1. Woohoo, Nova finally eek a compliment out of Shaynna. In some alternative universe the pigs must have an aerodynamic bone structure.

    “This knocks me out,” exclaims Shaynna as she steps out onto the terrace. It even has beer in the fridge observes Darren stating the bleeding obvious.
    “Absolutely sensational,” adds Neale.

    Again, it is pointed out how lucky they were to win the lighting designer. They also seem to be the only apartment to consider irrigation of their plants.

    It is a light, friendly space. Shaynna states that she wishes that they had started off with this style in the apartment, Ummmm, remember at the beginning of the season when there was the insistence of this little thing called Art Deco + all your sledging.

    Tonight’s score also factored in the redo room. It should be noted that Nova was the only team that had to do more than change the bedsheets with their main bathroom. It is still out of step with the rest of the apartment.


  2. Another episode of Julia standing around doing NOTHING while Sasha does all the painting,

    Upon the entering the terrace the judges engage in their usual hyperbole, “Wow, this is really special, this is sensational, beautiful, wonderful and looks expensive.”
    “Oh look, let’s point of the sponsor’s product.” Gaggenau and Velux if anyone cares.

    It has $2m views adds Darren…okay if scaffolding and new construction constitute $2m views.

    “It is the prettiest apartment in the history of the Block,” posits Neale.

    We then head to the redo rooms where effectively (apart from the addition of the cornice) S+1 change the bedsheets where the judges try and convince the audience that Julia is the stylist to recruit if you are selling your home as she the bee’s knees. Hahahahahahahahahahahahah….breathe….hahahahahahahahahahahahahha….ha…wipes the tears from our face. TOO LATE.

    10,9.5,10= 29.5 They tie with Nova 🙁

  3. No money? Welcome to the prison cell. The judges revert to their standard criticism of the Boys. “This is an outdoor space made by two men, for a group of men…to watch football.” The only thing missing opines Neale is the ute. (The judges just can’t help themselves when it comes to the contestants that come from regional Australia).

    Let’s rattle of the sponsors for the space:” CSR on the walls, Beaumont tiles beneath us, Big Ass Fans on the ceiling, a dining table from the challenge, and a TV from ALDI,’ Thanks Darren.

    On to the redo space, fourth bedroom completed and loggia styled as a study. The Boys swapped out the paintings in the hallway and now the basket looks sad states Neale.

    No amount of pranking can save them.

    6,6,5 = 17

    • If it’s for blokes to watch football in, there needs to be more pot plants for the boys to spew and pee into. Just sayin’. I guess there’s always the over balcony.

      Thanks , Maz.

  4. The finished terrace is divisive. Neale loves the plantation shutters and ceiling fans. The fireplace coffee table (just think about that for a second) is a knockout.

    Shaynna, however, does not like the tiles or the bookshelf, It doesn’t feel good in here.

    On to the redo room which was the first bedroom by the mere changing of the bed linen (repaint) now has a real level of sophistication. LOL. Change the bedsheets and suddenly the room is sophisticated? Sure. Fine. Whatever.

    The best part was Carleen’s commentary. ” Just love it when a middle age woman picks on another middle age woman,” and “What a bitch, She just killed us.”

    9,7.5, 9 =25.5

  5. And Will was so confident that he was going to win on the mere virtue that he is legen—wait for it—dary! (and had a tiny weeny patch of grass).

    The judges squealed with delight that Smug had a strip of grass that would so be overshadowed by apartment block next door. It is an urban oasis….yada yada yada… they even included a lawn mower in their garden shed. Judge for yourselves.

