MAFS 2024 | James Weir recaps episode 1: ‘Rancid’ sex offer stuns

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Married At First Sight returns on Monday night with a bride threatening to “f**k ya dad, brother, all ya friends, ya boss (and) ya colleagues” before Australia is ambushed by one groom’s mulleted best man who makes an appalling sex promise involving four-day old “rancid” chicken that makes Colonel Sanders roll over in his grave.

Both these glorious incidents mark a decade of Channel 9’s controversial social experiment — a series that has captivated and disgusted the nation.

What a milestone.

In the opening moments of tonight’s episode, we get a teaser of what’s to come over the next two months. It’s the usual fare of text message leaks, scandals and inflammatory remarks that will no doubt ignite online petitions calling for the series to be cancelled.

“The experiment is rocked to its core,” the voiceover lady warns.

Oh, voiceover lady. When is this experiment not being rocked to its core?

The sizzle reel continues, presenting hazy vignettes scored with clashing orchestral music.

“Can you muzzle your woman!” a husband yells.

“I will literally ruin you!” a wife spits.

Lives being ruined? Women being told to shut up? Ugh, we love love.

“Which groom will be exposed in one of THE MOST confronting scandals in MAFS history?” the voiceover lady whispers.

All of these statements are redundant when it comes to this show. A confronting MAFS scandal? It’s like saying the water is wet or the heat is hot. MAFS is repulsive.

Our trusted experts have been working tirelessly to scrape together a new round of contestants to appear on this latest season of OnlyFreaks. And it’s at the annual bucks’ and hens’ nights where we meet this year’s freakiest freaks who ever did freak.

“God, I love a red flag. If I see a red flag, I come running at it,” says Lauren, while prodding her inflamed lips with an acrylic nail. She winces a little.

“Sorry, I’m touching my face – I got really dry, sore lips,” she says. “I got them sunburnt in Bali.”

At the bar, Lauren asks the other brides what they’re looking for in a guy.

“Big heart,” someone sighs.

“Big dick,” Lauren scoffs.

What kind of man is she hoping to be matched with?

“Seriously, nobody’s safe,” she tells the girls, after adjusting a wayward boob. “I’ll f**k ya dad and ya brother. All ya friends. Ya boss, ya colleagues.”

No wonder scripted dramas are dead in this country. There’s no way Deborah Mailman could bring the nuance and urgency required in delivering dialogue like this.

Then we meet Natalie — a self-confessed nerdy girl.

“I want someone who can touch type,” she giggles.

Each to their own. Some of us are just looking for a guy who aggressively bashes the keyboard with his two pointer fingers.

Then the slinky “bad girl” music begins to play. Uh-oh! We’ve got a live wire!

“I’ve been told I’m too much. Too ambitious. You want too much. You can’t have it all. And I just think it’s all a bit of bullshit,” a no-nonsense woman named Tori mutters to us.

It’s Ines 2.0.

“I want the kids, the husband, the house. The good jobs, the nice European SUV.”

She says she wants three kids. Certainly not four. Why?

“Because then you have no option but to have ugly people movers as cars.”

Hey, you take that back! The Kia Carnival possesses some luxurious features! It’s stylish yet practical for the super-sized family who’s always on the go!

At this point, we realise this season of MAFS is purely just a platform to introduce Lucinda Light to Australia. She’s a fortysomething hippie from Byron Bay.

“I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m a creatrix,” she informs us – her voice slow and smooth from years of listening to guided meditation podcasts.

The main qualities she’s looking for in a guy? “Evolutional living” and a “high-functioning erection”.

Lucinda floats into the hens’ night like an enlightened Byron Bay angel and proceeds to treat the evening like she’s the host of her own daytime talk show. The other brides are merely her adoring studio audience.

When it comes time for the first two weddings of the series, producers pull their old trick of showing us one lovely wedding with a sweet couple and a trainwreck wedding with a chaotic couple. Obviously we’ll be ignoring the former to focus on the latter.

All seems wonderful when we meet Sara and Tim at their ceremony. There’s immediate chemistry. Nothing could ruin this! Nothing at all! Except … a mulleted best man.

Ting-ting-ting!

A silver knife taps a wine glass at the reception and the guests hush as the best man grabs the microphone to deliver a speech.

“I was not surprised when I heard Tim was partaking in this experiment because Tim is a man of science,” he says. “He is quite fond of experimentation.”

What follows is a rollcall of Tim’s greatest mistakes, including the time he was hospitalised after apparently crashing his car while … on the job.

“Experiment #551: Romance at high speed. Is road head safe?” the best man says as the crowd murmurs uncomfortably. “Experiment #552: Is it OK to get head in the ER since you crashed your car and you’re here now anyway?”

Producers cut to a pair of disapproving elderly people.

“Experiment #381: Tim had the idea to pack his own lunch at a four-day music festival in the middle of an Australian summer,” the best man continues. “On the very last day, we sat in awe as he devoured rancid four-day old chicken. Tim is a wonderful human being. He radiates charisma like the sun. And, Sara, you can find solace in the fact that, rancid or not, Tim will still eat you.”

What a beautiful way to bring the narrative full circle. It’s this kind of thoughtful storytelling that should see Married At First Sight honoured at the esteemed Logies.

Sara’s best friends look like they’ve just taken a whiff of the rancid chicken.

“Disgusting,” one says. “Absolutely not OK.”

Maybe they’re vegetarians.

Surprisingly, Tim and Sara don’t split up after the rancid chicken sex offer. They actually might make it all the way! Well, at least to the honeymoon.

In Fiji, it all comes to a boil. Why? Because, Tim does the unthinkable. He tells Sara to … relax.

He orders tequila and they knock it back. She winces.

“It’s not good tequila,” she scrunches her face.

“It’s Don Julio!” he defends the choice.

“It’s not great.”

He rolls his eyes. “You need to … ermmm …” He cuts himself off.

“What?”

“Nothing … you don’t need to do anything”

“Just say it,” she dares.

“Fleeting moment. It passed. … I was gonna say you need to relax.”

Uh-oh.

“To tell me to relax when I’m very clearly NOT freaking out? You KNOW that would piss me off!” she yells, as innocent tourists run to safety in their bures. “I just wish you didn’t say that. I’m in such a mood now. I think everyone can agree that when you tell a woman to relax-”

“I didn’t tell you to relax,” he insists.

“Yeah you did.”

“No I didn’t.”

“What did you say?”

“I bit my tongue. You said, ‘What did you say?’ And I said, ‘Nah, I’m gonna hold it’. And (then) I said, ‘Relax’. I didn’t tell you to relax, directly. So don’t put words in my mouth, please. Don’t play this game.”

“What game?!”

You tell me.”

Nawww. There’s nothin’ more romantic than sittin’ with your sweetie on an island, enjoying the warmth of a gaslight.

Sara storms off and sobs on the dark, abandoned beach

“He’s, like, so f**king annoying!” she wales.

It comes as no surprise that, by the end of episode one, the first marriage expires like rancid chicken.

Facebook: @hellojamesweir

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