• News + Media  • Viewer Backlash: Is the Tide Turning on The Block Triple Threat?
The Block Triple Threat

Viewer Backlash: Is the Tide Turning on The Block Triple Threat?

The Block Triple Threat

I’ve been a part-time viewer of The Block the last few years and have been open about my concerns over it. I did a post a few months back asking if you’ve fallen prey to The Block Effect, but today’s post isn’t about whether the show helps or hinders those undertaking renos, but moreso if the show itself is losing its way.

Read more about The Block Triple Threat

The reason for my part-time viewing of the show – rather than tuning in around the clock – is because I don’t care for the shenanigans. I’m all about the room reveals, hearing the judges thoughts and learning a few things along the way; be it about new products, new style trends or simply a new perspective on design from Neale, Shaynna or Darren. I mean, if I want to watch drama I have The Real Housewives of Melbourne to turn to (bring on season two, just quietly!).

The Block Triple THreat - Darren and DeeThat said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a bit of fun. I mean, this is a reality show and there are personalities to warm to and whine over. It’s the whole reason why the show (and other shows in this genre) select ‘real’ people to compete for the prize. This isn’t about designers, this is about connecting to the everyday Australian. So I do get – and appreciate – that premise.

I’ve been seeing a lot of backlash on social media lately though – about the direction The Block is heading in – and I’d love to get your thoughts on it. I don’t watch the mid-week shows unless there’s a reveal on, so I don’t feel the frustration, but it appears many of you are becoming a bit annoyed by certain elements of the series… particularly with regard to the lack of design and the educational element of the show’s content.

Here are some comments I saw on Facebook this week

Darryl Whitecross
“Just got home and started watching tonight’s episode. 5 mins in and it’s all talk. Is there any renovating happening?”

Lesley Scott-Smith
“Stick to the reno ideas please. That’s what I watch the show for, and by the way, less personalities and more reno please. Why they choose the colors they do, the concepts behind the choices of furniture and fittings. A bit more practical and a little less soap opera”.

Lynda Marshall
“Just saw the end of the show tonight. Stopped watching it when it became more like a soap opera than a DIY show. Notice things have actually got worse with the contestants not actually doing any of the work anymore but just shopping, sitting around planning and trying to be comedians”.

The Block Triple Threat - Twins

Chanelle Skye
“Disappointed by the lack of building/designing. This show is full of rubbish now”.

Bridget Keating
“The tasks have become impossibly difficult, the timeframes unreasonable, the contestants tired and delirious. Please stop. Please pull it back to what is was when it was enjoyable. A tv show that was about design, construction, skill and execution by people who are there to learn and who will enjoy the experience”.

>>> Do you think The Block has lost its way?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Let’s open up a discussion about this. Are people expecting too much from The Block or has it become a bit silly? Do you watch for the drama and the fun as well as the reveals? Drop me a comment below and let me hear your take on it 🙂

Image of Darren and See via DailyMail. Other shots via 9jumpin.

Want to know more about The Block? Read our ultimate guide to every season!

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

  • Karen.


    I’d certainly like to see more renovating and decorating ideas and less soap opera. I like the new concept of ‘experts’ helping homeowners with reno dilemmas. There used to be a great design show on channel 10 where there were budding designers competing against each other, but that only lasted a season. I guess the ratings are boosted by the people who do enjoy the clashing personalities be they real or contrived. I still look forward to watching it but quite often am left disappointed by the lack of substance. Rather this than My Kitchen Rules though!

    14 February, 2015
  • I have been a dedicated block watcher for the past few years and I must admit I have not bothered to watch this one. Why?? As soon as I saw promos containing some of my least favourite contestants like Matt and Kim, and Dee and Darren it really turned me off. They have had their turn and I don’t enjoy watching them and their antics. I would much rather watch a season of the block where the same contestants are in it from the start without any ongoing competitions for selections that last more than a week. If they want to bring back a set of contestants as a wild card entry, mix the team like they did with brad and dale last year as keeps the dynamics of each team fresh. Anyway, just my thoughts 🙂

    15 February, 2015
  • So glad you say this Chris, I only watch it Sunday night for room reveals, couldn’t really care less about the show during the week. So over seeing the contestants sing in the car too.