    What Smug did not take into account was this week’s score would also take into account the redo room. They didn’t do a thing hence the score:
    9,9,9 =27

  6. it’s very obvious that no one is allowed to discuss on camera at least, the elephant in the room – there’s over 200 townhouses (someone might know exact number) being built around them. What view do they get on the lower floors?
    Keep up the great effort Maz on your recaps. I have thoroughly enjoyed them, even more than the actual show itself.😊

  7. Thanks again Maz.
    The raving over the whiners redo rooms was hilarious. Even with the change in sheets and spreads they were the same rooms. In fact I think the one with the 4 poster bed was even worse. That flowered spread and throw with the large pink tassels were absolutely ugly. I saw nothing comforting or calming in that. I wouldn’t want to jump into the bed like Darren did but instead I would want to strip it and redo it.
    The Loggias, IMHO, are a total waste of space. Judges ooohing and aaahing over the Novas loggia when it just looked like concrete room with a tub. Nothing luxurious in that room. The boys’ loggia was a fail, too as was their joke of a terrace. With better budgeting (even with the additional bedroom & bathroom) they could have had a beautifully finished terrace.

    Yes Why…the views are a joke. How much light will be going into any of those apartments with all of the new construction going up around them? Even the penthouses won’t have much of a view soon. It’s so noticeable when they showed the views from the terraces.

    Carleen calling Shayna a bitch…priceless.

    • Maybe, we weren’t paying too much attention but we only saw what Nova and the Boys did with their loggias. We don’t recall the other three.

      Agree. Complete waste of space. We wonder if they were for engineering purposes.

  8. Thanks Maz for the posts. Losing interest in The Block – goes on for too long and now another filler week with a Reno (couldn’t they just get an extra couple).
    Watched Poldark last night – the highlight of my viewing week amongst all this dross.

  9. Initial budget for the apartment. Twitter most unedifying as very few people seem to take in account that MOST of internal spaces will be covered by the VOUCHERS and it is only the cash that Kim has allocated. Most people of Twitter seem to hate Kim and think BB are old aged pensions. Highlights the ageism in society and why so many people retrenched after 45 find it difficult to get a new job.

  10. S+1 once again demonstrate what perfectly HORRID people they are (but for some reason they are consider victims in the feud with Nova). We now think the tears from Julia in the first half of the Block was definite strategy on their part.

    S+1 lose their builder Leon so Sasha sobs her little heart out to Keith and Dan, how victimised am I. We have spent ten weeks on the Block and do not know how to project manage the build.

    Julia like every cliche high school bully recruits those around her (mainly Karlie) woe is we who have only $8k cash to complete the guess bedroom.Wahh. It is not enough money, Kim is sabotaging us as she has $17k for the terrace. Wah wah wah. Let’s just point out how much is covered by the vouchers in a bedroom -cornice and gyprock is CSR, Paint & timber framing is Mitre 10, Flooring -Carpet Court, Forty Winks will cover the mattress and bedding, Lighting by Beacon. Really, at the end of the day it is only cabinetry and curtains not covered. But no, Julia tells the camera, we went up to Kim, ‘real nice and polite way’ that she was unfair about the budget.

    Kim relents and takes $4k off the outdoor areas. It is thankless task but S+1 have played the card so well that no-one will cross them less they are accused of bullying them and undermining their mental fragility. Well played girls, well played.

    • I’ve seen the first two seasons. It’s beautifully shot. I hadn’t read the book so some of the happenings were quite a shock.

    • The first episode is not too much to miss. 🙂 If you read the book, they just show Claire traveling back in time. Meeting Black Jack Randall (btw, Tobias Menzies is a phenomenal actor, so sad he will only have a few episodes for season 3). The casting is really good, even though Caitriona Balfe looks nothing like I have imagined Claire (somehow I saw Susan Sarandon, especially in the later books as aged Claire). But the actress is amazing. She really has a screen presence. The weak link is actually Sam Heughan playing Jamie. Looks the part, but the first few episodes he is quite flat. But he improves from episode to episode, so no worries.
      Juz, yes, it is filmed beautifully. It was the right decision to do a TV show instead of movies. Btw, what did you think of the casting of Brianna and Roger?
      The pacing is quite slow though, which threw some people off. But acting and setting is fantastic.

