The Block 2017 recap (30.7.2017): We’re back, baby!
The Block is back, and it's straight into the action.
It seems like only yesterday we were bidding farewell to our 2016 Blockheads, but here we are again with a new season, new teams and even a few new sponsors who will be forcibly shoved into our brains until we forget that cars other than Volkswagens exist. It’s a new series of The Block!
We open up with a quick introduction to this year’s properties. Five inter-war weatherboard houses have been transported from all around Melbourne and plopped down in the upscale suburb of Elsternwick. Host Scott Cam tells us these houses have a long, proud tradition as family homes. No doubt they were all looking forward to the sweet release of death, but Nine has heartlessly pressed them back into service.
We’re treated to what is actually quite an exciting montage of transporting, reassembling and stumping the houses, along with an introduction to the suburb. Then, Nine keeps the action at a pulse-pounding pace as we’re introduced to … some people sitting in traffic.
It’s time to meet our first team. It’s Townsville couple Hannah and Clint, who Scott mercilessly makes fun of via voiceover. He derides them for everything from their decision to wear matching purple shirts to their ability to count. Hang on there, Scott. Making fun of these people is our job.
Next we meet NSW mates Sticks and Wombat, and LOOK OUT AUSTRALIA, THEY’RE A COUPLE OF LOVEABLE LARRIKINS! Why, that’s a change of pace for The Block!
Our next couple is Melbourne partners Josh and Elyse. Scott shares a look at their glamorous young lives, and encourages us to hate them for their youth and physical attractiveness. We’re way ahead of you, Scottie.
Next we meet Perth duo Ronnie and Georgia, experienced renovators who have tackled 10 previous projects. We’re very quickly prepared for the fact that these two will spend most of the series moments away from murdering one another.
Our final team are long-time married couple Jason and Sarah. While they’re a bit young to actually be baby boomers, it’s clear they’re already being set up as this year’s stodgy old codgers who just can’t understand these kids today with their iPhones and Instagrams and knee breeches and polio inoculations. Via voiceover, Scott taunts the two for their age. We’ll say this one more time: GET OFF OUR TURF, SCOTT CAM!
The couples all meet, and Georgia informs us that everyone seems genuine and nice. Oh, just wait, Georgia.
We’re also informed by the contestants that the houses need work. That’s surprising. What kind of irresponsible renovation show provides contestants with houses that need work done to them?
Finally, Scott arrives and takes a break from insulting our contestants via voiceover to insult them to their faces. He also introduces the first challenge. The teams will have 48 hours to renovate a bedroom, and the winning couple will get first choice of houses.
The teams run to their houses, and upon entering it becomes clear that these houses need work. WHY DID NO-ONE TELL US THIS?
All the contestants’ rooms look derelict, with the exception of Ronnie and Georgia’s. Theirs is disgusting, but still in better nick than 90% of Sydney rental properties.
In a brief aside, the producers reveal how TRUE BLUE AUSSIE BLOKES Sticks and Wombat got their hilarious nicknames. It turns out it’s because they look like a Stick and a Wombat, respectively.
The teams finally get down to business, and we’re given a look at their plans for their challenge rooms. Josh and Elyse will be adding a feature wall and geometric pendant. Hannah and Clint will be putting in a built-in robe and a study nook. Jason and Sarah will be demolishing a perfectly good room with no real plans after that. Sticks and Wombat are building a frankly awesome-looking bedhead out of old railway sleepers, and Ronnie and Georgia are planning to scream at each other incoherently.
Surprise, surprise, some of the couples run into trouble. Hannah and Clint’s built-in-robe won’t be happening, and they have no back-up plan. But their problems appear minor compared to Ronnie and Georgia.
Ronnie and Georgia planned to expose their floorboards and sand and stain them. Unfortunately, Ronnie learns the valuable lesson that a power sander doesn’t work on a floor that has nails sticking several inches out of it. He learns this, of course, the hard way. At one point he impotently beats the floor with a hammer to try to get it to cooperate, but it remains unmoved.
Finally, the couples put the last bits of styling into their rooms and throw on a coat of paint in anticipation of tomorrow night’s judging. But, wait! Drama is afoot! JASON AND SARAH HAVE RUN OUT OF PAINT!
If nail-biting cliffhangers like this is what The Block has in store for us this year, I don’t know if my heart can take it.