Comments Off on The Parisian Dream: A Review of Emily in Paris
Name a show that has received more backlash than Netflix’s new series, Emily in Paris. Some of the harsher criticisms have included: a ‘wikipedia version of French life’ and an insult to ‘anyone who has eaten a croissant’.
Despite these critiques, millions of viewers have fallen in love with this new comedy-drama. Created by Darren Star, the man responsible for Sex and the City and Beverly Hills 90210, the show follows Emily Cooper as she upends her life in Chicago for the city of lights, love and fashion…Paris. The age-old story of an American who moves to Paris, falls in love with a beautiful French man and eats baguettes and croissants all day.
It may be an understatement that the French did not enjoy this show. Parisians have railed against the America-in-Paris cliché that has been replayed in countless shows and movies from Midnight in Paris to Ratatouille. Emily strolls around in Barbie outfits, using a translator to speak French and treating Paris as her amusement park. She is utterly clueless about French customs. She smiles too much, cares too much about work and stands out in her loud clothing. But within these clichés lie grains of truth. Smiling is less of a pleasantry in France, work culture is different, and yes, less is usually more when it comes to French fashion. While clichés may be considered lazy writing, the show plays the clichés on itself, exaggerating them for effect and turning them into a humorous critique of the divide between Parisian and American culture.
Despite the endless bad reviews, Emily in Paris also provides a thoughtful insight into what it means to feel an outsider in a new culture. Emily’s struggle to fit in felt relatable. A comforting reminder that change is always going to be difficult.
The show also provided a much-needed respite from today’s world. With COVID-19, U.S. elections and countless other 2020 worries crowding our thoughts it felt comforting to watch a show where the main character lives in an ‘ordinary’ world. Emily’s biggest concern is being liked by her French boss Sylvie whilst navigating the French dating scene, notably, the steamy Parisian chef and next-door neighbour, Gabriel.
I’ll take the snobbery, cringe and fashion clichés any day for the pure escapism of this series. Forget the criticism, if you’re looking for a Parisian distraction, this show is for you.
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Comments Off on The Meaning of Life… Maybe: Why Everyone Should Read Watchmen
I spent most of my one month at university before the coronavirus struck trying to convince one of my friends to read the graphic novel Watchmen. We made a deal that if she watched or read Watchmen I had to watch The Sound of Music (the worst trade deal of all time). I did my part and gave her my copy of the book. However, no matter how much I hyped it up or how highly I spoke of it she couldn’t bring herself to read it. I am still bitter to this day, especially because I read the Harry Potter books at her request (even though I will admit they are pretty great). I’ve spent a lot of time since wondering why she couldn’t do it.
I discovered Watchmen during the summer of 2019/2020 and devoured the 400-page graphic novel in just three days. I was in love. Lucky for me, the TV sequel series ended just as I finished the original and I managed to watch it in the following week, making sure to limit myself to one episode a day, not wanting to run out too soon. The story of Watchmen (both the original and the sequel HBO show) is a masterpiece, and all I wanted to do was share it with everyone I knew and force them to love it as much as I did. This was very, very naïve. My friend told me that she couldn’t bring herself to read a graphic novel (or a ‘comic book’ as she called it) about superheroes.
Watchmen is not about superheroes. It is about humanity.
Watchmen uses the idea of a world in which superheroes exist to tell a story that transcends class, gender, race and creed. After all, superheroes are nothing more than idealised versions of ourselves – people in brilliant costumes with limitless resources, seemingly superhuman abilities and a brilliance unmatched by any real human being. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of fighting crime like Batman, or doing battle like Wonder Woman, or flying high above the clouds like Superman?
Watchmen creates a world in which superheroes or ‘masked vigilantes’ exist, and through the course of the story it asks if a utopia for and by human beings can ever really exist. The world it builds and describes should be perfect as it is filled with people who have the power, intelligence and motivation to do good without any limitations. Instead, ‘saving the day’ is revealed to be bloody, ugly and disturbing and the closest thing we have to God sim- ply doesn’t care enough to act. Watchmen is about humanity’s struggle with itself and asks: if our goal is to create a perfect world and that utopia is revealed to be a fantasy, or an ugly distortion of itself – do we really deserve to exist?
The answer is yes, to that and many more questions that dominate the story and its characters. Watchmen is not only great television and a brilliant read but it offers an escape from our current crisis and would distract anyone from news of restaurants closing, governments in crisis to general misery. But more importantly, by the end of the story (all 400 pages and nine hours of it), it makes an impassioned argument for humanity and will inspire even the most cynical, depressed or disillusioned person to believe that deep down we can find solace in ourselves and that our lives are meaningful, because we live them. In the graphic novel a man with godlike powers chose to save the world, not because of any great government or charismatic lead- er, not for fame or fortune, but because he is reminded that human beings and their relationships, particularly their capacity for love, defy logic. In the HBO series, the most imaginative yet far-fetched and insane conspiracy theories shouldn’t demand an emotional reaction and yet they do because they are grounded by a love story which seems more human than most real relationships.
This is why I struggle when I hear that people choose to avoid Watchmen because they think it’s about superheroes or because they don’t like comic books. I accept that ‘masked vigilantes’ (as Watch- men chooses to refer to them) don’t work for everyone. And I know that comic books are not always easy to read or follow. But Watchmen is both more than the medium which presents it and is made richer for it. Everyone should experience this story. Not because it is a brilliant graphic novel, not because of its breadth of imagination, not even because of its characters or the impact it has had on the world. But simply because it offers hope, and in a time like this, when the world turns upside down, hope is more than enough.
