Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Daters recap - Episode 1: Meet the Singles

Having spent the better part of the last decade as one of those boring "shacked up" monogamous-relationshippy types, it's been a long time since I last went on a date.

Well, a date other than ones that start off with "Sod going out, can't we just watch TV?" and then end with both of us falling asleep on the couch in front of an open pizza box.

I mean a proper date where both parties are single and awkward and where each spends 70 per cent of the time trying to work out if the other is an idiot/bad speller/racist/sex fiend/psycho killer/total knob, 20 per cent wondering why he/she wore THAT and the final 10 per cent trying to decide whether to end the date with a pash, a shag, or a door slammed in the face.

ASL?
Dude, I'm sitting right next to you.

But as luck would have it I don't need to feel like a boring old fogey missing out on swinging singleton fun, because new ABC show The Daters has arrived to show me what it's like to be single in 2014. And on first glance being single in 2014 kind of sucks, so hooray for couches and pizza!

This South Australian made web series screens on iView (which means you can go and watch it online now! Right now! Here!) and episodes are only 10 minutes long, so I figured I'd do a weekly recap because... well, RuPaul's Drag Race isn't on right now.

(Full disclosure: I actually know the producer of this show, and most of the cast. But fear not, I shall not take mercy on any of them. My piss-taking knows no social bounds.)

So we begin episode one by meeting our six daters - three chicks, three dudes, all in their 20s and 30s and looking for love through any means necessary. For three months they will search for their soul mate via text, Tinder, online dating sites and occasionally by leaving the house and actually talking to people. (Note: This is not a preferred method.)

First on the block is Sooz, a 33-year-old media makeup artist and journalism student who has a raspy voice and dip-dyed pink hair and rocks a 50s style look and I'm about to fall in love with her on sight until she mentions she likes Disney movies "because they have a message". Goodbye, Sooz, it's been real.

"But I don't like other mushy shit," she says, before explaining which bits of her body she shaves regularly and pulling about 10 facial expressions in one go.

COME BACK TO ME, SOOZ, ALL IS FORGIVEN.

She hasn't got something in her eye, this is just how Sooz talks.

"I've been on dates but I've never had somebody longer than a month. My friends are yet to see me in a relationship, my family have never seen me with a boy. I've certainly never brought one home," she says.

"My mum and dad have been married for 40 years, both my brothers are married, they've got families ... and I just want to be able to experience a bit of that as well."

Sooz's mum and dad silently mock her from her sideboard with their 40-year marriage.

Next up is Johnny, a 26-year-old brickie's labourer turned super stylish hipster business owner who manages to fulfil the ABC's diversity quota all on his own by being both gay and ginger.

If Ned Kelly worked at Jack London, and was into Haim.

He's also a bit of a man's man. I don't mean blokey (hello, look at the guy). I mean like the gay version of "ladies' man". OK, so I mean "slut". Within 30 seconds of meeting Johnny we've already heard about the hot Brazilian he wants to shag called Jorje (literally NO ONE makes a "whore" joke. Shame, ABC, shame) and the SMS pick up line he used on him: "Hey let me know if you want to go for a skateboard some time - or have sex".

And then there's this, which should start appearing on T shirts and bumper stickers around the nation by Friday if anyone's got any sense:

Note to Johnny's prospective dates: don't wear leggings.

Johnny is sassy, funny, kinda slutty, and hot, which is like the holy grail in gay land so god knows why he's single. If I were a gay man I'd be Tindering the hell out of Johnny. Or Grindring. Whatever, I'm a boring old person, remember?

Meanwhile:

OK so they're skinny jeans, same thing.

Then there's 28-year-old designer and anthropology student Anna, who is looking for someone to have "brain sex" with. Yes, that's what she calls it.

I don't think this is what she means.

Anna is blonde and rather gorgeous and works as a designer for a jeweller, meaning that any bloke wishing to propose better earn some fat stacks, because girl knows what she's looking at.

"Cubic fucking Zirconia? What am I, a Kardashian?"

She also has one of the best back stories of anyone you've ever met, ever.

"My mum was in a circus, I grew up being the one who was like 'Hey Anna we're doing a pyramid, do you want to jump up on the top there?'. My dad's a little bit of a hippie and I travelled around Australia with him in a Kombi van wearing banana leaves as clothes and calling myself 'Ajealia'."

Anna makes me exceptionally glad I am not single.

Because if this is what single women look like these days, I would basically be single forever.

In other news, Johnny does not know how to cook mince.

He may BE saucy, but cooking sauce is another matter. (Use a frying pan, you berk)

More domestically minded seems to be 29-year-old apprentice plumber John, who we meet in the middle of ironing a shirt.

"If you even mention the dirty L word - that's it, I'm stopping ironing, I'm throwing my toys out the pram and it's game over," he says in what might be the most Aussie accent since Steve Irwin said that thing that time.

Given he's hovered over an ironing board, I can only assume the "dirty L word" is "dirty laundry". I empathise, John.

John is Aussier than a Woolies sausage wrapped in a meat pie drop-punted onto a barbecue by Adam Goodes wearing a flag as a cape.

He's also tall, athletic and bears more than a passing resemblance to Rose Byrne's former flame Brendan Cowell so we can probably assume he does alright with the chicks. Also: he's a tradie. He's basically got this thing stitched up.

As smooth as a steak sanger.

Oh wait, there's no winners on this show? Dammit. I'm still backing John anyway.

Moving on to 23-year-old Courtney, a bright and bubbly sort with a nose ring and wrist tattoo who isn't looking for a relationship, just someone to go skydiving, white water rafting and mountain climbing with.

That's called a "boyfriend".

Courtney is a dance student. She may also be a ninja.

A typical Friday night for Courtney.

We meet Courtney in the middle of getting ready to go on a date, where she's made the fatal mistake of asking Johnny for fashion advice.

"Nup. You look like a suburban British slapper," he tells her. Lucky she wasn't wearing leggings.

And finally we have Burgo, aka Ryan Burgess, the 27-year-old co-host of SAFM's breakfast radio show here in Adelaide, and object of unrestrained hatred for comedian Wil Anderson.

Burgo gets up at 4am every day to make sure South Australia gets the latest news about icy cold cans of Coke and can shower to the latest Katy Perry song.

This is Burgo at 4am on a non work day.

Burgo is funny, outgoing and kind - but only if you catch him between the hours of 6am and 3pm, because after that he's napping.

"What I'm looking for in a woman is someone who is there when I need them to be there, but will go when I need them to go," he says.

Burgo's ideal girlfriend.

So there we have it: three girls, three boys and three months of dating hell. Who will find love first? Will they all just give up three episodes in and shag each other? We can only hope.

Now go on and READ EPISODE TWO!



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