First Dates slam dunk: ‘Hell yeah, I squat’
YESSSSS. We're back in the weird narrow restaurant ready to find love, and we can feel it, you guys. We have hope. We have faith. We have…
Dee and Taite
We have an uncomplicated fit couple on an uncomplicated date.
There's Dee, who can't wait to tell anyone who'll listen that she has a nice bum, likes muscles and does that thing where her tongue can't find her straw when she sees Taite.
And then there's Taite, who likes nice bums and goes to the gym seventeen days a week.
Dee and Taite have the kind of date you'd expect. They talk about working out, they talk about exercising, they show each other their bodies, and every now and then they throw in an anecdote about going to the gym, just for variety.
"Do you squat?" asks Taite, which is something you should never ask a lady in any other context.
"HELL YEAH, I SQUAT" responds Dee, almost offended.
Basically Dee and Taite spend the bulk of the date consensually objectifying each other, with an unsurprising finish of mutual attraction.
James and Rebecca
We have last week's overly-confident man-child James, back for a second crack in a second plastic tie.
"I've got a reservation under 'love', do you know where I can find it?" he says to the maitre 'd.
James is determined not to be as cocky or 'challenging' as he was last week.
James's date Rebecca tells us that she's in the habit of falling for the wrong guys, often on the first date.
Rebecca is adorably sweet, and could probably teach James a lot about dignified humility, although at this point we're concerned about her naivete in the face of such a veneered wall of worldliness. To his credit though, James is making a visible superhuman effort to rein in his cockiness. A few clicks, winks, and finger pistols sneak through, but on the whole he's a changed man.
The weird thing is, though: IT'S WORKING. Who knew not being a wanker was actually attractive?
During Awkward Question Time, James immediately tells Rebecca he'd like to go on a second date. She hesitates and tells him that he's a really nice guy, but she thinks they'd be better as friends.
SHE'S JOKING. SHE'D LOVE A SECOND DATE.
"I love you" says James. "Where's the ring?".
Wherever it is, get it from a different shop to your other accessories.
Sophie and Dean and Peta and Zach
We have a minor gimmick on a show that generally avoids gimmicks - Peta and Sophie are mother and daughter.
"So are you here for the package?" asks Sophie when her date walks in. "You signed up for two, didn't you? Mother/daughter?" chimes in Peta.
Sophie's looking for an intelligent bad boy with tattoos, and Peta's basically looking for anyone who isn't Sophie's dad.
Who do they get?
Sophie gets Dean, who's like a Shire version of Larry Emdur with tattoos, who uses them as an excuse to touch his own nipples.
And Peta gets Zach, a tall drink of water that's been left out overnight, who says he has a big personality.
Okay, let's deal with the two dates separately so we don't creep ourselves out.
"Hi dad!" shouts Sophie to her mother's date from across the restaurant, leaving the not-creeping-out plan dead in the water.
Then to Dean, endearing herself instantly to everyone with a soul: "I never really eat… etiquettely… out".
When she says she likes beer, Dean looks suddenly smitten. He likes beer too! What are the odds they'd have the same hobby, eh?
They both have tattoos! She tells him hers are all the classic western Sydney stereotypes, and he tells her his are… well, pretty much all of the tattoos in general.
They both say 'LOL!'. That means laughing out loud! And then they do! They both do!
It's like they're best mates!
Well, best mates who agree to go on a second date and invite their mum along.
Over at the grown-ups' table, things are gettin' hot and musty like an oven mitt in the bath. That's the cool thing about old people on dates. They start in on the bawdy talk straight away. They're not afraid to call a spade a spade, or a wang mushroom a wang mushroom.
"That's a sexy lookin' mushroom!" exclaims Pat when her meal arrives.
"I love Vegemite. LOVE IT!" Pat tells Zach.
"It's not gonna be sexual if you paint yourself in Vegemite" Zach responds, drawing us a little mental sketch we certainly didn't ask for.
They're both loud and, and vibrant and energetic and enthusiastic and it's exhausting and I'm tired and a little afraid.
Thankfully there's no mutual attraction, and we're safe from the prospect a relentless stream of semi-retired zaniness and old people sex.
Josh and Chris
We have Josh? Josh is British and has question marks at the end of all his sentences? He's looking for someone fun?
His date Chris - apart from being concerned about falling over and setting the restaurant on fire - seems like someone fun.
Chris wants to get married. I reckon Australia should let him.
"We'll get there" he says, and everyone in the country that cares about human beings whispers "Yes we will".
Look, a lot of the same-sex dates on First Dates are of the you're-gay-therefore-you-must-be-attracted-to-each-other variety, so let's not get too excited and take this one step at a time.
Neither Josh nor Chris like seafood.
Both Josh and Chris like chorizo.
They're both terrible at guessing each other's star signs, as Chris guesses Josh is a Libra, while Josh guesses Chris is "the fish one, Capsicum".
Both Josh and Chris broke up with someone last year - Chris broke up with his husband, and James with someone else's husband.
It's looking gooood, it's looking very good.
The important thing though, is that Josh and Chris are making these faces.
It's the best date Chris has ever been on. Josh barely stops smiling and blushing the entire time. They robustly agree to a second date because this is what it's about - proper, carefree joy.
Sure, the closing credits show that none of the dates tonight ended up together. None of the five couples are getting married. But only four of the couples are legally allowed to. Let's fix it, eh?
Jo Thornely is a writer who loves it when you explain her jokes back to her on Twitter. Follow her @JoThornely