CONTENT WARNING: Brief Mentions of Stalking, Cults, Suicide, Abortion,STIs, Men- tal Health, Terrorism, Death, Sexual Assault, Homophobia and Transphobia
It is a trying time for all of us. Feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness are all normal reactions to the current unprecedented situation. We need now more than ever to be kind to ourselves. Finding something to keep ourselves busy and distracted is so vital for our mental health. Watching Netflix shows can be an excellent distraction. To save the time and effort scrolling through the abyss of Netflix shows, I have compiled a list of binge-worthy hidden gems and popular Netflix TV shows.
I recently finished watching this four-part mini-series after binging it in just two days. Esther Shapiro (Esty) is only nineteen when she flees her ultra-orthodox Hasidic Sat- mar community in Brooklyn, New York and travels to Berlin. The show is based on the bestselling autobiographical novel Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman. The large part Feldman played in the show’s production shines through in its authenticity. I was awed by the beautiful, heavily detailed sets and costumes. If you are looking for a show to sweep you up in its emotions and incredible storyline, then Unorthodox is a mustsee.
WARNING: This show includes themes of marital rape, stalking and cults.
I have re-watched this hysterical series numerous times. The humour is just so British. After testing positive for chlamydia, Dylan, played by Johnny Flynn, must contact each of his sexual partners to inform them of his diagnosis. It may seem like a weird premise for a TV show, but it is an ingenious device that slowly unravels the dynamics of the friendship between the three main char- actors Dylan, Evie and Luke. Each episode focuses on a different woman from Dylan’s past as we see his multitude of failed attempts at love. If you need a TV show that will make you laugh as well as include the most accurate depiction of friendships on TV out there, then please watch this piece of brilliance.
I have never watched a show that so en- thralled me in its mystic. I am not much of a sci-fi fan, but the ending of the first season of this show had my entire body pulsing with excitement. Season one of The OA follows Prairie or ‘OA’ as she returns home after being missing for seven years and is mysteriously no longer blind. When she forms a group with four outcast boys and a schoolteacher, she recounts bizarre tales of angels, near-death-experiences, time travelling, and celestial movements. While the show defies normal narrative logic and may verge on the side of lunacy, I urge you to take the leap.
Please Like Me
WARNING: This show includes themes of suicide and abortion. I started watching this show with my friends at the end of my first year at university. It was the perfect show to unwind post-ex- ams. Set in the suburbs of Melbourne, Please Like Me is written by and stars Josh Thomas. His geekish charm and light-heartedness is so refreshing even though he deals with serious issues like mental health, sexuality and family issues. The show’s script is very millennial. There’s a sense that none of the characters knows what they are doing in life, but weirdly, this is comforting. One delight you get from binge-watching this series is the opening credits song ‘I’ll be Fine’ by Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes. Give it a listen to uplift your mood.
This series is a work of art. The acting, script, costumes, hairstyles (notably the famous Peaky Blinder undercut) will trans- port you to the gangster world of Birmingham in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is the brooding, fearless and intellectual leader of the notorious family gang. Cillian’s acting and chiselled jawline will have you enthralled. The rest of the cast is also incredible. If you want to be swept up in a different era, Peaky Blinders is for you.
WARNING: This show features a protagonist who experiences PTSD. This three-part mini-series is one of the most addictive shows out there. The stakes are high, and the drama is intense. The show follows David Budd, played by Richard Madden, a war veteran who now finds himself as a Specialist Protection Officer assigned to protect Home Secretary Julie Montague (Keeley Hawes). Budd must deal with terrorist plots, inside jobs and bomb threats. If you want a show with intense twists and turns, then watch Bodyguard.
There is something so wholesome about this police television comedy. The characters are so loveable and funny that their blunders and mishaps never cease to make me smile. Watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine is always a sure way to put me in a good mood. It is no wonder that, when this show was about to be cancelled in 2019, its viewers rallied together to make sure that NBC would renew the series for a seventh series. If you haven’t watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine yet, then what are you doing? Open your laptop now and give it a go.
This show is suspenseful and dramatic – everything a good teen Spanish drama should be. The show is set at Las Encinas, an elite private school where a teenage girl has been murdered. Everyone has secrets, and everybody is a suspect. You will only be relieved of your intrigue in the final episode where the killer is revealed, and my gosh is it shocking. The series continues for another two seasons where the drama just gets bigger. If you want a show packed to the brim with secrets, teen drama, lies and intense characters, then you will enjoy Elite.
WARNING: This show includes themes of sexual assault. If you are into watching crime and detective shows and you haven’t watched Unbelievable, please do. This series is based on the real-life police investigation of serial rapist Marc O’Leary. The first episode follows the story of Marie as she reports her rape, enduring the trauma of recounting her story to multiple people, invasive medical examinations and detectives who doubt her truth. The series is an eye-opening look at how police deal with rape and its aggravating tendency to question the victim. If you want a show that demonstrates the unglamorous and arduous police work that goes into convicting a rapist, I highly recommend this show.
This new rebooted series of Queer Eye includes five fabulous men who aim to bring positivity and joy to the world. Each episode focuses on a person, nominated by their family or friends to have their life revamped. It examines various aspects of their life, e.g. hairstyle, dress, style, confidence and environment. You cannot walk away from watching an episode of this show without feeling like you haven’t your- self received a pep talk from Jonathan, the fabulous ice-skating hairdresser. If you want a boost of positivity, then watch Queer Eye.
Comments Off on Sex Education Is The Best Teen Drama I’ve Ever Seen
CONTENT WARNING: Sex, Sexual Assault, Sexism, Homophobia, Violence, Anxiety, Self-Harm
For a long while, I was hesitant to start watching the recent Netflix Original series, Sex Education. I was convinced that it was just another pop culture craze that would die out in six months, never to be spoken about again. But during the break, there wasn’t really anything else I wanted to watch, so I curbed my preconceptions and turned on Sex Education. Having now seen both seasons, I can safely say that I was wrong: Sex Education is the best teen drama I’ve ever seen.
