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First Dates 2018: The good, the bad and the excruciatingly awkward

Channel Sevens hit show First Dates is back tonight and, at a guess, it would have taken approximate..

Channel Sevens hit show First Dates is back tonight and, at a guess, it would have taken approximately two minutes for the heat of second-hand embarrassment to rise into watchers cheeks as they took in the stellar first episode.

The show is a voyeurs delight because the entire premise means we have permission to sticky-beak into would-be couples oft-excruciating first dates. Sometimes theyre awkward enough to make you want to spin yourself into a blanket cocoon on the couch and take a vow of silence. Other times, they're palatably sweet.

Tonight, the audience was gifted with a pleasing mix of both.

First up is Italian boy Daniel. His ethnicity is mentioned here simply because he emphasises so greatly himself – and it plays a large factor in his desire to find a girlfriend. Hes only 29 but his Italian mum, dad, cousins, nonna, nonnas cousins and so on (presumably) are putting the pressure on him big time.

Things were looking good for Alex and Daniel, but it wasn't to be.

Photo: Channel Seven

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Hes a a self-proclaimed nice guy. Often the self-proclaimed part can be an instant red flag, but seemingly not with Daniel. He seems like a proper Nice Guy – not that he thinks thatll do him any favours. “Nice guys finish last, I definitely believe that,” he says. “Girls generally want a bad boy and thats just not me.”

Lucky for him, his date Alex, 30, is not one of those women. Shes beautiful and good-natured and half-Italian, so Daniel is in love almost instantly.

The date goes well, but things really come alive when Daniel decides to test the compatibility waters with a dad joke.

“Do you want to hear a joke about construction?” he asks.

“Yeah, go on,” Alex says, with a big swig of her rosé.

“Ah, nevermind – Im still working on it.” Boom-tish! Except … Alex missed the joke.

“No, go!” she urges. He repeats his line: “Im still working on it.” It sails right over her head again.

“Thats the joke,” he laughs. “You missed it!”

“Oh my God,” Alex says, slowly putting down her wine.

Magic.

Later, when theyre talking about their 'types', Daniel goes in for the kill and says hes drawn to some very specific features: “Italian. Light-brown hair. Light eyes. Red dress,” he says, describing Alex.

“Oh thats nice,” she says with a blush.

When it comes time to decide on whether or not a second date will happen, Daniel doesnt hesitate to say yes, and Alex reciprocates. They kiss on the cheek and go off to get shots – a promising start to any young relationship. For a moment, the future looks bright but, alas, we soon find out that, actually, Alex never returned Daniels calls in the end.

Ouch. Wheres that blanket cocoon when you need it?

Brad and Kelly shared a love of animals but… well, that's about it.

Photo: Channel Seven

Meanwhile, country bloke Brad, 47, seems sweet but shows a fairly clueless streak when he compares his date, Kelly, 39 – who seems like a lovely, normal person – to a crappy present.

After a night of somewhat forced chatter, he sums it up this way: “Shes probably not the usual girl Id go after,” he starts. “Shes a bit like a really good gift thats wrapped in brown paper. You might think, Thats a s— gift but then when you unwrap it its quite a beautiful gift underneath there.”

Frankly, we're offended on behalf of both Kelly, whos perfectly lovely, and brown paper, which is severely underrated.

Then Brad forgets her name and asks if its Katie. Or Kylie. “Nah, its Kelly,” he finally decides. Shes got no time for any of this and delivers a straight-up “no” when producers ask her if shed like to go on a second date. He seems to take it well for a minute, but then chooses to end things with this zinger:

“Thats ok. Thats cool. Thanks for the night and the conversation, I enjoyed it … Kelly, Kylie or Katie.” Safe to say they wont be seeing each other again.

Rob and Jaime were a match made in social media heaven.

Photo: Channel Seven.

