Bleats

The Bachelor Takes One Lucky Lady On The Absolute Worst Date Ever

In real life, she should be running away and never looking back.

Here’s a fun question for you: when stepping out with a new squeeze, when do you roll out the detailed ten year plan for your relationship. Date two? Date four? Absolutely never because that is utterly insane?

Matt Agnew, Australia’s Bachelor (The), did not go for the last option. Or the second one.

His date with Helena in episode 12 literally consisted of driving to a field where there was a huge timeline, seemingly carved out of marble, where they were going to plan out what ten years together would look like.

You know, butcher’s paper would have been fine.

And Helena, not unreasonably, got very flustered and then bailed on the date, begging a producer to get her out of there (the date, not the show) while Matt presumably sat there worried that they hadn’t adequately planned when to have “Travel And Adventure”.

And she was absolutely right to do so.

Let’s talk about this as a date choice.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the worst possible date in the entire history of dates, short of suggesting a late night dinner in a supermarket carpark followed by a dip in some warm abattoir runoff. 

My wife and I have been together for several years, made two fresh human beings together, and have never, ever, ever had a conversation that contained the phrase “so, by year seven where do you see us being?” 

Not only is that weirdly controlling behaviour, there’s nothing – literally nothing – that kills a relationship like taking it for granted, and blithely assuming that you’ll be together in seven years because that’s when you’ve decided to have Child #3 is a cool way to announce that you don’t know how life works. Or, for that matter, human fertility. 

And while we’re on the subject, this was something which was sticking in my craw about the previous Bachelors giving advice of the flavour “if you pick the right person you can get a marriage! And kids!” like they are things you tick off a life-schedule. 

No, they are not. No no no no no. 

They’re not trophies you win and shelve. They’re points which change your life and spin it off in different directions. And having kids changes a relationship too, not least in that it puts some pretty hard limits on your “Travel And Adventure” plans.

(For one thing, you’re going to have MANY, MANY, MANY MORE BAGS. Jesus, just going to a shopping centre requires more luggage than solo me used to take for a week interstate.)

And yes, this is is a show where there is a ticking clock on people working out their compatibility and how well their futures align, but it’s also a show where people date and presumably show off their best selves.

And if your best self is informing someone you met a couple of weeks earlier that your marriage should fall no later than 2022, you need to get a better one.

Serious Question: Why Does Every Film And TV Show Have An Architect In It?

There simply aren't that many skyscrapers, surely?

So, have you noticed that a weird amount of leading men in film and TV is an architect? Like, a really, really weird number of them? As in, far more than even the most build-from-scratch city would possibly require?

TV shows love the dude-as-architect trope, from How I Met Your Mother to Hey Dad! to Partners to One Life To Live to Bewitched.

And then teaching it to a generation of future main characters in romantic comedies.

But it’s in movies that it becomes downright jawdropping.

The AV Club noticed this trend in romantic comedies like The Lake HouseThe Last KissThree To Tango, Sleepless In Seattle, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Love Actually, Just Like HeavenIt’s Complicated(500) Days Of Summer and One Fine Day.

And that’s not even scratching the surface of architects in movies: there’s also Jungle Fever, Housesitter, Indecent Proposal, Breaking And Entering, Click, The Butterfly Effect, The Cable Guy, You Me And Dupree, Three Men and a Baby… goddamn, is every character that’s not a cop, a lawyer or a superhero sweating over a set square?

Actually, I take that back: one of the Green Lanterns was a goddamn architect.

EVEN BABIES! BABIES!

There are theories as to why this is. And they’re pretty compelling.

Cracked posited that architecture is an arts-adjacent career that still allows leading men to wear nice suits and live in fancy houses rather than pokey rented apartments, yet still be brooding and temperamental because THEY ARE ARTISTS, DO YOU PHILISTINES NOT UNDERSTAND?

Cracked’s podcast, however went further with an even more plausible explanation: Hollywood screenwriters don’t have normal jobs or really have much idea what a regular office job is like.