The programme stars Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn, an awkward and innocent sixteen-year-old, whose mother, Jean (a brilliant performance from Gillian Anderson), is a sex therapist.
When Otis and (supremely attractive) outcast Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) encounter school bully Adam Groff (Connor Swindells) struggling with the consequences of taking three Viagra pills, Otis, having presumably absorbed some of Jean’s wisdom, provides Adam with some advice. This prompts Maeve to comes up with the novel idea to start a ‘sex clinic’, by which she’d arrange for Otis to provide sex therapy to other students at their school. The word gets out about Otis and Maeve’s service, and their classmates begin to visit Otis at school before and after classes and tell him their deepest, darkest secrets. The clinic takes off, and we discover the array of sex and relationships problems that this group of teenagers face.
To me, it is a feat of great proportions how many sexual taboos Sex Education has normalised. From female masturbation to gay and lesbian sex, asexuality to vaginismus (a condition involving unwanted vaginal muscle spasms), the programme leaves no stone unturned. Sure, Sex Education is somewhat prone to inaccuracies – namely, it gives the impression that all sixteen-year-olds are having sex, when this is far from true. A 2018 article from The Washington Post details that in fact, teenagers are having less sex and losing their virginities later in life than ever before. However, some young people do have sex, and many of the situations in which the characters find themselves are far from uncommon among young people. Two secondary characters receive ‘coming out’ storylines: Adam as bisexual, and Ola (Patricia Allison), Otis’ girl- friend, as pansexual. Another character, alien erotica writer Lily Iglehart (Tanya Reynolds), also experiences sexual attraction to multiple genders, although she refrains from adopting a specific label. As a young bisexual woman myself, this made me feel seen, a feeling that I hardly ever get when I watch television. One side character, theatre enthusiast Florence (Mir- ren Mack), also realises that she is asexual, an identity rarely represented in mainstream media. That’s not to mention the fact that we know from the very start of the series that Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa), Otis’ free-spirited best friend, is gay. In Series One, Eric is subject to intense homophobic bullying and physical assault. He is initially left traumatised, but eventually reverts back to his confident self. Despite being the black, gay best friend, Eric’s character is not reduced to the ‘sidekick’ trope. His character development is rich, and his personality is made up of layer upon layer, making him one of my favourite characters in the show. Aside from Eric, there is some fantastic casual representation of people of colour, which is always refreshing to see.
Every character in Sex Education is complex and occasionally unlikeable. Otis is a kind and supportive friend, but due to his social awkwardness often says the wrong thing. Maeve is clever and sensible, but has the tendency to behave aggressively. Jean is protective and wise but tends to cross her son’s person- al boundaries. Young Adult stories across media are so often filled with stereotypes and one-dimensional characters. One need only watch Disney channel to see teen dramas without any sex and swearing, and portrayals of several heterosexual relationships alongside the complete absence of queer* relationships. Luckily, Sex Education paints a picture of human beings as they think and behave in real life, making the show all the more relatable.
There are so many interesting and complicated stories within the overarching plot of the show. Otis comes to terms with his ambivalence towards sex, head boy Jackson Marchetti (Kedar Williams-Sterling) copes with a severe anxiety disorder that in Series Two leads to self-harm, and Maeve tries to navigate living on her own after having been abandoned by her mother and brother. But the storyline that touched me the most was that of Aimee Gibbs (Aimee Lou Wood). A popular and privileged young woman, Aimee spends most of her days as a sixteen-year-old with complete trust in her environment. But when she is sexually assaulted on the bus, she comes to a shocking realisation that maybe, the world isn’t always going to be on her side. In Episode Seven of Series Two, Aimee shares her experiences with the other primary female characters, who all respond with their own stories of sexism and sexual harassment. At the end of the episode, in a perfect display of female solidarity, they all help Aimee face her trauma head-on and ride with her on the bus where she was assaulted. Many journalists and cultural commentators have remarked upon this storyline, most of them praising the creators of the show for its respectful and nuanced treatment of sexual assault. My feelings are no different from theirs. Aimee’s storyline inevitably made me fearful that the same thing could happen to me. But seeing how the other female characters support her and how she overcomes her trauma gives me hope. This is why well thought-out storytelling can be so powerful: it can change how people think and feel.
I truly think that Sex Education has paved the way for more honest, fearless, multifaceted storytelling. It is my hope that the television creators of tomorrow will learn from the television creators of today and make work as good as – or better than – this. Until I watched Sex Education, I don’t think I’d ever come across a piece of media that burned so many societal taboos to the ground. But I’m sure that this incredible, ingenious, inspiring show will remain in the cultural memory forever. And that excites me!
Both series’ of Sex Education are available on Netflix.
Comments Off on Bachie Recaps Episodes Thirteen and Fourteen: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Time flies when you’re lapping up drama. Hometown week is already on our doorstep, and it seems like this season of The Bachelor has flown by at a breakneck pace.
We started this week’s episode with Osher congratulating our fabulous final five, but we’re already on shaky footing as Elly has decided to take up the mantle as resident Abbie-basher. Apparently learning no lessons from the brutal eviction of Sogand, she is poised and ready to play at the next group date… but wait! Shock! The nation’s favourite sexologist, Nikki Goldstein, appears. She gives possibly the best news Abbie could have hoped for: that the theme of the group date will be ‘sexual chemistry’. Step back Elly, we’re in Abbie’s wheelhouse now.
So each of the girls are forced to demean themselves, not only emotionally but also physically, as they are challenged to…um…press themselves against a blindfolded Matt while the other girls watch. Yikes! Abbie squirms as she watches other girls put their arms around ‘her man’ until it is finally her moment to pounce, and she marks her territory with a totally-non-sexual scratch down his back. Still, the lovely and bubbly Elly is crowned ‘best hugger’, a prize of which I’m sure her mother will be eternally proud.
