Helen Razer’s Reality Recap : Monday Night Television
The extraction of wisdom teeth is a painful but necessary fact of adult life. In this way, it is much like reality television. We can delay the torment for many, many years but, eventually, we’ll all find ourselves strapped to a chair rigid with fear as Doctor Delta pokes us with the excruciating hurt of a thousand dental needles.
Don’t blame me for this terrifying vision of Delta with a drill. Instead, blame the drugs inside me. I have been filled with these drugs because I was yesterday emptied of my wisdom teeth. And, it would appear, I was also emptied of the faculty for making any sort of sense.
Please be advised: this record of Monday night television may better reflect the damaging side-effects of pain-killers than it does anything that actually happened on the telly.
Altered consciousness aside, I think we can all agree that MasterChef Contestant Tregan is not, in fact, a human woman but an evil, flesh-eating extra from Dante’s Divine Comedy who is in regular contact with Satan via Gmail Chat. Sure, at 7PM last night I may have been so full of opiates as to make Li-Lo seem clean-living by contrast but, as the young people say, WTF, Tregan?
“WAKE UP WAKE UP” she kept screaming to her housemates with a look in her eye of such hardened malice that I momentarily mistook her for my dead, expensive teeth. It was 4AM and, apparently, time for contestants to prepare for the long, harrowing journey to Hobart; a distant, almost mythical southern city which demands an air travel time of no fewer than ninety minutes.
“WAKE UP WAKE UP” she said with the sort of urgent spite I would later watch, but fail to understand on ABC1’s Q and A. “What are even politics?” I would ask of Barnaby Joyce. He did not reply but nodded cryptically and showed me a garden in which topiary clipped to the EXACT shape of Keith Urban’s underpants gave shade to Matt Preston. “I am the lizard king,” said Matt as he sensuously caressed his beautiful, paisley scales.
“WAKE UP WAKE UP”. I can’t say that I did. Apparently, though, all MC contestants did wake up and travelled to Hobart where they were instructed to shop for produce at Salamanca Markets.
If you have never been to Tasmania, shopping for food at Salamanca Market might seem like an entirely viable cooking challenge. If you have been to Tasmania, however, you will know that the market is short on the edible and very, very long on the lavender handicrafts. Unless you’re planning to deep-fry a dream-catcher and serve it with one of those mobiles made out of bent forks, it really is a crap place for gastronomic shopping.
Left with no appetite for anything but pain relief, I was on-the-nod for much of this disaster and returned erratically to consciousness to find that (a) Tregan likes bacon but is not terribly good at profit-and-loss arithmetic and (b) Cooking From the Heart and Putting Me on a Plate remain the noble if inscrutable goals for all MasterChef contestants. With the possible exception of Julia whom I have begun to suspect of plotting global domination. Cold? I’ve seen warmer things in a vegetable crisper.
Over on Nine, The Voice seemed to make a great deal more sense than its culinary rival. Perhaps it has been specifically formatted for habitual users of pain relief or perhaps I was just so enamoured of Joel’s hair last night everything else was eclipsed. To a soul marinated in opiates and muscle relaxants, the Tigger appeal of the Madden head was powerful. As a Punk Rock style statement, he made a very lovely piece of play-group furniture.
Dr Delta confounded me particularly last night. She seemed to have the same approach to sentence structure as a feral cat might to the slaughter of birds. Which is to say, she begins to say something grammatically disastrous and then pauses. And, just as we think she will let the poor sentence live, she extends the claws of meaningless and mauls it to death. She says things like “Butterfly love toasty biscuit you mean so much to me and you dig deep down so that everyone can understand your sensitive ham sandwich let the world in and connect with me and make me believe your rainbow.” I had no effing CLUE what she was banging on about at any point and I actually began to cry opiate tears of confusion.
It struck me that if a unicorn was force-fed Hallmark cards and angel waste until they were sick into a golden bucket, it’d sound exactly like praise from Delta. It’s just all very upsetting.
As far as standout contestant performances go: I am no reliable guide as I was sobbing into my pillow wondering WHY WHY I had just been charged fifteen hundred dollars for pain and a week of constipation. Through a vale of tears, I did note that young fluffy duster Sarah performed an adequate version of How Will I Know, that Mr Percival seems to be able to hold a tune and that Seal remarked that “Discovering Lakyn” was an ongoing process. Perhaps Discovering Lakyn is available as an Open University option? I don’t know and, rather frankly, I don’t care as (a) my murdered teeth hurt and (b) no one should be allowed to do that to a song by The Cure.
Toward the end of the evening, we finally learned how Joel’s band, Good Charlotte actually sounded. I’d place it as somewhere between a teenage tantrum and a jingle for chocolate milk.
Mmm. Chocolate milk.
I ask for your forgiveness and assure you that next week, I shall be back on solid food.