Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Crazy dating show Kiss Bang Love is like The Bachelor on crack

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Aussie TV fans can't stop talking about this hot new dating show - now available in New Zealand - which takes The Bachelor to the next level. Chris Schulz grabs some ChapStick and tunes in.
Lisa makes out with Josh in the first episode of Kiss Bang Love, an Australian dating show.
Lisa makes out with Josh in the first episode of Kiss Bang Love, an Australian dating show.

Imagine being blindfolded while kissing 12 strangers in a row. Now imagine picking five of them to make out with again, sans blindfold.

Still got you? Good. Now pick two of them to go on overnight dates with. Yes - a sleepover, the kind of thing that happens on The Bachelor after nine weeks of TV flirting, koala pooping and date farts.

But we're not done yet. Now imagine driving to the airport, meeting the two finalists again, dumping one, and jetting off on holiday with the other.

Sound like your thing? Then crazy Aussie dating show Kiss Bang Love could be for you.

The romance reality show recently debuted in Australia - and it's certainly had tongues wagging, in more ways than one.

That's because Kiss Bang Love is like The Bachelor on crack.

In the first episode, hospitality worker Lisa does all of that - the kisses, the dates, the sleepovers, the dumping and the holiday - in just one hour of insane reality TV.

It kicks off with some interesting observations about the premise.

"A good kiss is like a conversation, it can either flow and be natural, or it can be awkward and you want to get out," says Lisa, who says she's into "tradies" who remind her of her dad and give her "butterflies".

"What if he has great arms but a bad kiss?" asks her sister, poignantly. "Clearly no deal," responds Lisa. Who knew arms were so important?

Twelve blindfolded men are then led into a small battle arena where Lisa is waiting surrounded by cameras, and the pair awkwardly stumble towards each other, looking for lips, love, or, in the case of the shirt tucker-inner, a potential murder victim, possibly.

A contestant on Kiss Bang Love tries to find his kissing partner, Lisa.
A contestant on Kiss Bang Love tries to find his kissing partner, Lisa.


Another contestant on Kiss Bang Love tries to find Lisa too.
Another contestant on Kiss Bang Love tries to find Lisa too.

Then, the tongue stuff happens. Here's Lisa's first kiss. Warning, there's some extremely icky camera work at play.

That happens 11 other times while Hallmark music plays in the background, and Lisa's "cheer squad" sit watching and judging. They say things like, "He's too short", and, "His shorts are too snug on his bum". They're mostly right.

The contestant departs, Lisa assesses the kiss, and moves on to the next one. It's incredibly simple, and horrifically addictive, a viewing experience not far removed from being the only sober one at a waterfront bar on Saturday night.

Lisa makes out with a plumber, an erotic novel writer, a solar panel expert and that polo shirt tucker-inner who has never had a girlfriend.

At one point she makes out with a magician. We're not even halfway through the episode.

After the kisses, some more kisses, the dates, and some more judging she chooses - spoiler alert - giant hose-loving plumber Ryan and jets off to Noosa, leaving sad-faced Jackson, the amateur magician, shuffling his cards at the airport.

This all makes The Bachelor look like date night at your local rest home. It's based on a Danish original that seems to push things even further than the Aussies.

Warning: the following video contains Danes pashing up a storm:

It can't be long until local networks adapt, or screen Kiss Bang Love, just like similarly-themed shows First Dates and, hopefully, Married at First Sight (We asked, but TVNZ and TV3 haven't yet responded).

So let's leave the final word to Lisa, the one doing all that lip locking who ended up with her dream man and free plumbing for the rest of their relationship.

"I believe in love at first sight, which obviously I can't see," she says, which is either infinitely profound or just complete gibberish.

Somebody give Jordan Mauger an application form.

Kiss Bang Love is now available to watch in New Zealand on 3NOW.

- NZ Herald

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Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Schulz has interviewed some of music's biggest names during his career writing for various entertainment publications in New Zealand. He is a Herald and TimeOut feature writer who covers music, movies, TV and games both online and in print.

Read more by Chris Schulz

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