The second part of the competition is something straight out of a nightmare. The challenge is to maintain eye contact with Matt for four whole minutes. If that doesn’t make you break into a cold sweat, I just don’t know what will! As someone who gets uncomfortable after maybe five seconds of silent eye contact, this sounds more like a weird form of social anxiety torture than anything else. Even Abbie’s best sensual lip bite isn’t enough to tear the victory away from Elly, and everyone’s favourite country gal is granted the solo time with Matt.
Just when it looks like Elly is back to her lovely self and winning over her prize, her worst instincts kick in. Suddenly we are back to the Sogand drama of a few weeks prior. Matt receives her SECOND warning about Abbie, which is no better than the first. At this stage Matt has heard so much against Abbie that it’s starting to sound like a broken record. Will the boy ever learn?
Apparently not, because it’s Abbie who snags the next single date, and boy oh boy is she done playing. After a very weird date where they have to pretend to move house, Abbie finally pins Matt down on the bed with a self-confessed dry hump. Oh my poor, abused eyes! Only after the lap dance does Matt actually think to ask Abbie the truth of her intentions, and Abbie is SHOOK. “I am completely here for the right reasons,” she assures him, probably planning her next bikini shot on Instagram.
There’s a lot of resentment flying around at the cocktail party, as each girl is absolutely done with the other’s shit. Then suddenly it’s rose ceremony time, and in a twist that the entire world saw coming, poor Elly is booted off the show. As Elly leaves the mansion in tears, the camera pans to Abbie offering a smug smile accompanied by a coy, “I feel better”. Jesus, who is this girl, a bond villain?
Then, it’s the next episode, and all hope for Abbie’s comeuppance is rapidly flying out the window. It’s Helena who takes centre stage for the hometown drama. In fact, her double dumping of Matt over the course of a single episode may border on iconic. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as the episode starts with a visit to Abbie’s hometown in sunny Brisbane, where Matt embarrasses himself with the most hideous shirt I have ever had the horror to behold. Here we find out that Abbie’s lies reach further than we thought, with Abbie’s mother apparently believing her daughter to be primed and ready to start popping out little mini Abbies. In light of Abbie’s previous hesitation about kids and marriage, it looks like someone’s communication skills need polishing. Next up is Chelsie’s Melbourne family, where her folks are about as smart and perfect as you can imagine. Her sister’s protective interrogation of Matt makes her actual sibling goals.
Our next flight, this time to Sydney, brings us a closer view of a more problematic situation, namely Emma and her obsession with Matt. Even her friend gives her an incredulous look when Emma claims she has ‘fallen in love’ with Matt. Not one to quit while she’s ahead, Emma delivers the same information to Matt, who looks as though every muscle in his body is telling him to run. “I’m not really on the same page,” he tells the audience casually as buckets of sweat pour from his brow. Luckily he manages to deal expertly with the situation by just not saying anything to her.
Next up is the Perth-based Helena, whose family is as tall and European as her. Everything is going just fine until Matt can’t remember if Helena spoke French to him during their introduction, and suddenly shit hits the fan. There’s storming out and people speaking French, and finally Helena officially dumps Matt with the always effective, ‘I don’t want to waste your time’. But Matt’s stammered apologies get through to her, and she’s okay to stay in the competition.
But not so fast! Two minutes pass and Helena has changed her mind again. There’s a sudden cut to a cul-de-sac where Helena explains to a very confused Matt that she is definitely, 100 per cent, non-negotiably breaking up with him. That lasts about one minute before Matt talks her around again. Doesn’t she seem fun and low-maintenance?
But wait! There’s more! At the rose ceremony it looks like Helena won’t bother to show, but at the last minute she appears out of nowhere like a drama-loving Cinderella. Obviously this girl is a giant red flag, but there’s a bigger red flag to get rid of first. Matt chooses to evict Emma, who leaves with the dignity of someone getting kicked out of Mooseheads on a Thursday night. Watch out Matt – she knows where you live.
Now it’s just the final three, and with Australia on tenterhooks it’s time to wonder just who (Chelsie) the winner (Chelsie) could be (Chelsie)?
Comments Off on Bachie Recaps: Episodes One and Two
Somewhere out there, the contestants of last year’s Bachie are fuming…
It’s been a year since the Honey Badger awkwardly exited our screens without choosing a final girl (the scandal!), and Australia’s been itching for a new contender who hasn’t made it his mission to spread obscure Aussie slang. Enter this year’s eligible offering, Matt, who makes the contenders froth over him like rabid dogs. He’s a generically attractive, generally quite likeable bloke who seems unremarkably nice. Except this time it’s different, guys. He is, as the tortured puns will never cease to remind you, an astrophysicist. Cue the sound of the audience drooling.
But let’s be honest with ourselves. No one watching The Bachelor is there for the guy. He’s just the bait for the real reason we’re here: the girls. As the limo pulled up to the ridiculously over-the-top set (seriously, how much do they spend on candles and flowers?), we were welcomed by a host of contenders ready to claim their man.
In case, for some absurd reason, you had something better to do on Wednesday night, here’s a low-down on the girls to watch out for:
Elly: If the wifey music isn’t enough to clue you in, the one-on-one date by the fireside she managed to sneak into her intro guarantees her a spot in the final.
Sogand: Technically now Matt’s fiancée, this Persian princess seems lovely. Let’s watch her turn crazy through the magic of editing.
Chelsie: She’s a scientist (cue the ‘they have chemistry’ jokes) and she got him to flash his chest under the pretext of a temporary tattoo. She is the nation’s hero.
Nichole: She’s ready to be the villain. I mean, girl turned up on a motorcycle with the pounding music warning us of the drama to come.
