The Block All Stars – Sun-Fri 7pm, Ch9
When last we left our Blockheads, Dan and Dani were supervising the lifting of tiles from off of a truck bed and onto the side of the road, with the aid of a first-time delivery driver who may or may not have been acclaimed film actor Daniel Day-Lewis. I mean, he probably wasn’t, but that’s the thing… you can’t be certain. That’s how much of a chameleon he is.
When this episode starts up, we check back in at Mark and Duncan’s house, where they realise that one of the tradies from House 3 has stolen one of their bags of cement. The thief is pretty blasé about it too, displaying some impressive balls. To be fair, he’s a big guy. I’d probably let him have the cement. And my wallet. And my girlfriend (I am not a physically impressive man).
We then check in with Dan and his tile-lifting operation. Keith, the site foreman, explains that a tile drop-off is normally five minutes, whereas this one took four hours due to the driver’s incompetence. I get it; one time, on my first day at a new job, it took me three hours to figure out how the toilet worked (turned out it was actually a cash register).
Meanwhile, Duncan is shopping for fixtures for he and Mark’s bathroom. He complains to the camera that he’s “hit a wall” which is worrying; The Block is a show where that phrase is far more likely to be meant literally than as a euphemism. Be careful, Duncan! Wear a helmet!
Over at Phil and Amity’s place, their tiler (Matt! He seems nice) realises that the floor is slanted, and so was not properly planned for, meaning that they don’t have nearly enough cement. Do they have to have cement under there? Can’t they just fill it with old newspapers or something? Maybe fill the space with a skeleton. It’ll create a fantastic mystery for some future tenant. I’m not saying KILL somebody, but, like, maybe you can find a skeleton somewhere. A museum, maybe?
Keith, the site foreman, calls this stuff-up with the bathroom floor the “biggest mistake he’s ever seen on The Block”. I haven’t seen every episode, but this seems like an exaggeration. Didn’t somebody once build the entire house upside down, with the roof digging down into the ground?*
*Probably not. I just made that up.
Everybody is freaking out about this floor thing (which I still don’t fully understand, I’ll be honest), but Matt the Tiler sticks around until well after one in the morning solving the issue with his tiling smarts, and proves to be basically the most competent person in this whole operation. Including the writers, editors and producers of this show. They do okay, I guess, but Matt is kicking goals here.
Down the road, Duncan is still baffled by Neale’s instructions regarding the decoration of their bathroom. Look, mate; he said there should be white, fluffy towels. And THAT WAS IT. I was taking notes!
Meanwhile, Dani is stressed out about the dots that appear on their new tiles due to the tiling glue. This woman just can’t go ten minutes without some tiling-related disaster. Does she have nightmares each night about granite tiles, dancing before her, spinning around and around, their sharp edges burning themselves into her psyche? Probably!
Dani and Dan have an argument about the placement of the toilet buttons within the tiles (yes, this is a thing that grown adults can argue about, apparently), which ends with Dan storming out of the room, grumbling. He’s probably just realised that they have essentially the same name, which is just not workable in an adult relationship. Best to cut and run now.
Eventually Brad, the builder responsible for the bathroom floor stuff up at Phil and Amity’s house, shows up to survey the situation. There’s more back and forth about the floor, and I still don’t understand all of it. Is it me? It’s probably me. These are probably normal conversation to people who have actual, practical life skills like floor tiling, as opposed to just making fun of TV shows on the Internet.
Soon, Phil and Amity discover that there’s even more headaches to do with the floor of their bathroom. This is getting ridiculous, guys. Maybe just quit while you’re ahead. Do you even need a bathroom? Can’t people just take sponge baths at the kitchen sink? I did that once when a pipe burst in my bathroom. Just like our country’s first inhabitants must have done, thousands of years ago.
Duncan is shopping for bathroom decorations again, and he becomes transfixed with a white rhino head. “Can you have too many horns in a bathroom?” he asks. I’m not sure, Duncan… I feel like any answer I give to this question is going to get me into troublesome territory.
At their house, Mark is doing real work, moving a bathtub into the house. This is familiar. All of the scenes I’ve seen with these guys involve Duncan shopping for towels and pretend big game animals, while Mark is doing actual work like moving bathtubs and building entire houses with his bare hands.
Meanwhile, Keith is worried about yet more mistakes in Phil and Amity’s bathroom/Portal to Hell. This time he thinks that the floor needs to be reinforced because the bathtub will be too heavy when it’s filled with water. Suddenly my sponge-bath-at-the-sink plan doesn’t seem so outrageous, does it? We’ve all gotten too soft! We just expect things like bathtubs full of water and smartphone apps that do our taxes for us and talking dogs that solve crimes!
Later, Dan and Dani are on the roof of their house, deciding to add another room in the attic with an ocean view. Are ocean views that great? It’s just a big block of blue, right? You should want a view of something cool, like a talking dog that solves crimes.
At the store, Duncan is still raving about his horned animal heads, like a crazy person. Look, mate; it’s not like you went into the ceramic wilds of the ceramic savannah and shot the ceramic rhino yourself (and where is THAT David Attenborough special, may I ask?).
When he finally gets them home, Mark frickin’ hates the animal heads, but he’s at least polite enough to just say things like “I’m speechless” and “It’s unexpected”. It’s like when you go and see someone’s stand-up comedy show and afterwards people tell the comedian “It was really interesting!” instead of just saying that they thought it was crap. I mean, when people say that at MY shows, they mean that they loved it because it was genuinely interesting (…right?). But you know what I mean.
After a quick commercial break, the pooper-scooters (bikes made out of toilets! TOILET-BIKES!) return, for a quick race challenge. Dani and Dan win the challenge, besting Mark and Duncan in the final heat. This race concept is bizarre to me; usually, I like to take my time on the toilet. Real relaxed-like. When else am I going to catch up with the goings-on on Twitter?
So passes another episode of The Block: All Stars, with all of the houses seemingly no closer to completion. I can’t wait to see the episode where stuff actually gets done!
Dan Hall watches a lot of TV and writes about some of it. You can find him on twitter @danieljohnhall, and read more of his TV-related writings at www.the-flack.com