The Block All StarsSun-Fri 7pm, Ch9
It’s seven o’block (or eleven thirty o’block as I’m watching it), so it’s time to block out with our All-Star Blockheads. They’re in the midst of a busy week, so they’re throwing themselves into their tasks block, block and barrel.

This is apparently ‘Ben Hur week’, because they have to restore a hallway, a formal lounge (which two teams are converting into third bedrooms), and a storage space. Just like in the classic film.

As the episode opens, Phil and Amity are debating whether to roll or spray the paint in their hallway; Amity wants to spray to save time, but Phil is unsure, because he’s never done it before. What they SHOULD do is craft a makeshift bomb, fill it with paint, and set it off in the middle of the hallway. You’ll have the whole thing painted in about half a second.

So they start spraying, but the pressure is up too high, so site foreman Keith just stands in the doorway and laughs at them. This confirms what I’ve always suspected – tradies are just laughing at the rest of us! Every time we demonstrate that we can’t do the things that they do (so, if you’re like me, ALL THE TIME. I don’t even know how overalls work).

Over at their house, Dan and Dani are contemplating which competing team’s safe to open, using the code that they won in yesterday’s go-karting challenge. It’s not really fair that they won, as they got one of those lightning bolts that makes everybody small, whereas Josh just got some crappy banana peels.

Dan and Dani decide to open Phil and Amity’s safe, and Phil and Amity try to impose a condition; that Dan and Dani wear blindfolds when they enter the house to unlock the safe, in order to preserve the secrecy of their third bedroom. Dani promises that they’ll close their eyes, then she and Dan promptly proceed to wander through the house, eyes open, just looking at EVERYTHING.

So they open the safe, and find a wad of a cash ($4,600) and a voucher for a Yamaha home audio system. They then leave the house, looking at all kinds of things with their cheating eyes on the way out.

They flaunt their prizes in front of everybody, and Mark and Duncan use the power of deductive reasoning to figure out that Phil and Amity must have a new wall, indicating that their formal lounge will become a third bedroom. There should really be an Elementary-style crime procedural featuring these two Aussie blokes with big moustaches solving crimes with these deductive powers. Get on it, Channel Nine!

Then there’s a whole bunch of painting. Hey, do you still get a giant bucket full of jellybeans when you buy paint? That’s honestly the only good reason to paint anything. Just let walls be wall-coloured.

The next day, the rain rolls in. Keith doesn’t want to send men on the roof to cover up the houses, because it may risk their lives. If I were on The Block, I would be having some very serious words to Keith about his priorities.

After the rain passes, we check in with Josh and Jenna, who are just standing around waiting for the stain on their floor to dry. Josh explains that, to use the toilet, he has to exit the house through a side window and then climb into the bathroom window. He is quite proficient at the sneaky window-climb, leading me to wonder what Josh got up to before he was a TV “star”. This is classic burglar behaviour! Where are you hiding all of the DVD players, Josh?!

Meanwhile, Dan is speculating about the wall that he saw in Phil and Amity’s house while they were opening the safe. He thinks that it’s going to be a “theatre room”, which is a trend that I don’t quite get. How much TV do you have to watch before you justify having a whole room set aside for it? I mean, I watch a LOT of TV, and mine is just in the lounge room. Like a normal person.

At Mark and Duncan’s house, Keith is surprised to discover an attic ladder that he didn’t know anything about. Keith isn’t impressed, but Mark doesn’t give a block what Keith thinks. How long did they think they could hide it for? Did they just think they could keep pointing at imaginary things behind Keith’s head and shouting “LOOK OVER THERE!” until the house was sold?

Then Dan and Dani have an argument, which is one of the basics that needs to be in every episode of this show, like the opening credits.

Phil and Amity find that they can’t paint in their first room, as the builders have installed a beam to keep the roof up while they work on it. There’s a long, drawn-out discussion between Phil and the workers about it, which is sort-of like drama in that it is being filmed and shown on television.

The upshot is, Phil and Amity (Phamity?) lose a day. They figure that they can at least work in the hallway while the bedroom is out of action, but the ceiling starts to cave in on them. Then someone starts spraying outside and water pours in through an opening around the door. Basically, the tradies must HATE Phamity.

The next day, Phil is reassured that the props will be out that day, so he can keep working. But they stay in for the night, confirming the theory that I put forward in the last paragraph (regarding the tradies, Phil and Amity, and hate by certain parties towards other parties).

Next door, Mark and Duncan’s third bedroom is being held up by their own big stupid beam. They can’t sand the floor or really get much of anything done, so they call an impromptu meeting with Phamity and decide that some sort of compensation for their lost work is needed. There’s mutiny on the The Block! Tear this mother down, Duncan!

In the morning, both teams are on the warpath and looking for Keith. They eventually find him, and – to their credit – don’t beat him about the head and torso with a sack of bricks. Duncan then calls Keith’s abilities as foreman into question, and Keith shoots him a look like Duncan may be in for his own sack-beating.

The episode ends with Duncan offering to take on the foreman job in a potentially-hilarious role swap. Has The Block just become a wacky sitcom all of a sudden? Because, seriously, that is a show that I would watch the HECK out of.