The Block All Stars – Sun-Fri 7pm, Ch9
As tonight’s episode of The Block: All Stars opens, Jenna receives a message from Scott; “Meet me at the Annandale Gallery. Stat… that means now!”
Okay, Scott, we know what “stat” means. We’ve all watched ER. Come on.
So the Blockheads rush to the gallery. Scott meets them there, and confronts them with some artworks painted onto bits of cars (probably THE most Australian artistic medium there is).
The challenge is set; each team will be given a car (a white Suzuki! It is very important that you know that it is a Suzuki and get frequent close-ups of the logo. You know, for artistic reasons).
The teams drive their SUZUKI (TM) cars to Queen Street Customs, to put the ART into CAR(T). The men of QST show up to help, and each is assigned to a team of Blockheads. They start sketching, and looking over Mark’s shoulder, Scott says “You look like Monet!”, to which Mark replies, “More like Mon-B!” which is actually a pretty solid joke. A-plus!
Amity starts to wander around the workshop, checking out the other teams’ sketches as she goes. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of immediate consequences to this act of industrial sabotage, but I assume that she will be brought before a judge at some point in the future. We DO have recorded evidence of this happening, after all. Regardless of whether anyone at all watched the show, it IS recorded evidence. You can’t argue with its legal standing as an audio and video recording.*
*Channel 9 should really lean on this angle for their promotion.
Josh is very excited about how he and Jenna’s car will turn out, following his conversation with the Queen Street Customs resident spray-painter. Wait; they’re not spraying the cars themselves? They’re just scribbling some designs down and then leaving it to the experts? I call shenanigans! Give ’em some crayons and tell ’em to get cracking!
The next day, they’re back at the houses – WHICH ARE ALL ON THE SAME BLOCK OH MY GOD I THINK I JUST FIGURED OUT WHAT THE SHOW’S TITLE REFERS TO!
Josh and Dan are wearing new t-shirts with the Wattyl logo emblazoned across the front, for reasons of individuality and personal expression.
At Casa de Mark and Duncan, the boys are worried about the fact that changing their formal lounge into a third bedroom has necessitated extending their hallway. They’re concerned that the hallway won’t be consistent and tie all of the other rooms together, so Duncan “improves” the hallway by adding two plaster sculptures of he and Mark’s faces. Taken with the ceramic rhino and stag heads that he wanted last week, Duncan is slowly putting together a house that’s filled with disembodied faces, a house in which you can’t move a single foot without being stared at by a new and horrifying set of lifeless eyes. I love it!
Phil and Amity are also doing the third bedroom, while Dan and Dani, and Josh and Jenna are leaving the formal lounge as a formal lounge. This makes sense; where else will they serve high tea when the Dowager Countess visits?
In their respective hallways, Josh and Dan have entered into some kind of macho race to see who will be the first to finish their painting. Dani doesn’t approve, favouring thoroughness over speed, but this is foolish of her. Without a brutal contest to determine the alpha male, how will any other decisions be made for the good of the herd?
Josh is trying to convince Phil to spray paint, rather than use a roller, in his hallway. Phil is not excited about it, saying “I think I’ll roll, rather than spray. That’s how I roll!”
Now, that is at least two high-quality zingers so far this episode. I’m not even being sarcastic, I’m just impressed.
Later, Scott shows up, and drags the teams out to another challenge. Dan and Dani don’t go with them, as they’re behind on their painting and also something to do with floors that I’d have to chat to my Dad to understand (and even then, I’d just be nodding along while he talked about how many times you have to sand floorboards or something).
Eventually, Dan and Dani get to the Eastern Creek Raceway, and join the others in a good solid afternoon of go-karting. I have not been go-karting since I was a child, but I do have very vivid memories of being absolutely terrible at it. I would probably be better at it as an adult, but there’s no way I’m going to risk finding out. That question will follow me to my grave.
Scott introduces today’s guest go-kart race officals, Brad and Lara, who are (apparently) the winners of last year’s series. They’re also going to judge the best-designed ‘art car’ when the cars return from Queen Street. Do Brad and Lara have official accreditation from the International Commission of Go-Karting and Spray Painting Suzukis? I worry about whether this is all being done according to tournament rules.
During the race, Scott comments on Amity’s slow finishing time, saying “by the end of that sentence, I thought she would have been coming.”
We’ve all been there, mate, but trust me – words aren’t enough.
Eventually, Dan and Dani win the race, and the right to open a safe. I don’t know what this means (I haven’t watched every episode). What is in these safes? Money? Drugs? Your fondest wish? Your deepest fear? Chocolate?*
*Fun fact! Chocolate is both my fondest wish AND my deepest fear.
The next day, Dani is praising Dan for staying up very late and painting the lounge room, but is upset that it’s the wrong colour. This kind of one-step-forward, two-steps-back business is kind of their whole thing, isn’t it? I shudder to think of what happens when they try to pick what movie to watch (sidenote: watch Zero Dark Thirty. It’s awesome).
Meanwhile, Josh and Jenna are peeking through a window at Mark and Duncan’s house, like a couple of psychos. They learn that the boys are inserting a wall to create a third bedroom – which is a tricky prospect, as heritage rules mean that they can’t damage the cornices. Phil and Amity are doing a similar thing, with a dividing wall surrounded by perspex to bridge the gap between the wall and the cornice. Hey, guys; the heritage people can’t touch you if you “accidentally” trip over and break the cornices. WINK!
Dan and Dani are still sniping at each other over the mix-up with the paint colour. Guys, please; remind me to never, even renovate a house with my partner. Never.
Dani arranges for full quantities of a whole bunch of paint colours to be sent from Mitre 10, so she can pick the one she wants and send back the rest. Is that… do people really do that? Isn’t that weird and kind of rude to the poor Mitre 10 man who has to pack it all up and then come and collect it? I mean, I work in retail and I barely want to put things in bags for people.*
*I am not very good at my job.
The episode ends with Dani shopping for lighting fixtures, and unsure about which ones to choose. It’s not super-exciting stuff, but the promo at the end of the episode promises showdowns between various contestants and site foreman Keith, the only person here who seems to know what they’re doing. Tread carefully, guys! Keith can probably arrange for you to end up frozen in cement somewhere! And not in a cool Han Solo sort of way. Just in a Sopranos sort of way.
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