      PS: And how adorable is little Fergus? Seen recent pics of the mid-twenties Fergus. Really good looking and totally how I always imagined him.

      • Little Fergus is very cute. I was not impressed with Brianna and Roger. I am looking forward to the next season. The scenery is magnificent and excellent acting.

      • Sorry, Zhee, I have to disagree. Sam Heughan IS Jamie and the best actor in the show.

        I do agree about Catriona. She doesn’t look like Claire, way too tall and thin, but a great actress. As a consequence, Roger and Bree are too short, but I haven’t yet seen the second series (waiting for the dvds to come out) so I can’t comment on the actors. I do know that many of the book fans love the choice of actor for Roger.

        In terms of the series authenticity to the books, I suppose the answer is yes..and no. I could write ten pages comparing but I will try to be brief. They have captured the events/action of the books really well (allowing for the limtations of tv) with only a few minor changes, mainly in the sequencing. Where the series is a little disappointing is that they haven’t managed to capture the real tone of Jamie and Claire’s relationship. They have sacrificed many of the really romantic scenes in favour of action scenes, and the last episode of series one glossed over the most important section of the first book. They have portrayed Claire as more bolshie, and a s consequence diminished Jamie a little. The biggest problem with the first series was that they showed way, way too much of Frank, and attempted to make him a nice character. Frank is quite in the background in the books, and that is where fans want him to stay. Rumour is that the director liked the actor and wanted to give him more work.

        Despite all that, I’m loving it. But seriously, there is no substitute for reading the books. Diana Gabaldon is one of the legendary writers and her prose is exceptional.

        • Oh Fijane, you are going to hate me…I fear with the first book (haven’t read any of the sequels) we didn’t believe Clare to be an English woman circa 1940s. The tone of the book was too American(to the point of distraction), we didn’t believe the premise that immediately after the war, one would embark on an “ancestry.com’ journey (we understand the need for the construct…but), and the references to locker rooms and John Wayne slightly anachronistic. I don’t believe an Englishwoman’s swear word of choice would be Jesus H Roosevelt (and we suspect so did the editors as half way through she seems to prefer ‘bloody’). If Clare was an American nurse serving in Vietnam we may have been able to suspense belief more readily.

          As to Frank/Randall, that character, was confused. It was as though half way through the book the author decided to change his sexual orientation and motivation.

          Then the end of the book read as though it was written to appease the Bible Belt of America. It was as though you could hear the editors telling the author, look, great book. We think it will sell well but… there are some acts that Clare commits that we think our more puritanical readers may have difficulties with. You know the bigamy and murder. Do you think you could write a scene where Clare is granted absolution by a Christian figure?

          • @ Fijane, as I said, Sam Heughan got better each episode. 🙂 He’s a good actor, but he also grew into his role. I think for his performance at the end of season 1 he should have earned a nomination for the Golden Globe (Caitriona got one). Maybe in 2017 – he was really good in the second season. And I think thanks to the time after the uprising he has again lots of good material to show that he is a good actor.
            The chemistry between Sam and Caitriona is fantastic. I read on Diana Gabaldon’s FB site once, that they chose Sam first and had an incredibly hard time to find the perfect Claire. None really fit the look of her and apparently after they found no one, they went back to the rejected actresses and gave Caitriona a chance, even though she looks nothing like Claire. As supposedly her acting abilities and chemistry was incredible with Sam, they chose her. And I think they indeed made a great choice. She’s delicate and strong, she is Claire in my opinion.

            No problem for me giving Tobias Menzies more screen time. Unfortunately it was indeed too much Frank. I share that opinion as well. A friend of mine at work also sees it the same way. Plus she LOVES Caitriona as Claire.