Note: it’s not like this.

Their own job involves sweating over a desk and then having a big high-pressure meeting upon which everything depends in which they pitch their ideas.

And that would explain why architects in movies are always doing massive projects, designing iconic skyline buildings for which they must labour endlessly and then do a big presentation to the pencil pushing stuffed shirts who just don’t understand VISION – because it’s how writers operate.

And of course, architects barely ever do massive iconic solo projects. They’re mainly in teams planning building renovations, or project managing developments, or checking up on new safety legislation, or a thousand other necessary-and-unsexy things which don’t involve big all-or-nothing pitches to rooms of besuited men.

In any case, spare a thought for all those poor architects who entered the profession inspired by film and TV expecting kooky love stories and their surname on skyscrapers and instead are fighting with council over permitted height for a carport.

The Bachelor Gets Pregnant Women To Play Matchmaker While He Chucks A Ball Around

The Handball's Tale

Before we get into how Matt enjoyed some ball play while pregnant women selected his date for him, let’s check in with the verdict.

In short, we’re now down to an all-blonde final six. Goodnight, Sogand, and flights of uncomfortable belly dancers sing thee to thy rest. 

Look, she was impressively game. Salut, Sogand.

This episode featured the much-vaunted Return Of The Previous Bachelors, Matty Johnson and Sam Wood, who gave Matt priceless advice like that it was hard and that he should choose a lady that he likes: searing insights from men who have been there, done that, and up-knocked their chosen Bachette.

And it was those two visibly pregnant former winners – Laura Byrne and Snezana Markoski – who were dispatched over to the ladies’ house to find Matt a date by interrogating the women.

Meanwhile, the dudes tossed a football around and chatted about chicks. 

In terms of compelling drama, it was a lacklustre first act. But it did provide a snapshot of the state of emotional labour divided by gender in 2019 Australia: get the women to the hard yards while the blokes hang out and jawbone.

The winner of the date was Helena, who took the advice she received from the former Bachettes seriously – and gave an indication of what all dates from here on in will look like in that it was little more than running through future plan checklists.

That contrasted with the solo date, which was off to a chocolatiers with Emma and yet another of Matt’s standard smearing-stuff-on-women moments. Honestly, it’s a thing.

That’s chocolate, just to be clear.

Life Lesson: Society Sure Puts The Zap On Women’s Heads, Huh?

But the real lesson of this episode is that wow, people do not appreciate the degree to which women are conditioned by society to be deferential and put their interests last, and also that this reticence to advocate for oneself can be manipulated by people who are suitably ruthless.

Case in point: two private date cards were handed out by the show’s charmingly amoral angel-demon Osher Günsberg, with the instructions that the women were to decide among themselves who would get them before disappearing, evidently fighting the urge to cackle maniacally as he went.

Honestly, Osh, you’re a shoo-in for the villain in a Saw reboot. Thank heavens he didn’t throw a blade on the table as he departed.

And Sogand took one with little objection from the rest of the crew, but then there was a masterclass in manipulation as Elly – dear, sweet nurse Elly! The one whose career is literally all about bringing comfort to others! – was convinced to willingly hand over her date card to Abbie after the latter told her how very, very much she really deserved it.

That moment where Elly realised just how badly she was duped was perhaps the most heartbreaking yet in a show which is only going to get more fraught. 

Especially given how obviously, overwhelmingly, slightly discomfitingly besotted Emma is, and how bad that comedown is going to be if she doesn’t win…

And also, just in case we haven’t made this point enough: pregnant women doing the work, man playing ball.

Alpacawatch: They gambolling!

Might be time for a trim, guys.

Oh, you beautiful ungulates, cavorting and capering on the Bachie lawns, presumably doing pungent dumps which some poor intern has to gather up…

Look, it’s just great to see them out and about, eating grass, having a whale of a time, being relieved they’re not really involved in this kerfuffle. 

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