The atrocious Please Marry My Boy
As far as Friday night television goes, I thought Killer Karaoke was a bit of a laugh, with its terrible singers, cheesy one-liners and excessive use of snakes and/or fat guys dancing in their underwear.
However, it ended a couple of weeks ago and was replaced by a show that promised to be so bad I simply had to take a look. Please Marry My Boy is an Australian dating show in which four lonely boys let their mothers pick a soul-mate for them, while host Ada Nicodemou, a former Home & Away star, pretends she can host stuff. The result is an absolute atrocity, a sin against nature.
In fact, Please Marry My Boy was so bad, I've busted out the old running diary gimmick* for it. Here we go ...
9.16pm: "In this social experiment ..." Wait, wait, wait - it's a little rich referring to a tacky reality dating competition as a "social experiment", isn't it Ada? Are there scientists studying the results of your little experiment? I doubt it.
9.17pm: "This could be bad," says constantly friendzoned contestant Brendan. You could be right, mate.
9.18pm: "Each mum chooses three girls after the speed dating round ... and those three girls move into her house. Please don't call this show contrived! There aren't many opportunities for washed up Home & Away stars!" Ada Nicodemou didn't say this out loud. But her face did.
9.18pm: We just had a shot of one of the mums studying footage of her son kissing one of the girls as if she was suddenly investigating a murder on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It was more than a little creepy.
9.20pm: We meet Serbian Vlad and his mother Milena (pictured). Vlad still lives at home even though he is nearly 30, and is shown playing with KISS toys while his mum does his ironing in the background.
9.22pm: Apparently DJ Tony is shallow, according to mum Elva - which she says just as we go to a shot of Elva making a jigsaw with her son's face on it. Are you really surprised, Elva? YOU'RE MAKING A JIGSAW OF HIS FACE!
9.23pm: Sporty mum Karen disapproves of handsome son Matt's dating choices. "He just seems to attract floozies," she admits, as we see Matt looking overly proud of himself.
9.24pm: I have to tell you: as classless as The Bachelor might be, this is an even lower-rent version of it. It's comforting to know we have finally made the worst television imaginable. Things can only get better from here.
9.26pm: We meet the girls who will partake in a speed-dating round, with 10 girls meeting each guy and three advancing to the next stage. But the names: Edwina, Costanza, Dorina, Desiree, Lyndle ... are these rejected characters from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight franchise?!
9.28pm: "I really wanted to drill the girls," says Karen, mother to floozy-loving Matt. "I really wanted to hammer them." Matt and Karen agree on one thing, at least.
9.37pm: Here is the calibre of contestant on the show: one girl explains that she can move her boobs using her chest muscles and proceeds to demonstrate, while the next is a devout Catholic who is saving herself for marriage, but who has also worked as a topless waitress. "I don't think they mention topless waitressing in the Bible," she explains. It's a shame, really. It would've been a more entertaining read.
9.45pm: "It's impossible to find a girl who loves wrestling," says Vlad, clearly ruing the fact that his mum didn't like the wrestling-loving contestant we'd just met. To be fair, it's hard to find anyone who likes wrestling.
9.48pm: Tarot card reading contestant Janine does a quick photo reading on Tony, while mum Elva looks like she might yell. Is photo reading even a thing? What would mine be? "You're not very photogenic. Don't seek a career in modelling."
9.50pm: Milena gets her wish when Serbian-born Andrea walks in.
9.51pm: Yoga-instructing contestant Magdalena does a quick demonstration of her work, while mum Elva says "look at that for balance". Her son Tony is looking at something else. "I feel like the universe is taking me on a journey," says Magdalena. "Thank you, universe."
9.58pm: The mums are deciding which girls are staying in the competition. The guys essentially get no say - which is probably for the best, since all four are picking the youngest, hottest girls they met. "You're telling me there are girls who want to hang out with me again? And mum is going to do all the leg work for me?! Awesome!"
10pm: Floozie-loving son Matt names Josie his favourite girl ... naturally, sporty mum Karen doesn't pick her. Josie is shown crying in the back of the room while the lamest sad piano music ever plays. The music on this show is so bad that The X Factor contestants are shaking their heads at it.
10.06pm: DJ Tony picks nightclub manager Tammy-Lee as his favourite. Disapproving mum Elva surprisingly picks her as well, despite earlier being convinced that Tammy Lee was just trying to get her claws into Tony, what with her winking and such.
10.09pm: Brendan doesn't pick a favourite. I imagine a world in which Ada asks for his pick and he yells "you don't own me, Ada," before chivalrously deciding to pass on playing favourites as it would be unfair to the girls.
10.11pm: Vlad names Liz his favourite girl, while mum shakes her head. Milena starts getting emotional as she names the first girl, Serbian-born Andrea. Apparently she reeeeeeeeally wants to find a Serbian girl for her son.
10.13pm: Milena names Jackie as her third, which Jackie admits made her feel a little sick. "I don't think I'm prepared to move to Adelaide." In her defence, it is entirely possible that Jackie thinks Adelaide is somewhere in Eastern Europe. Some of these girls didn't seem like they'd be too strong on their geography.
10.17pm: Floozie-loving Matt apologises in advance for his mum. He should apologise for the whole show.
Did you watch Please Marry My Boy? What did you think?
(*) As I point out every time, I've shamelessly borrowed this gimmick from my favourite sports writer Bill Simmons. I think he borrowed it from someone else, too.