            Regarding Claire and her American mannerisms. It is true, but she also was a nurse and dealt with lots of Americans I think it is mentioned in the books and they show it in the series as well. Plus she didn’t really grow up properly in England as she was away with her uncle a lot.
            Actually, what is funny, Caitriona is from Dublin, they have a very distinct accent. I cannot hear it though. But when I see movies with Michael Fassbender or Liam Neeson, they always sound Irish to me.^^ Thankfully Fassbender doesn’t sound German, that would hurt his sex appeal. 😀

          • I could never hate someone who wants to discuss Outlander!
            Although I have never felt it myself, I can understand feeling that the books are “American”. I suppose with an American author there is always a danger of that. Claire is certainly more assertive (in an American style) than many Englishwomen would be of the time, but I think that is partly personality, partly her unconventional upbringing (on archeological diggings) and partly her experiences during the war.
            The purpose of the trip to Scotland was actually a second honeymoon, an attempt by Frank and Claire to rekindle a marriage that was flagging due to separation in the war (and later we learn due to Frank’s infidelity). I don’t know if you have any friends who are into geneology, but I know several for whom a trip anywhere becomes another opportunity to research. Frank’s obsession has another purpose, too, as his ancestry becomes an important part of the story, and Claire’s decisions further down the line. One of the features of Gabaldon’s books is that you learn that while a scene or event might seem superfluous and illogical when you read it, every detail has some significance later. She never adds anything that does not have a purpose, even if you can’t see it at the time.

            Re Randall’s sexuality, there has been much discussion. Some people have claimed that the book demonises homosexuality, but the general consensus (and the author’s view) is that Randall’s sexuality is irrelevant. His real trait is violence and sadism. He uses sexual acts to dominate his victims, and to degrade them, and because of that, doesn’t really care what gender the victim is. Frank’s sexual orientation never changes, I’m not sure where you see this.

            The theme of absolution is strong throughout the Outlander series. I’m not sure of the author’s religious beliefs but many of the characters are Catholic, and there are a lot of instances of characters having to deal with the consequences of their own violence (to both humans and animals). To me, that adds complexity to the story, and humanity to the characters. I would find it very unbelievable if Claire had done these things and then shrugged them off as of no importance. The second book shows clearly that the absolution at the Abbey was only the first part of the whole process, and that absolution comes from non-religious sources as well.

            I get the feeling that you didn’t really enjoy the first book, and I try not to insist people read things they are not enjoying, but in this case the second book is really just the second half of the first. It answers so many of the questions raised in the first, and brings the story full circle back to where it starts. If you do decide to try it, be aware that the first 100 pages are not what you expect to happen and it will make sense after this point.

            Or you can just watch the second series (which also seems to start in the wrong place, btw).

            Zhee, lots of discussion amongst Outlander fans re Jamie in the first series, and the general consensus is that the writer of the series (not author) portrayed Jamie as more immature and impulsive than in the books, and that they deliberately got Sam H to play him that way. The theory is that they were trying to give him a greater “growth” arc, making him seem childish as the start so that his personality could develop throughout the series. And as a consequence, some feel that this inhibited the true quality of the acting. Certainly they had Jamie doing things in the first half of the first series that seemed quite juvenile compared to the Jamie from the books.

            Oh dear, we’ve quite hijacked this thread. If you like talking about Outlander, the Outlander Book Club is a great forum to chat.

          • I have only watched the tv series and not read the books. I know that they sometimes change what happens in the books. Is it worth it to read the books? Will it ruin any surprise outcomes for me? What book would you say they are up to now in the series?

          • Read the books! They are very entertaining. You won’t get spoiled, simply get more insight into the events.

            As a downside though… The 5th book is awful. After that I feel the series goes downhill. Maybe because Brianna gets too much to do and I do not enjoy her character. I adore Roger, but Brianna annoys me.

          • @Fijane, then what was the point of making her English (yes, it really was that distracting in reading the book).

            We do understand the purpose of the set-up as it allows Clare to have intimate knowledge of Frank’s ancestry and yes, we understand that people do fall through the rabbit hole of genealogy but immediate post-war Britain??? (It didn’t become a popularised hobby in the States until the 1970s).

