Stunned mullet adrift among the flirty dozen
Mark Philippoussis’ Age of Love 8.30pm/ 9.30pm, Seven
STANDING with his hands clasped neatly in front of him, like some mother’s well- behaved, good little son at church, you get the sense Mark Philippoussis is wondering how he let himself get talked into this.
Sure, it must be every red- blooded man’s fantasy to be fought over not just by two women, but by two teams of women. With odds like that, you’d think even the dullest man could do pretty well.
Philippoussis is anything but dull. Shy at times, less than eloquent, volcanically athletic, but never dull. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of the women, though when you take into account the voice- over determining that ‘‘ the claws will come out’’ ( when the older women meet the younger women) you realise how set up things are and how little room there is for the women to move.
Philippoussis was allegedly told he would be appearing in a traditional dating show. Instead he finds he is the focus of the manipulated attention of 13 women — a baker’s dozen. No wonder he so often looks like a stunned mullet.
‘‘ It’s all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date,’’ said George Bernard Shaw, a quote that becomes wallpaper tonight. As if the young women are going to keep the ostensibly old women ( they range in age from 40 to 48) up to date, though they may very well shock them.
‘‘ Hmm, I wonder what Mark is doing tonight,’’ one of the young women says to the others with all the spontaneity of the script in an adult film. At that moment, the women probably imagine the man we used to know as the Scud ( and who would probably rather not be known as the
She looked hot. She looked hot . I mean, what can I say? She looked hot’
Poo) collecting roses and carefully removing their thorns or something.
Instead he is scudding along on his skinny calves by the pool in thongs and a nice shirt.
When he achieves ‘‘ the position’’, he waits for them to descend in an outdoor lift, his nervous hands held fast behind his back in the manner of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The young women, dressed in enhanced swimwear, must come forward and introduce themselves to Mark, one by one.
What does he think, for example, of Lauren, 27?
‘‘ My first impression of Lauren? She looked hot. She looked hot. I mean, what can I say? She looked hot.’’ No Rhodes scholar, our Mark.
This excruciatingly awkward passing out parade goes on for what feels like days, then there are games and activities, and the obligatory eliminations. Say what you will about hateful reality TV. After this, no one should call Philippoussis a bad sport again.
Quarry: Mark Philippoussis and the women competing for his attentions