TV

OPINION: Why The Last Resort isn’t to blame for its poor ratings

Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? One TV WEEK-er thinks so.

By Tiffany Dunk
I’m a loud and proud, unashamed flag-waving advocate for a reality TV show that’s all about love – be it finding it, fixing it or rejecting it.
So when I heard the premise for The Last Resort I was one of those excitedly awaiting the day it would launch on-screens.
But then something unexpected happened. I got sick of watching unhappy couples being tested in an attempt to find their way back to happiness.
And I’m not the only one – The Last Resort had disastrous ratings for Nine when it launched last week.
But despite what some critics might say, it’s not because it’s a bad show. It’s actually pretty well done. Let me backtrack a little to explain.
Remember the glory that was Married at First Sight? The nation – and my entire household – was transfixed as we watched 10 couples attempt to navigate an insta-marriage.
There were tears, there were tantrums, there were high jinx.
And we fell in love with couples like Sean and Susan and Simon and Alene as they gradually got to know each other and found that despite their external differences love could indeed flourish.
It was everything you could want in a reality show and more… until we got down to the final weeks where everything started to sloooooooooow doooooowwwwwn.
Seriously, there was more recapping of previous action than on any other series I can recall. And most of what was being recapped was really gross behavior (cough, boys night, cough) from some really objectionable characters.
It left a sour taste in my mouth after what had been a glorious ride. And that was then backed up with an almost immediate launch of Seven Year Switch.

I was a fan of the first season of this show. Because while there was your fair share of villains – and a reality show is nothing without at least one – there were also couples you could really root for, who you really wanted to get over their hurdles.
Season two? Not so much. While there are individual people I can get behind, not a single one of these relationships appear to be in any way healthy.
Nor do I want them to find their way back to each other.

And as it’s gone on, week after week, progressively getting more outrageous with flirting and unveiling of sex toys and fake marriages it’s left me yearning for a happier love story to hit screens.
And a happy love story The Last Resort isn’t. These couples are so broken and so in need of help you can see why they signed their lives away in the hope of fixing their relationships.
In addition to being older, in far more committed relationships and with far more to lose than the couples shown on Seven Year Switch, there are couples (well, not Sharday and Josh, but other couples) that you genuinely hope can work it out.
But despite all of this it’s fallen flat because all of the oxygen has been sucked out of the format by its predecessors.
And while that’s bad news for The Last Resort, it’s excellent news for the incoming season of The Bachelor.
Ten’s shiny dating franchise will prove a welcome relief from the tears, therapy and sordid confessions.
In addition to allowing us to laugh again at some of the romantic missteps along the way, it will allow us to feel an emotion it’s impossible to grasp onto with The Last Resort and Seven Year Switch – hope.
Hope that romance is well and truly alive. Hope that our next date could involve helicopters, fireworks and uneaten cheese plates by a log fire. Hope that “the one” is out there – not just for Matty J, but for all of us.
And maybe after that has sated our appetites, there will be room enough for another Last Resort in our lives.

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