            It is easy to come to the conclusion that the book demonises homosexuality. We were uncomfortable with that. We think the author has had a long time to formulate a nuance response to criticisms of the novel.

            What about the domestic violence in the book? That is definitively a problem.

            Speaking of Outlander, this ad landed in my inbox today

          • If Claire (and Frank) hadn’t been English, it would be unlikely that she would have been so involved in WWII, or holidaying in Scotland – both essential elements to the story. I’m interested to hear that you found it such a problem, as I’ve never heard anyone express that view.

            I can’t go any further re the geneology – I think your knowledge must be more extensive than mine. I suppose I just accept it as one of Frank’s quirks. He was a history academic, so maybe that was part of it.

            While I believe that homosexuality had very little to do with Randell’s abusive nature, I can see why some people might not see it that way. Trying not to give too much away, though, Randell is a much more minor character in the second book and then disappears. But in the second book, a new character is introduced, Lord John, who becomes a major character in later books, who is homosexual. Readers unanimously agree that he is not portrayed in a negative way at all. and for some people he has become such a loved character that he has become the central figure for a spinoff series. If you read about Lord John, it is impossible to believe that the author has a problem with homosexuality.

            I don’t have a problem with the event that you perceive as domestic violence. It was totally in keeping with the attitudes of the era, and my preference is not to sanitise history through the lens of modern society.

            I currently have that book (in your link) on my Kindle and am about one third of the way through. IMO, like most of the spinoff novels it is lacking in the Jamie-Claire magic. I will finish it though.

            Juz (below), actually the TV show portrayed the Claire-Frank relationship as more loving than the books. The producer has said that he wanted to make it clear why Claire would be torn between the two time periods, so he overemphasised their connection. The book doesn’t really specify why they married, but my own viewpoint is that it was a bit of a rushed wartime infatuation. It might have been an adequate marriage if she hadn’t experienced Jamie, although Frank’s infidelity may or may not have been an issue.

            Bob, I’ve found very few movies/tv shows that really do justice to the books they are based on, but that might be because I’m an avid reader. So my advice would be book first. But I know a lot of people have come to the books after the series, and enjoyed doing it that way. Just remember to read/watch past the point where Claire travels back. The background before that, some people think is a bit slow.

      • Hmm, maybe I should start an Outlander thread … it took me a while to get in to the series but now I’m glad I stuck with it. However, much of the time I find the lesser characters (Wee Fergus, Dougal, Jenny, Ned, etc) more interesting than the leads – and the costumes! I don’t know that the TV series did a good enough job explaining why Claire loved Frank to start with – is it clearer in the book?

        • I was going to give this series a miss, but you can now count me in.
          The only decision I have to make is whether to start with the book or the tv series.
          Too hard.

  11. Springing up on the remainder of the four-hectare factory site around The Block is a sea of construction as Mr Stamoulis’ $250 million project to build a village of 258 three-level townhouses on former factory land at the southernmost end of Sandridge precinct nears completion. by Simon Johansen The Sydney Morning Herald May 2016

    Of interest: http://www.canny.com.au/portfolio/port-melbourne/

    The Block’s neighbours FYI – http://www.realestate.com.au/property-townhouse-vic-port+melbourne-123664338

  12. Tonight was a filler episode in five parts:
    1. Julia “flirting” to get her own way and still not managing to achieve anything.
    2. The installation of Fyrchek and the exposure of which contestants were hands on and which were not.
    3. The contestants taking the piss out of the budget as Kim tries to check where the budget is at. Karlie doesn’t show and Julia (well…not a clue of what they have spent). No, this flagrant financial mismanagement should not be celebrated.
    4. Defect List. Nova had the shortest list. BB’s list was quite extensive.
    5. Party in Apartment Five. Guess which team didn’t show.

  13. Hey, Maz, do you know when the finale screens? I’m going on holiday so want to schedule some posts for chat for you and fellow Blockheads.