Rachael: “Some girls will do anything for camera time” she pouts in the wedding dress she purchased for her intro. Ah well, she doesn’t think Matt is that hot anyway.
Kristen: The producers clearly got the memo that more diversity is needed, and this China-obsessed white girl is ticking the box. At least, if the “oriental” music that plays in her presence is any indication.
Emma: Maybe it’s the editing, but this girl has serious stalker vibes. And given the amount of jealousy she’s showing on episode one, I’m worried that no one has explained the concept of The Bachelor to her.
Vakoo: An icon. A dream. This 23-year-old model has the confidence that I hope to someday cultivate in my late 80s.
Abbie: A Gemini.
And a bunch of other girls who are…um…lovely? I guess? I don’t know, they skipped through them pretty quickly.
After a pretty vicious cocktail party where the girls seemed half-ready to claw any contenders away from ‘their man’, Elly walked away with the golden ticket to Matt’s hometown and the rose ceremony got rid of two girls who collectively got about one second of screen time. Through some production magic, Rachael managed to secure herself a rose despite clearly being in it only for the ‘Insta’.
The second episode brought us a one-on-one date with the lovely Sogand and it was Bachelor bingo. Helicopter? Check. Impromptu al fresco orchestra? Check. Pash and a rose? Check, check. And wasn’t Sogand proud to bring the news back to the mansion and shatter Emma’s heart in the process?
But a whopping two episodes in, Channel 10 clearly decided that it was time to up the ante, as a very awkward-looking archery group date (in which Chelsie snagged a sneaky rose) was just a chance to sneak in eight new girls for some added drama. They arrived “like a bad bunch of shit-cake”, in Rachael’s words, bringing a new girls versus originals battle that no one asked for. Notable amongst the newcomers are Nikki (cheerleader), Danush (another Persian – ooh the drama!) and Monique (labelled Nichole’s doppelganger because she’s…um…blonde? She boxes?).
The second cocktail party in two days brought us a devastating lack of Vakoo, whose apparent conjunctivitis led some viewers to think that this season would turn into CSI: Bachelor. After a cutthroat night of women clawing each other aside over Matt, all of our favourites remain in the final 17.
And now we all go back to the mundane, dreary existences that we led in the pre-Bachelor epoch until Wednesday rolls around once more.
Family relationships saturate the media. From the Kardashians, to Thor and Loki, to the family-centered TV show Schitt’s Creek, families have taken over popular imagination. This is because such relationships are a key part of all of our lives. The effect and significance of family relationships vary dramatically from person to person, but ultimately we all know what it is to have a family, and we all understand the trials and tribulations that come with it.
Growing up with people is difficult. History is hard. My sister has seen me through my worst teenage years, and I’ve seen her through hers. We’ve done things to each other that we don’t like to speak about: we’ve been our worst selves and made more than our fair share of mistakes. These mistakes often hurt, and there are scars that may never heal, topics that might always be taboo. Despite this, my sister is one of the few people who really know me.
I, along with a lot of other people, can be hard to get to know. In no way does this make me special. But, the history and the intimacy that my sister and I share bypass this barrier. It’s impossible to put up walls when she’s been there through thick and thin, and at my core, I love my sister more than anything.
What I’m trying to say is that family relationships are, to a certain extent, inescapable. I will advocate forever for the ability of all of us to choose our own families. I will never be the person who assumes that sharing blood is what brings people together. But I will say that it’s nice to have someone who knows you. And, purely because of timing, it’s family (whether chosen or genetic) who really, truly knows who you are.
Family relationships are universal. They are fraught with tension, they are multi-faceted and nuanced, but they are simultaneously eternally relatable. We all have families, and deciding to have someone in your life for a long time inherently involves drama.
This universality is what prompts the saturation of families in the media. Harry Potter is basically adopted by the Weasleys, Moira fights with Alexis and David on Schitt’s Creek, Thor and Loki are consistently entertaining and unpredictable.
Beneath all of these relationships is one core idea: family is making someone a permanent fixture in your life. It’s about allowing them to know you, and it’s about being there even when it’s hard, even when it doesn’t suit, even when people aren’t necessarily their best selves. This kind of long-term relationship necessarily involves drama, and will always be applicable and relatable to the masses. It’s why their depictions are so popular in the media, and all we can hope for from them are nuanced, multi-dimensional, and diverse representations of family in the media.
Really, all anyone ever wants is to see things that they’ve gone through reflected on screen. The best characters are those we can relate to, not because of magic hammers, but because of who they are. And families are an important part of that. We are forged in the fire of family: I sure as hell don’t know who I’d be without mine.
Woroni is looking for some fresh minds to help integrate the Print, Radio and Television platforms in Semester two 2018!
Woroni exists so students can cut their teeth in creativity, media, and journalistic expression. We produce content that is interesting, informative, accurate and relevant, and we provide students with opportunities to develop multimedia skills in journalism, design, writing, television, and radio.
If this sounds appealing to you, then keep reading!
We will be recruiting throughout the winter break. There are lots of opportunities to get involved, including some new positions. You don’t need to have prior experience – just be a team player and be willing to get involved and learn new skills.
We’ve compiled a list of all available positions below. Call it a “Woroni 101 Guide”, if you will. We’ll be listing every position, big or small, as they become available. Positions will be listed under the name of the relevant editor whom they will be responsible to. Please have a read through and see if anything takes your fancy. And don’t hold back, you can apply for more than one position!
The Editor-in-Chief is the spokesperson for ANUSM and responsible for overseeing and assisting the other Editors, as well as ensuring that the objects of the Association are upheld. The EIC is also responsible for organising events and workshops, managing employees, chairing meetings, dealing with conflicts and complaints, and assisting wherever needed. If you have any questions about anything Woroni-related, then flick Mia an email at email@example.com.