Back on the other side of the Gen X fence, Rob and Jaime, both 26, arrive at the restaurant and realise they know each other because – modern love alert – he follows her on Instagram. They recognise one another, she teases him for always sliding into her DMs and they spend the evening flirting.

At the end of the night, they agree to see each other again – and while the montage at the end indicates theyre still dating, a quick stalk of their Instagram accounts tells us otherwise. And if its not on the Gram, did it ever really happen?

Let's just say Dino and Kahla's interest were not aligned.

Photo: Channel Seven

Last – but most certainly not least – is Dino, whos 33, deeply spiritual and a male model. Hes also a gentleman, which we know for sure because he tells us and his date, Kahla, about 357 times.

“I believe I am a gentleman, whether it be opening a door for a lady, or making sure her hair is ok," he tells us at the beginning of the night. Lucky for all of us, Kahla's hair is perfect and Dino's assistance is not required.

Before dinner, Dino asks Kahla to dance. In a brightly-lit room. With barely any music. With a million other confused diners watching on. Kahla is game and gives it a go, but it's terrible for the rest of us.

After dinner, Dino takes things up a notch. “How do you define seduction?” he asks, followed by: “Give me your fingers.” He proceeds to demonstrate how hed seduce her physically and you just know with every fibre of your being that Kahla is fighting the urge to reclaim possession of her hand.

When an awkward silence ensues, Dino tries to put an end to it with: “Do you like cuddling?” There will be no second date.

Genevieve Rota

Genevieve Rota is the PM Digital Editor for Entertainment at Fairfax Media.

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Enviroment

‘Extended run’ of heat set to last all week

The heat that has plagued Australia’s south and west is set to linger. But when the mercury does finally drop, it looks like rain will replace the warmth – at least in the country’s south east.

Both Perth and Melbourne have both been solidly in heatwaves.

On Sunday, Perth recorded an extraordinary six days in a row surpassing 40C. That’s a heat feat not seen since a string of scorching days in Adelaide in 2009.

Some blessed relief from the unbearable heat in Perth is due for the coming days – it’s now just going to be moderately baking. But another 40C day is expected soon enough.

Melbourne hit 32.6C on Sunday following a 32.3C high on Saturday. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has said the city is set for an “extended run” of heat this week.

Most of Victoria and Tasmania will be in low intensity heatwave week with highs in Melbourne of 34C on multiple days.

But the monsoon is getting stronger in the country’s north and that’s sending rain towards the south and east as the week progresses.

Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe said a low pressure system forming around northern Australia could deliver 100mm or more of rain over the Top End and had the potential to form into a cyclone.

“Tropical moisture is well and truly in the mix and is aiding the heavy falls we’ve been seeing in many parts of the country.

“That wet weather is generally edging slightly eastwards. So there’s potential for south eastern Australia to see a lot of rainfall towards the back end of the week, with heavy falls a threat,” he said.

But that’s not for a few days yet. Up until at least Thursday, Melbourne should be dry with 33-34C maximums most days and nights only dipping down to 21C or so.

The BOM has warned it will be humid and there is the chance of storms.

Temperatures could come down from Thursday with the possibility of some substantial rain leading into the weekend.

Across the Bass Strait and Tasmania is in the same heatwave, but the maximums will be far lower than Victoria.

Hobart is looking at a week of temperatures in the mid-twenties and dawn lows of 16C. Just like Victoria, the Apple Isle will be dry until the end of the week when some showers are likely.

Perth set to cool down … finally

On the tail end of the systems that’s caused so much rain in the centre of South Australia, Adelaide has seen some decent falls this weekend with 23mm of rain falling on Saturday and almost another 20mm on Sunday.

There will be some warmth and humidity to begin the week in Adelaide with a high of 29C on Monday rising to 31C by Wednesday before a few days in the mid-twenties. Minimums will be around 20C.

There could be some showers on Tuesday.

Monday could still a storm or two and some rain in areas most affected by the rain this weekend including Whyalla, Port August and Port Lincoln. Floods remain a risk in the mod north, Flinders Ranges, west coast and Eyre and Yorke peninsulas.