  14. Sorry, but just going back on last night’s show (finally got to watch it, and f/fwd through the ads) Why didn’t the girls go around to everyone’s terrace and critique it like the others, and in every other week?
    They were certainly conspicuous by their absence.

  15. Sorry, but just going back on last night’s show (finally got to watch it, and f/fwd through the ads) Why didn’t the girls go around to everyone’s terrace and critique it like the others, and in every other week?
    They were certainly conspicuous by their absence.
    Did anyone else see the so called “view” from the terrace’s bar stools, under the window of K & Cs terrace? No wonder it wasn’t shown in the initial reveal! It’s a concrete jungle out there.

  16. I think that these will be purchased as rental/investment properties. Really can’t use the great views as a perk for some of the apartments because the views are going away due to the surrounding construction.

      • Haven’t seen that but on the episodes shown when the views briefly appear one can see that they are not what they are being described as on The Schlock. The Baby Boomer’s apartment is not on the top floor but the top floor apartment views are getting blocked, too, at least from what I’ve been able to see.

  17. Arghh!!! Why are we still watching the Block? Tonight’s episode featured Julia (and how mean Kim is to her). We are cognisant that for some unfathomable reason S+1 seem to be the most popular team and Nova are perceived as bullies.

    Woe is Me Julia, Keeping myself busy washing the one container Julia, faux laughing with Shelly and Scotty Julia. What an outrage that Kim picks up the McCafe quality award for being forewoman (um, Julia you could have volunteered for the role). “Their apartment isn’t good” snipes Julia to the camera. I don’t recall in all the seasons of the Block one team telling the camera that another team’s apartment is crap. Yet, somehow Julia is the innocent victim in all this?????!!!!!!!

    Tonight’s episode continues to feature Paulie, S+1’s plasterer. Scotty’s voice over warned that Paulie is expensive. S+1 should be doing the jobs that don’t require skilled labour like cleaning up. Such is their “deliberate low profile”, Scotty’s words (well the scriptwriter’s) that when Paulie is finished, he doesn’t give his invoice to S+1, he delivers it straight to Kim. S+1 has budgeted $1000. The bill $3135. Not a clue as to what things cost.

    And according to ACA, the fridge is S+1’s apartment costed $55,000. (We assumed that is retail but WTF?)

    What else did we learn tonight?

    1. Telstra is sponsoring the apartment.
    2.Kim has had 10 showers in 73 days
    3. Will and Karlie have their biggest argument to date (over wall art)
    4.Did we mention Telstra is sponsoring the apartment?

    • I got through the episode in @ 10 minutes by fast forwarding and realizing there was nothing much I wanted to watch. Big argument over a piece of artwork by WK (who cares), Kim with her evil grimace waiting to give it to the Whiners (S+1) for their invoice, top whiner Julia making negative comment about BB’s apartment, Shelly & Scotty touring the place (why bother), etc.
      $55,000…..is it gold or platinum? Maybe someone put in an extra 0 by mistake. $5,000 would make more sense although still overpriced, IMHO.

      I still believe that this is the worst group of Schlocksters evah. How is the program doing in the ratings?

  18. 1 shower a week. Karlie tries to shower at least every 2 days. That sounds about right, they’re tired and fall into bed and up into it the next day. But it’s physical sweaty work for hours, plus all the building gunk. Nah, Kim’s just plain disgusting. To be able to do that musn’t too far off her normal 😣😷

  19. Julia and Sasha play the victims…again.
    What parent would permit an “egg” swinging chair, dangling from the ceiling in their young child’s bedroom? You can imagine the child falling out of it, or, it could be pulled back then simply let go of – leading to it swinging uncontrollably, with or without someone in it. As it’s not a safety seat, so there wouldn’t be any restraints. What a joke.

    Where’s the common sense gone? Why didn’t Shelley query this, being the mother of young children herself? Oh, yes, they were all having a great laugh and making the girls feel so good, since Julia’s reputation was smashed in the first couple of weeks.

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