The distributor is responsible for picking up the newspaper from the printer fortnightly, distributing it to Woroni stands across campus and keeping these stands topped up throughout the print cycle. They must have a car and an ABN, and will be paid for their time.
For more information about the role, click here.
Applications will close on Friday 20 July at 11.59pm.
The Deputy Editor-in-Chief is responsible for creating and maintaining minutes, policy, procedure and records, as well as interpreting the Constitution. The Deputy EIC works closely with the Social Media, Instagram and Events Sub-Editors, managing Woroni’s online presence and administrative organisation. If you have any questions, you can contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of Photography at ANUSM is to capture moments of student university life. In the past, Woroni Photographers have attended both formal and casual events, both on and off campus. For Semester two, photography sub-editors can expect to attend at least one ball. This year, photographers have also been involved in providing images to accompany News and Content stories, as well as publishing photo stories in the Woroni paper.
Photography Sub Editors are expected to have some experience in photography. After Photography Sub-Editors take photos at events they are required to edit and upload albums to Facebook with the Woroni Watermark.
Applications are open now and close on 13 July 2018. You can find more information and application details here.
The Managing Editor is responsible for creating and maintaining the books and financial records of the Association and managing ANUSM’s business relationships, as well as preparing, managing and regularly reporting on the budget. You can reach Jonathan at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team of management Sub-Editors are the energetic and driven individuals that assist with the day to day functions of Woroni. They work to create partnerships with other businesses, organise advertising across the ANU Student Media’s platforms, undertake market research and strategic planning, maintain social media platforms and manage the ANUSM website.
Applications are now open for a new Social Media Sub-Editor, Instagram Sub-Editor and Events Management Sub-Editor to join the rest of the team. You can find more information, full role descriptions and application details by clicking this link.
Applications are open now and close on 13 July 2018.
The Art Editor is responsible for the design and layout of, and the curation of art for the fortnightly newspaper, as well as the graphics and branding that Woroni uses in its online and on-campus presence. They manage and work closely with a team of art sub-editors. Sophie can answer any questions about contributing art for the newspaper or getting involved; you can contact her at email@example.com or the entire Art Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Sub-Editors are responsible for laying out a quota of pages for each print edition. In example, they will be given additional responsibilities, including creating social media graphics, designing branding for Woroni Radio and TV, producing art for the newspaper or assisting the Art Editor in managing the logistics of the Art portfolio.
Applications are now open for Design Sub-Editor, Graphics Sub-Editor, Art Admin Sub-Editor, Senior Graphics Sub-Editor and Senior Design Sub-Editor. For more information about each of the roles, click here.
The TV Editor is primarily responsible for continuing the growth of Woroni TV. The purpose of Woroni TV is to engage with the student body by providing a new and interactive platform to deliver campus news, interviews with interesting students and people in Canberra, as well as fun how-to and creative content. You can contact William at email@example.com or the whole Television Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Content Editor is responsible for the Woroni print content in the newspaper and online, producing interesting, informative and diverse content that is relevant to the ANU community. In addition to this, the Content Editor manages the Content Team and all that entails. Alisha can answer any questions about the newspaper and how best to contribute; you can contact her at email@example.com or the entire Content Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The News Editor is responsible for managing the Woroni News team. They lead and support the news reporters to investigate and report campus news for the Woroni newspaper, both in print and online. If you have any questions about Woroni‘s news reporting or have a news tip, you can contact Noah at email@example.com or the entire News Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Radio Editor is responsible for managing the Woroni Radio Team and community, supervising the content that goes on air, and monitoring content quality and distribution. If you have any questions, you can email Zoe at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode has been built up to be a bit of wild ride, so I’ve got a bottle of red wine to get me through it. We start with shots of Matty wearing a hoodie so that we know he’s really Down To Earth. He’s drinking a cup of English Breakfast tea, which is milky but not too milky. I approve. Matty stares off into the distance and thinks about all his Connections. Oshie comes up behind him in a dressing gown, yawning, and embraces him. It’s very intimate. I look away, blushing.
HOME VISIT NUMBER ONE! We’re transported to the Sausage Queen’s domain: the Gold Coast. Matty and the Queen meet at Movie World, which they have all to themselves for the day. How convenient. The Queen screams the whole time, and Matty finds it very endearing. When we meet the Queen’s family, everyone is very excited to be reunited with their sovereign. We meet the Queen’s brother, Troy, who is very unhappy to be here. Troy looks like the kind of guy whose Tinder profile is just poorly angled close ups and selfies taken in his ute. Swipe right left. The Men of the family take Matty outside to cook some meat and have some bevs. Things get serious, and they all whip out their ‘family jewels’ to see whose is bigger. Troy says a lot of reasonable things about how dating multiple girls and stringing them along is really weird. Matty looks very confused by this. They resolve their differences over a beer and everything ends up fine. The rest of the evening is super boring and happy-family, etc. etc.
HOME VISIT NUMBER TWO! We’re suddenly in Holland with Olena the Second. Wait, no, it’s some rundown windmill in Melbourne that Channel Ten looked at and thought ‘aw yeah, she’ll be right ay’. They start riding around on bikes, Matty falls off and gets looked at by the medical team. They diagnose him with a standard boo-boo on the knee and being delusional about reality TV. Matty is not impressed to find out that Olena the Second’s family isn’t travelling halfway around the world to meet a guy who might not even like their daughter. You’d think that the Greyhound buses he’s been catching to and from each hometown would tip him off as to how low budget this show really is. We go, instead, to Olena the Second’s good friend’s home. Olena ditches Matty as soon as she’s reunited with her friends, but, before she pisses off for a girl’s night, her scary mate Marly has a chat with our Bachie. From their chat, we gain insight into Matty’s two-year Contiki-induced London life and how it makes him Mr Worldwide. Matty says he’ll only get with Olena the Second if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holds a Plebiscite to make sure she stays in Australia with him forever and ever. Mal has unofficially expressed his enthusiasm for such an expensive and ridiculous motion.
