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Ramble of the Day
I accidentally got hooked to a new show on Netflix. It’s called Instant Hotel, and it’s essentially Come Dine with Me or Four Weddings, but about Airbnbs in Australia. Here’s a trailer for you:
If it’s not still clear because the trailer didn’t help and/or you’re not familiar with Come Dine with Me or Four Weddings, I’ll fill you in: Five pairs and Airbnb owners compete against each other by staying at each other’s places and giving them scores out of ten. The criteria: the home itself, the location and local attractions, how good the night’s sleep was, and the value for the cost. There’s also an interior designer whose specialty is in hospitality who gets to give her own score out of ten, and each set of contestants also gets to grade the guests in their home, also out of ten. You can get 60 points, but no one ever gets close.
What none of that tells you is that the contestants are extremely competitive. I turned this on the other night because I had nothing else to watch, and couldn’t find anything I wanted to watch on Netflix. (It was one of those nights where I was unnecessarily picky and skipped over reasonable options.) I thought the show would be boring because sometimes these shows don’t hold up — the residences might not have been good or bad enough to make for entertaining television, and the people could be boring. This happens on Four Weddings, the American competition where four brides (and on a few occasions, four grooms) judge each other’s weddings, frequently is like this.
Thankfully, this show has homes with some glaring issues and contestants who are willing to pick fights in order to win. The first ten episodes are a bit like the Come Dine with Me format: the five visits are spread across five episodes, and the first season has two sets of five pairs. The final two episodes see the two finalists compete by visiting each other’s places with a few of the other contestants. (Spoiler: It appears those contestants were selected by vote, and it seems like the viewers picked all of the pickiest and worst people to judge the final round, which is hilarious.)
Anyway, some of the things you’ll see:
- A man calling someone’s home “lipstick on a gorilla!”
- Fights over master bedrooms!
- Wondering if the hosts actually own the house!
- Lies in home description and location!
- An excursion to a water treatment plant!
- A man with questionable fashion taste!
- A woman who snoops through other people’s documents!
- Voluntary and involuntary petsitting!
Along the way, there’s a ridiculous amount of cattiness and gamesmanship. It’s off the charts and just gets more intense with each and every episode. There are contestants who are nasty for the sake of it, creating feuds and enemies over the course of five days with people. It’s impressive work, and entertaining television. I didn’t realize people could be like this, and I watch a lot of reality television with petty people. This is truly noteworthy.
tl;dr: The cattiest people on television.
Links of the Day
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is still campaigning for a 46 team World Cup in Qatar, and has suggested that the nation cohost the tournament with neighboring nations they have poor relations with.
Cardiff is investigating U18 coach Craig Bellamy after he was accused of bullying a player who has since left the club.
Some Premier League clubs charge mascots more than £200 for the experience, with Tottenham charging £405 and West Ham charging £700.
Transfer roundup: Chelsea have signed Christian Pulisic, who has been loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the rest of the season
Today’s longer read: Joel Macadar on the cutthroat nature of the January transfer window and how an agent navigates it for The Guardian