When it came down to it, Married at First Sight‘s alpha male Dean broke it gently to his TV wife Tracey that he likes the idea of playing around.
The marketing manager set the scene by bringing Tracey a cup of Earl Grey and some white bread toast in bed, made while he was wearing only DC Comics underpants.
The 10th episode of Nine’s hit series struck a new benchmark in low-rent voyeurism: men who sign up for a marriage show but are still looking to play the field, women who give a wink and a nod to careless potential cheating for entertainment.
And it seems to be a winning formula. On Sunday night, for the first time this year, Married edged out Seven’s My Kitchen Rules for top TV honours with a metro audience of 1.163 million.
But back to Dean, because he’s a standout in a quality field of people who are happy to act like self-obsessed teenagers while ostensibly looking for the most evolved and exacting of relationships.
“Maybe because as a guy and someone from Sydney, I can have sex with someone and it not necessarily mean a whole hell of a lot,” Dean told his wife in a patient tone.
Tracey cottoned on fast.
“He comes from a different world to me where things aren’t so black and white in relationships,” she said.
“Because I’m not from Sydney, until you explained that to me, I had no idea.”
So, for any gents who watched or are reading this, if you want to not be exclusive with your wife, just say you’re a man and you’re from Sydney. Free hall pass forever!
“I don’t really like that word ‘open relationships’. I like to say I am more open in my relationships,” Dean continued.
Tracey, he said, “wants to have me as her man and her only man and we can’t look at anyone else, we can’t be with anyone else ever”.
“That just leads to jealousy, it leads to problems, and I don’t think that’s healthy for an relationship.”
The mature way Dean boiled down his apparent desire for an open relationship clicked with Tracey.
While acknowledging she was “still processing” his thoughts, she was “fine with it”, she told him, gazing at him as if he had just told her the secret to solving the Rubik’s Cube.
“Maybe now we do have a shot. This is as real as it gets. We’re cool.”
To be fair to Dean, he eased Tracey into things earlier in the day, during an apology for trying to dump her on TV the night before at Married’s first commitment ceremony this season.
He suggested that to take things to a different level they should “stop being physical together” for a few days.
He pulled her into a hug to demonstrate his genuineness: “How about we just go to the bedroom just to get it out of the system? Bad idea? Unless you’re into it.”
Of course, given the show which started as a genuinely interesting social experiment about love and science is now a soap opera bursting with bad cheek and lip filler and people who would struggle to inspire village idiot characters in a local theatre production, there are more twists than just grooms with a roving eye.
There are also brides with a roving eye. Or at least, there’s one: Davina.
The ‘villain’ of the piece, the bikini model has been cast as having her eye on Dean, and between playing golf dressed as Super Mario and doing nothing, is texting, yep, Dean.
“I sent him a message to say, ‘Look I really wouldn’t mind picking your brains’,” she said while her husband cooked dinner metres away.
Dean is up for it because “Davina is pretty hot for sure. When she’s dressed up really nice she looks really good”.
And so the stage is set.
While the other couples are in various stages of boring each other stupid (John and Melissa) or weeping about emotional walls (that couple whose names nobody remembers), Davina has fast-tracked the idea of marriage and infidelity.
“I fully feel like I’m having an affair,” she said proudly.
— Married At First Sight (@MarriedAU) February 12, 2018