HOME VISIT NUMBER THREE! Now we’re in South Australia with Hockeyroo. They walk on the beach for a bit, everything is perfect and the whole evening goes incredibly smoothly. We get it, Hockeyroo, you’re Matty’s ideal woman. Uh oh, spanner in the works! Mama Hockeyroo doesn’t trust Matty with her mashed potatoes, and she certainly doesn’t trust him with her daughter! Matty triumphs by mashing those potatoes like he’s never mashed anything before (wink?) and Mama Hockeyroo is suddenly very impressed and approving. Look, my money is on Hockeyroo for the win, but honestly who knows with this show. For all we know, we could get Jen as an intruder next week, and Matty could choose her. Crazier things have happened (remember Andrew G, Australian Idol? Oh, Osher).
HOME VISIT NUMBER FOUR! Time to go to Sydney with Georgia Love 2.0 (GL2.0). Let’s go to the beach each, let’s go get away. Matty is looking beach-ready, and… WAIT. Is that a three-legged dog? IT’S A THREE-LEGGED DOG! HIS NAME IS BUSTER! OK, fuck this show, I just want 16-hour-long episodes following the life of Buster, the three-legged dog. Alas, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Matty is overwhelmed at meeting three generations of GL2.0’s family. He shouldn’t be worried, though, because Nan gives a raving one thumbs-up review of Matty, saying that ‘he’s alright’ and ‘ten out of ten’. The night goes really smoothly until the end when GL2.0 is entirely reasonable in demanding the same assurance from Matty that he is asking from her in terms of their ‘feelings’. This rational argument makes Matty upset, and he doesn’t seem too sure about GL2.0 anymore.
HOME VISIT NUMBER FIVE? Don’t ask me how, but I got access to some untelevised footage of a fifth hometown visit. Who’s the lucky lady, do you ask? Well, you should be asking, who is the lucky man? Matty arrives at Osher’s Sydney loft just as the sun was setting. The front door was unlocked, and he let himself in. Matty could hear soft jazz playing upstairs, and made his way to the source. He found Osher leaning against the balcony rail, watching the sun set over the harbour. Matty smiled, grabbed himself a glass of French champagne, and joined OshOshMyGosh. ‘You took your time’, Osh said with a chuckle. ‘I’m sorry, I had to pick up a rose for you – do you accept it?’ said Matty. Oshie rolled his eyes and took the rose, holding it to his nose and breathing deep. ‘It smells so sweet’, OshTosh whispered. ‘Not as sweet as you, my darling,’ Matty said softly, moving a lock of Oshie’s hair out of his eyes. ‘Not as sweet as you.’ End Scene.
COCK PARTY! Things are getting serious now. The girls are no longer sitting around and shooting the breeze with one another. Instead, they are all off on their own thinking about Feelings and their Future with Matty and their incredible Connections. Blah blah blah, super boring.
ROSE CEREMONY! It is episode 14 and, yet, I’m still incredibly confused as to what a Rose Ceremony is. The girls are huddled together for safety in the centre of the room, looking around wildly. OshUltraPosh walks in and explains that the girls took Matty to meet their families this week. OH OK, so that’s what the whole episode was about! OshOshOsh announces that there are FOUR LADIES HERE but only THREE ROSES. With the help of an abacus, OsherMosher explains the math to the girls. With his deft fingers, Osh makes the beads of the abacus appear to dance before him. The girls are transfixed. We realise that this means that ONE LADY WILL LEAVE the mansion forever and we will never see her again. Everyone is shocked as if this hasn’t happened every night for thirteen episodes before this. Matty gives a rose to everyone except Olena the Second, and she doesn’t even get the privilege of a private chat outside.
Matty excuses himself for an early night’s rest. The remaining three girls, who all look exactly the same, walk back to the mansion while admiring their roses. Osher, now the only one in the room, reaches into his pocket. He gently lifts out the rose Matty gave him earlier. ‘Oh, Matthew Johnson…’ he sighs, breathing in the scent of the rose. Osher turns slowly, and walks out into the cool night; the rose dangling at his side. #Mosher.
Katie has been watching The Bachelor ever since she was old enough to know that it’s complete bullshit. Her favourite Bachelor love story is Osher and himself, and her least favourite was Cool Bananas and everyone. One day, when she grows another foot in height and meets the show’s physical requirements, she’ll be a contestant and win Osher’s heart.
Click here for Bachie Recaps: Episode 13
Click here for Bachie Recaps: Episode 12
Click here for Bachie Recaps: Episode 11
I’ve got a tub of hummus, and I’ve got a bag of corn chips. Episode 13, I am ready for you. It looks like we’re jumping straight into things? No scenes dedicated to OshiePoshie sneaking into the mansion uninvited and making date cards appear out of thin air? Channel Ten, I feel cheated.
We’ve gone straight to the GROUP DATE. Despite it being episode fucking 13, OshKosh announces that everyone doesn’t know each other enough yet so he’s got some fun activities lined up for the girls! I, myself, love a good icebreaker, it’s why I always miss the first tutorial of each semester.
Our first activity is the classic ‘Force Women to Rank Themselves Against Other Women’. Now this one is my personal favourite and kudos to the show runners for choosing an activity that actively encourages passive aggression and pettiness. First up we have ‘Who is the Funniest Girl?’. It’s obviously the Sausage Queen, everyone knows it. The Queen takes her rightful place at the top and strikes a power pose. I bow down to her. Next, we have most honest, most compassionate, most positive blah blah BLAH. Then comes the greatest one of all: who is the most down to earth? Ok, let me just say that this particular group of people provides VERY slim-pickings for ‘down to earth’. But you have to work with what you’ve got. Elora thinks the sun shines out of her butthole, so she puts herself at the top. The Queen shuts her down with quite possibly my favourite quote of the whole season: ‘burning sage and running around the house does not mean that you’re down to earth’. God that girl is a GIFT to this show.
