as they hunt down stalkers as part of the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit (or stalkers unit if you may).

Things don’t start off too smoothly for Davis and new partner Larsen, who’s just transferred from New York.  She’s heard the rumors about his affair with the wife of a superior officer back in New York and she’s not to keen on his way of breaking the ice i.e – complimenting her breasts.  Obviously it doesn’t work and actually, McDermott’s Larsen comes off as the least likable character in the pilot.

Our main story-line focuses on a masked man with a penchant for young pretty women, gasoline cans and lighters…the opening scene in particular in which a young woman (played by Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto) screams 90’s slasher flick Scream’s opener with Drew Barrymore – but without the “what’s your favorite scary movie line”.  At the same time, keeping out heroes busy, Williamson wants to make it clear that stalking is not a one way sex street so we a also get a college guy (Darren Kagasoff, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) stalked by a former and obsessive roommate (Erik Stocklin, “Mistresses”).

Both story-lines are engaging enough though they are constantly interspersed with filler scenes involving Larsen trying to make his new boss like him (you know she eventually will) and much like most new shows in their post-pilot episodes, various aspects of the show are tightened up and back characters including Det. Janice Lawrence (Mariana Klaveno) and Det. Victor Rausk (Ben Caldwell) begin to make more of an appearance and impact.

While Stalker is mainly a weekly crime episodic (with cases fleshed out by familiar faced guest stars including AnnaLynne McCord (Beverly Hills 90210), Jessica Tuck (True Blood) and Caity Lotz (Arrow) among others), it doesn’t take long for the season long story arc to take shape that plays about in most of the episodes following.  Without revealing too much, it does involve Beth, her mysterious and traumatic past that we never really get to know much about and the return of a loonie we meet very early on.

I did enjoy Stalker and from the handful of episodes I’ve seen, it improves upon it’s pilot that was so widely panned.  You can take it as a PSA on how to avoid not being stalked/killed or take it for a pretty darn creepy show looking at a topic not heavily covered by the masses of crime shows flooding our airwaves.

Stalker begins this Sunday night (April 12th) 9:30pm on Channel 9

They’re Back! Dee and Darren Return for More The Block

The Block's Dee and Darren Jolly are set to return for more!
The Block’s Dee and Darren Jolly are set to return for more!

The Block’s most beloved couple, Deanne and Darren Jolly, are set to return to the show that made them household names and fan favorites.  Ok, well, only some of that is true.  Pretty easy to work out which parts were made up right?

The couple who garnered a love/hate relationship with the Australian public (minus the love) during last seasons The Block: Glasshouse and who only walked away with $10,000 for their efforts have been confirmed to return to the show along with actual favorites Bec and George Douros and Matt Di Costa and Kim Owen from The Block: Sky High.  

The next series titled The Block: Triple Threat will also see six new teams battle it out in a series of challenges all aiming to be the top three teams to join the familiar faces in renovating an apartment block in Melbourne’s South Yarra.

The Block: Triple Threat will air in 2015 along with a second outing later on in the year.

Original Source: The Daily Telegraph 

What’s Really the Message in Reality TV?

The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free.  Source: Provided
The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free. Source: Provided

Does reality television have a message for it’s viewers?  Is it “Be rewarded for your hard efforts” or “true talent will see you reach the top”?  What about something less positive like “lie, cheat, bitch and moan your way through your journey”.  With the recent dramas surrounding The Bachelor, The Block Glasshouse and Big Brother, that last message seems to ring more true.

It’s funny to think that just over 20 years ago, we got our first taste of reality television in the form of the classic Sylvania Waters.  It was touted as a ‘fly-on-the-wall look into the lives of Noeline Brown and her partner Laurie Donaher, their family and their lavish lifestyle in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters.

The 12-part program was one of the first for Australian television and became one of the most talked about programs in the early 90’s.  It had its lovers and it had it’s haters, but either way, the show was an early indication of just how

Now jump forward 20-odd years where the genre that was considered taboo all those years ago has now become a staple on our screens. Everyday people (and sometimes celebrities) are starving themselves in isolate locations trying to avoid being voted off an island, they’re cooking for strangers, they’re living with strangers being filmed 24 hours a day, they’re dancing or singing or performing magic in-front of large audiences, they’re re-building and designing multi-million dollar apartments, they’re competing against strangers to win the heart of a person they don’t know…it seems there’s not much that hasn’t been covered by the genre – heck, there’s even people meeting and going on a date for the first time completely in the nude!

But it seems, especially of late, these programs that are saturating our networks are becoming more and more surrounded by scandals and outrageous antics both from those working behind the scenes and the contestants involved leaving one to wonder – just how positive is the message that reality television is trying to push?

