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TV RECAP: Tallafornia - An Unwelcome Reunion (S2 EP1)

Dear reader, we are never getting those 29 minutes and 02 seconds back so we might as well make the most of them.

Image: TV3 screengrab

I COME TO this recapping exercise as a bit of a Tallafornia virgin. Yes, I am aware of the programme’s concept and that the use of the V-word in the first line of any accompanying article may be ironic but I had never actually seen a full episode.

So before the Tallafornians return for a glorious second season, I decided I should acquaint myself with Jay, Phil, Dave, Kelly, Natalie, Nikita and something called the Cormenator? After watching the last programme from the 2011 series, I have questions: Are Kelly and Dave still an item? Is Nikita over Phil? Will Jay get a stripper gig? And will Cormac have enough chat-up lines?

There’s only one way to find out. To Season Two, I boldly go.

And this time, the Tallafornians are away from home.

My eyes are opened immediately by TV3 asking me to confirm that I am over the age of 18 before it will give me permission to view what the gang are getting up to in Santa Ponsa.

Once those pesky legalities are out of the way, I am ready to gorge on half an hour of “graphic scenes of sex and violence”. Once more, TV3 warn viewers that ”discretion is strongly advised” because of the strong language, nudity and general “adult themes”. This is advice from TV3, home of celebrity waxers and gypsy weddings.

Right, we’re less than 30 seconds in and our* eyes have been stabbed with an image of an unidentified man’s rear after he “mooned” the camera. And it’s less than a minute before Nikita is finger-pointing at the screen, exclaiming, “If you have a problem with me, you say it to my f***ing face.”

By the way, tonight’s episode is called “An Unwelcome Reunion”. Indeed.

And, quite appropriately, it begins at a Dublin salon where Nikita is being waxed. We are treated to the audio of the whole process.

We then meet each of the housemates (contestants? are they contestants? Is there a competition in all this? Or are these people doing this with no carrot being dangled in front of them?) again.

Nikita says that she was the “feisty little fireball” last season, that all the other people on the show drive her insane and she plans to “get revenge on all the little pr**ks that pissed [her] off”.

Cormac lets us know that he isn’t “lifting heavy shit anymore”. All he is looking for from Season Two is a tan.

Last episode, David inexplicably goes around nightclubs with a lollipop in his mouth AT ALL TIMES. And now Cormac’s up to the same antics. Did I miss something in my early 20s that deems a man more attractive to the female of the species if if he is dangling a 10 cent candy on a thin stick from his mouth?

Kelly is now a model. And Dave’s girlfriend.

Dave is now bigger than he used to be. And Kelly’s boyfriend.

Phil says he has “grown up” since last year. Then goes on to say that his plan of action is to “try and get with as many girls as I f***ing possibly can”.

Natalie calls Cormac “a dope” and says she wants to get tanned, drunk and have fun.

Jay is now a retired stripper and shopfitter. He describes himself as a “normal person living with a bunch of simple psychos”. I tend to agree.

Before the crew head to Spain, they reunite at Entourage nightclub in Tallaght, where “it all kicks off”. And, in case we can’t follow it, the editors have provided handy subtitles.

Despite the constant fighting, Phil makes a bet with Jay that he will kiss Natalie before the holiday is over. The Prize? Three of Jay’s best t-shirts.

Finally, the Seven make their way to Dublin Airport and Ryanair it to Spain.

They’ve swapped their Dublin NAMA house for an ‘El Nama’ Spanish development. There are single beds again.

The single beds are the least practical prop that TV3 spent their money on in Season One – and they haven’t learned their lesson.

After the ad break, and in case we suffered amnesia by knocking our head off the kitchen cupboard while trying to make a cup of tea and thus forgetting how the world works, TV3 remind us again that this show contains adult themes, strong language and some nudity.

The biggest plot development of the night is that Nikita can’t swim. But jumped into the deep-end anyway.

Everyone thought it was a real hoot, including Nikita here.

One of the genuinely funny moments comes when Jay and Dave provide commentary for Cormac and Phil’s work-out. “That was embarrassing,” concludes Dave. Correct.

By Tallafornia standards, the first night out is quite dull. There was no “creeping” and Nikita was “zero banter” now that she doesn’t drink, according to the lads. So let’s move on to the episode’s important stats…

Insults of the night:

From Natalie to Philly: “Big, f***ing fat turkey.”

From Dave to Cormac: “He’s such a f***ing cabbage.”

Lines of the night:

In case you’re wondering, Natalie is speaking English.

One of the lines of the night actually came from Kelly in the preview for next week. About the new housemate, she says:

“I just want to taser him in the back of the neck.”

Incidence of nakedness

I’m sorry, but we lost count after a minute and 44 seconds.

So, that’s our first glimpse of Tallafornia taking on Santa Ponsa. Next week, we’ll learn more about the surprise, new housemate and whether Dave and Kelly can survive. If you can’t wait, TV3 will let you rent the episode from its website. Rent it!

*I was so disorientated by the first minute of footage that I originally typed this as “are”. I don’t think I have ever made such a rudimentary grammar mistake in my life. This is the kind of thing this show can do. No wonder it comes with so many warnings.

Last night’s Love/Hate: Hair loss, love hearts and Jägerbombs

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