OshOsh runs a complicated algorithm on a supercomputer behind the scenes and reveals that the Sausage Queen and Georgia Love 2.0 (GL2.0) didn’t get through to the next round. The SECOND ROUND is all about deal breakers. The girls seem riveted. Finally, they get to know concrete attributes of Matty’s ideal woman. One by one, we learn Matty’s deal breakers. Number one: if you’re not Georgia Love, it’s not going to happen. Everyone looks distraught except GL2.0, who is asking someone off camera if that applies to her. Deal breaker number two: if you’re not on reality TV for the sole purpose to boost your social media presence, then Matty is just not interested. The girls light up – they’re back in the game! The rest of the deal breakers are boring and about honesty and trust etc. etc. who cares. Olena the Second and Cobie both don’t care enough about their Instagram following-to-followers ratio, so they’re out of the game.
It’s just Hockeyroo and Elora now. They must write what makes up their ideal relationship. It turns out they were actually writing their vows and are now both getting married to Matty. The Bachelor has the opportunity to make a huge step in social justice by allowing a polyamorous union. Alas, Matty is turned off by Elora’s rhyming, and he chooses Hockeyroo to marry. The show ends, everyone goes home. See you all for the Bachelorette.
Just kidding, the season can’t end just yet – we haven’t had a performance by a forgotten artist from the early 2000s! Hockeyroo and Matty go to a bar and listen to James Blunt sing. While Matty and Hockeyroo make out on the d-floor, James Blunt thinks back to the good old days of 2004 when he could sing his top hit ‘You’re Beautiful’ in literally anywhere but on a low-budget reality TV show and still get paid for it. James finishes his one song, Matty and Hockeyroo keep pashing, so James makes a run for it and disappears as quickly as he arrived. James Blunt for the Bachelor 2018? It’s a yes from me.
We transition straight to the SINGLE DATE with Cobie. We see Matty skipping stones across a river. He’s talking about his feelings for Cobie and makes it very clear that he is about to Friendzone her. Poor Cobie, all she wants is to have uninhibited access to Matty’s Bach Pad so that she can collect hair from his shower and dirty underwear from his hamper. Cobie rocks up, and Matty decides to surprise her with something. He tells her to close her eyes, and she does so enthusiastically. Matty tiptoes away slowly, motioning for the crew to follow him. They leave Cobie standing next to the river and go to the local pub for a beer. They return three hours later to find Cobie giggling with her eyes still shut.
Matty takes Cobie to a Giants Obstacle course, and I get vivid flashbacks to my Grade Five school camp. If Matty wanted to choose a date that screamed ‘I am not attracted to you in any way, and quite frankly you make me uncomfortable’, then he has really outdone himself. We get lots of shots of Matty saying things like ‘We’re really good friends’, juxtaposed with Cobie crying softly into a handwoven pillow made from Matty’s hair. We move onto the magic date couch, and you can see the exact moment when Cobie realises that Matty is friendzoning her. Matty sends Cobie home on the spot, she cries for a bit and then leaves. She’ll either set her shrine on fire and cleanse her mind and spirit of this awful experience, or make ten different macaroni portraits of Matty to sell on Etsy.
We’re now at the COCK PARTY! The girls are talking about how much fun Cobie must be having, but I can’t see them through the thousands of cushions and candles in the mansion. OshieTamagotchi arrives unexpectedly. The girls start freaking out because This Normally Does Not Happen! They find out that they are never going to see Cobie again EVER because Matty didn’t think she was hot enough. Then OshOsh reveals that there will still be a rose ceremony and it’s in five minutes! Olena the Second starts chucking back glasses of champagne, the Sausage Queen snorts a sausage, GL2.0 starts pulling out chunks of her hair and Elora is rocking back-and-forth in the corner. Osher looks at the mayhem he’s caused, a smile spreads across his chiselled face. His work here is complete.
ROSE CEREMONY. Everyone is SCARED. I am CONFUSED. Thankfully, Osher walks in with his laptop, sets up his projector and gets a PowerPoint presentation up. With an artful use of text animations, Osher tells us that there are FIVE LADIES LEFT and ONLY FOUR LADIES CAN GO TO HOMETOWN, which is why THERE ARE ONLY FOUR ROSES. The girls stare at him blankly. Elora’s weeping intensifies. Osher revises his PowerPoint, and with the power of Clipart, he reveals that ONLY FOUR ROSES means ONE LADY WILL GO HOME FOREVER. It’s all so clear now. The girls are relieved that they don’t have to do any math. Matty gives everyone a rose except Elora. Osher uses his PowerPoint to explain that she has to leave – mainly because Channel Ten can’t afford the international flights for her home-visit in Episode 14. Elora bursts into flames and runs out of the mansion, leaving behind a trail of debris. Her screeching echoes in the night.
Osher extinguishes the flames with a wave of his hand, takes Matty by the arm and vanishes into the darkness. The girls pack their bags, put on their walking shoes and start the long treks back to their respective hometowns.
Katie has been watching The Bachelor ever since she was old enough to know that it’s complete bullshit. Her favourite Bachelor love story is Osher and himself, and her least favourite was Cool Bananas and everyone. One day, when she grows another foot in height and meets the show’s physical requirements, she’ll be a contestant and win Osher’s heart.
Click here for Bachie Recap: Episode 12
Click here for Bachie Recap: Episode 11