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Trailer: When Love Comes to Town

This romantic new series, features 12 single city girls who have been unlucky in love travelling to the furthest corners of Australia in order to find ‘the one’.

PT1M0S http://www.dailylife.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-38m2d 620 349

For years, you’ve silently lain awake at night, a nagging sense that something significant has been missing from your daily existence. Rest easy, for Channel Nine has found the answer that months of meditation could not: your life is complete, we now have Farmer Wants A Wife: On Wheels.

Well, technically the show’s called When Love Comes To Town, and it premiered last night, with twelve city gals and host Natalie Gruzlewski wasting no time in rolling into picturesque Margaret River like a carnie sideshow, unfortunately with less bearded women and more corporate blow-waves. There, awaiting their arrival, were two local bachelors and a weird congregation of suspiciously enthusiastic townsfolk, surely on Channel Nine’s payroll because they acted like they were waving in returning war heroes.

The twelve women were jittery high-powered types with job descriptions like ‘advertising exec’ and ‘corporate banker’; the blokes were earthy, dopey types with names like ‘Moshe’ and... uh, I forget the other dude, but he talked about cricket a lot. They have one thing in common, though -- all they want is love, and they’ve got, like, two days to make it happen with each other, because the bus and the blacktop (and Natalie Gruzlewski, I guess) are waiting to pull them apart forever.

The Ladies of When Love Comes To Town.

The Ladies of When Love Comes To Town.

As far as dating show concepts go, this has gotta be the dumbest. By far, the dumbest! It’s hard to be emotionally invested in the romantic possibilities between a couple of bland twenty-somethings when they’ve got 30 minutes of face time to make sparks fly, and the show’s ‘city gals in the country’, fish out of water element is about as entertaining as watching people build a chicken shed (yes, this actually happened in the episode).

Still, some bits were so awkward, you could even call them “memorable”...

1: “Any sort of affection, I’m down for.”

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You’d think such upfront candour would be a path to instant romance for young Rebekah (‘23, legal secretary’), especially considering the show’s time constraints, but surprisingly, this scene did not end in a tasteful pull away shot of scattered clothes and flowing bedroom curtains. Unfortunately, Rebekah only succeeded in scaring off ol’ Moshe, who timidly brushed away the advance and whimpered off to play with dodgem cars and banana plush toys. Guys, they’re such full of shit.

2: “This bloke has no chance with girls if he thinks this is a good idea for a first date.”

You know that stereotype about country boys being some alien breed of supermen who are tough, good at DIY things, but sweet and considerate, too? Well, I think this show could finally end all that, especially if Cricket Guy’s date idea is anything to go by. He basically forced his potential dates into a day of hard labour, making them help him build a backyard chook shed. The women, ridiculously desperate for love (as all those sad subway montages showed us), somehow didn’t all just give him the finger and immediately jump back into the tour bus. This is what’s known as ‘the magic of television’.

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3: “You’re looking for your ‘magic man’? Oh, cool. What does that involve?”

Moshe was just as confused by Jessica’s (the other blonde one) recurring line as the rest of us -- ‘magic man’ was just a really weird thing that she wouldn’t stop saying. Does she wanna date an illusionist? I don’t know if there are many illusionists in Margaret River; maybe stay on the bus till it hits Jupiters Casino?

4: “You made a few comments and I thought, ‘Oh no, is he gonna be a dickhead carpenter?’”

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That was JJ (‘29, advertising exec’) being romantic to The Cricket Guy.  

5: “It’s scary, ‘cause I live very far away from here.”

It’s not often a reality show’s contestant will verbally undermine a series’ entire conceit in the very first episode, but, uh, yeah, the whole ‘riding a bus around the country to find a man’ thing kinda implies you might end up pretty far from your job, pets, and cookbooks back home, JJ.

Somehow, despite the chicken shed labour thing, the “dickhead carpenter” thing and an awkward first date argument that made them look like they’d been married for years, JJ actually saw enough in The Cricket Guy to stick around and potentially build a future with him (as teased in the next episode), her spirit obviously buoyed by all those famous examples of long-term relationships built on split-second decisions to pack up your entire life and move across the country for some guy in thongs. It’s romantic, I guess?

I give them three days, tops.