There is the possibility of up to 120mm of rain falling into Monday n some areas.

Across the Nullarbor and the low intensity heatwave should move away from Perth on Monday but could continue around the Gascoyne.

Monday to Thursday should see highs of between 31C and 33C in Perth with mid teen minimums. That’s far cooler than the last week. But come Friday and the mercury is set to rise once again with a possibility of 40C on Sunday.

Summery and settled in east

Wet in Darwin to begin the week with 10-35mm falling on Monday and a further 8-20mm on Tuesday. Thunderstorms could crop up most days. Warm with highs of 31-33C this week and 25C lows.

The east coast should be relatively settled and summery. This week will see a run of 30C plus days in Brisbane with 31C the norm. Overnight, it should dip down to 20C. Some showers are possible on Wednesday.

A possible shower or two in Sydney on Monday but nothing too heavy. The rest of the week is looking dry.

Maximum temperatures on the Harbour City of 26C on Monday rising to 28C on Wednesday and then as much as 30C on Friday. Lows overnight of around 19C.

Dry in Canberra with highs of 27-29C but potentially up to 31C on Friday. Temperatures should fall to the mid-teens after dark.

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Enviroment

So, we guess this means Beyonce and Jay-Z are OK then

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last..

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last weekend. As you'd expect, it's a statement.

There is arguably no couple better at controlling their own press than Beyonce and Jay-Z. When a video surfaced in 2014 showing Bey's younger sister Solange attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator, rumours of a strained marriage proliferated.

Rather than battle the tabloids, the spouses used the gossip to fuel the creation of two critically beloved, commercially successful records: Beyonce's Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44. And, in them, they offered just as many details about their private lives as they chose.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on stage in France for the 2014 On the Run tour.

Photo: Rob Hoffman

Now the couple have continued their domination of pop music, surprising the world last Saturday by releasing their joint album Everything Is Love, which is something of a sequel to those two solo records. Though they have collaborated for at least 15 years, this marks their first joint album, which they dropped under the name The Carters.

The record is a victory lap from a couple who have mined their relationship for universal truths and then presented them as art. It's a fierce love letter to success, to family, to blackness – but, most of all, to each other.

Artwork for the album Everything is Love by The Carters, aka Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Photo: Karl Quinn

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Lyrically, it primarily focuses on two aspects of the Carters' lives: their marriage and their success. (more…)

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Enviroment

Rachel Griffiths: female characters are finally getting real on screen

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, P..

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Top of the Lake show that female characters are finally coming of age on Australian screens.

In a spirited speech at the launch of a new state government scheme to support more women directors in television, the actor-turned-director said it was exciting to see female characters move beyond "the typical tropes of 'likable, f—able, adorable'" to "more complex depictions of female experience" recently.

Happy to see "more complex depictions of female experience": Rachel Griffiths (left) with Leah Purcell at the launch of #SheDirects.

Photo: Louie Douvis

While she acknowledged there were male directors who created fresh and compelling women characters, Griffiths said the "male gaze" often reduced them to colouring the characters of their male counterparts.

"[They are created to] make him hot, make him authentic, make him empathetic, make him fatherly, make him conflicted, make him grieve," she said. "In the male gaze, we are so often not the gatekeepers; we're not the ferryman. Sometimes the mentor but usually only ironically, like Judi Dench's M…

"Under-written and under-observed, brought into our sexual awareness precociously and prepubescent in order to accommodate the male libido.

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"Often in television we're used by lazy writers and producers who can think of nothing more interesting this week than 'let's have her have sex with X' or 'discover she's a lesbian – for an episode'."

Griffiths, who is about to begin editing the Melbourne Cup drama Ride Like A Girl after finishing the shoot, endorsed Hollywood star Sandra Bullock's recent comment that it was time for women to "stop being polite" about gender equality. (more…)

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