Chris the 'EPA Inspector' on The Block Glasshouse
Chris the ‘EPA Inspector’ on The Block Glasshouse

One of the biggest on-going stories is from Network Ten’s The Bachelor, which ended two weeks ago is still getting people talking with ousted girls and the Bachelor himself (and Australia’s most despised man of the moment) Blake Garvey, offering up exclusive tell-all’s that don’t really seem to tell all…at all. Surely Network Ten must be loving the publicity for the show coming off the shock of Garvey ending his engagement to winner Sam Frost just weeks after proposing, but now, has the circus that has erupted after the finale tarnished just what the show was actually about?

For instance, season one’s bachelor Tim Robards walked away with a long-term relationship in his final pick of Anna.  It was a happy ending that also cemented the message behind the show.  Sure, most people really only tuned in to see a bunch of super spray tanned girls bitch and bicker about each other while trying to ‘win’ the heart of a man but now even that has been out-shone by Garvey and his post-show antics.

Big Brother contestants Cat and Lawson have lie-down kisses. Source: Provided

This current season of Big Brother is also skirting controversy, from housemate Gemma’s brutal evicition to last years winner, Tim Dormer re-entering the house to housemates Cat and Lawson starting a relationship all-the-while Lawson’s girlfriend Candice sits on and watches.  While Big Brother and controversy have never been to far apart from each other, this season seems to have more people questioning the antics of the housemates and those behind the scenes – who some feel, may be pushing for certain actions to occur.

Even The Block has come under scrutiny for falsifying events regarding a visit from the EPA to inspect a 12,000 litre fuel tank discovered buried under the site (which was heavily played up by the show) There was a fuel tank, it was a big mother of one, but no one from the EPA was ever actually there to inspect it.   The finale of the show also brought some murmurs of unhappy viewers when three of the five couples failed to make a decent amount of coin from their auctions – and while producers and contestants have little control over the final auction outcome, it was hardly a glowing reference for wannabe contestants on future series.

In the end, we are now at a point where we’ve come to expect schlock and drama from reality television as a way to hopefully boost fledgling ratings but is it worth it at the expense of respect and decency?  Here’s hoping shows like My Kitchen Rules’ drama and scandal stays around someone using store bought pastry for a desert dish!

Big Brother Australia Brings Excessive Humiliation to First Evictee

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Housemates Travis and Katie talk it out. Source: Provided

Wasn’t last night’s Big Brother Australia’s eviction of Gemma one of the most awkward and rage ensuring events to be ever be seen on a reality program?  The first housemate eviction for 2014 drew anger from viewers on social media after her ousting with the way it was handled compared to schoolyard bullying as Gemma found herself in a situation that is nothing short of humiliating.

After the announcement of the public vote which saw Jake and Gemma receiving the least amount of votes to stay, we were forced to endure watching the housemates, one by one and face to face, choose between the two, of whom they’d like to stay over the other.  The resulting effort was utterly painful for viewers and more so for Gemma with only Priya opting to stand behind Gemma – for which we can only assume was a strategy play on her behalf.

"The eviction process was horrible.": Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine
“The eviction process was horrible.”: Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine

While Gemma was clearly always going to be the first to be ousted (her strategy of trying to be polarizing like last years winner Tim played heavily against her), viewers stood behind the towering redhead with support after the way she was ousted.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with the way Gemma was evicted in Tuesday night’s eviction?

No Fast-Tracked TV Shows Coming Our Way?

Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new dramedy The Mysteries of Laura.  Source: Provided

This time last year, you might recall being inundated with ads for new shows like The Blacklist and Marvels Agents of Shield and previews featuring the words “Fast-Tracked from the USA” or “Airing the same day as America” but for some reason, these ads pushing for new shows are quite visibly absent from our screens especially seeing that the new batch of shows are due to start airing from Wednesday the 17th right through to mid October.

FX are fast tracking the new season of The Walking Dead on October 13th – which of course is to be expected, but to-date, with the slew of new shows due to hit US screens within the next two weeks, only Channel 10 have made any announcement as to any new US programming including drama Scorpion starring Robert Patrick and Katherine McPhee and new political drama Madam Secretary starring Tea’ Leoni and Tim Daly and is being touted as a mix between Homeland and Scandal.

Among the myriad of new shows that are making news include Debra Messing’s The Mysteries of Laura, Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes new How to Get Away with Murder, Kate Walsh’s Bad Judge, Batman prequel series Gotham and comedy Fresh Off the Boat about an Asian families foray into American society.

So why the vacancy of fast tracked programming to our screens?

While only speculation, one could possibly put it down toe due to the high levels of reality programming currently assaulting our screens right now.  Between The Block Glasshouse, Big Brother, X-Factor, The Bachelor and Amazing Race Australia, there’s not much screen time left on free to air prime time network television.

Watch this space for news on what’s coming out way!

Update 22/9 : Channel 9 are bringing us Gotham

Madam Secretary premieres Thursday Oct 2nd, 9pm on Channel 10