    15 February, 2015
  • Elizabeth Bunyon


    I think Darren and Dee won purely because they make good TV. Everyone loves to hate them. I personally can’t stand them. My husband won’t watch them and I will probably join him doing something else, as you said maybe just Sunday for the reveal.

    16 February, 2015
    • Tracey


      So agree!!! Our family quit watching after Sunday night as well. Can’t stand Dee’s fits, she thinks she is so wonderful!! Enjoy getting to know people but want to see the reno!!!!

      18 February, 2015
  • Shelley


    I didn’t bother watching the elimination weeks because the episodes were simply too long, 90 minutes viewing without an actual conclusion/elimination! Just seemed a bit rude to the viewer and a waste of time. They are going the way of MKR focusing more on personalities and ‘story lines’ rather than the actual competition. I like to see banter and problems but not so manufactured and edited VERY badly.

    16 February, 2015
  • Lisa


    Bringing back Darren and Dee was enough to turn me off. She was a disgrace last block with her disrespect of the judges. She turned the show into a drama rather than a renovation show. Not much building and designing happening from contestants, more from trades. Disappointing series.

    19 February, 2015
  • Annie


    It’s an interesting one Chris. I have to admit that I am not enjoying this as much as the last seasons. I feel like the contestants are playing up more to the camera. I have been a fan of this show. I loved the Sydney Reno and the challenges they had doing Heritage listed housing. Had more guts to the show.

    19 February, 2015
  • Lynne Kuhl


    Yes I believe it’s a little ridiculous now, I want to see and hear about design decisions, the how and why and what’s new. I really believe they need to be a little more particular in who they let on to be contestants, people with a style point of view and a proven artistic ability would make it a great watch! Get rid of the ex footballers and comedians and give us an interesting show about renovation and design. A quality host would be helpful too!

    19 February, 2015
  • Wendy P


    Speaking as a former shift worker, I’ve always been concerned about safety on this show – continually seeing half asleep contestants using power tools or getting behind the wheel of a car. I’m amazed they have the brain space left to generate ANY deco ideas.

    20 February, 2015
  • Jenny Langmaid


    Hi Chris.
    First question …YES The Block has lost its way. This is the first year I have not watched it. Last season admittedly I was a floater – I would tune in for room reveals! Now to be honest I can’t be bothered with it at all. I understand why the producers have a need for airing some Drama and the re-hashing of stories in some form as I know this is how the production team build a connection with the viewer and the TV personality – however I agree with other comments.

    If I wanted drama I would tune into the other 50 reality TV shows out there. We are time poor, have to negotiate our preferred shows with our partners and families and to be honest there are MANY other shows out there that I would prefer to watch over this one now.

    I would also like to see something new – focus on the details of the products (without it being a huge advert), the application of the product and perhaps the costs associated with the build. I remember when the block first started we were privy to the budgets and how they were literally tracking……the demographic that the show started with still want to see those things JUST WITHOUT THE DRAMA….. Jenny http://www.metallicmum.com.au

    21 February, 2015
  • Ruth


    Yes. I agree totally. It appears to me that Dea and Darren have been bought back perhaps to avoid legal action because they failed so dismally last year.

    The show now seems to be all about cushions covers and controversy. Three couples no experience against experienced one. Not fair!

    25 February, 2015
  • Sal


    Sorry to say, I’ve stopped watching the midweek episodes because of Dee. This is a show of two parts: renovation and personalities, and if we are going to watch almost every evening we need to enjoy the dynamic of the group we are ‘spending time’ with.

    26 February, 2015
  • Kate Creighton


    I so agree with everything that has been said. I watch for the reno work, the style tips, the ingenious storage solutions, etc. You can’t tell me that at that level of house price the potential buyer is all that concerned about the colour of the wall or the size of the rug. Those things are all replaceable, but the flow of traffic and distribution of light isn’t. The things they fuss over are so irrelevant. $500 cushions – who are they kidding – that doesn’t make you want to buy a house.

    Also I like to see realistic work happening at realistic budgets. As a homeowner I would like to know if a design idea is something I could aspire to if I contacted the relevant company.

    There have been reality shows that demonstrate how things can be done on a realistic budget with some great ideas. I would like to see more of that – real renovation ideas and work.

    Yes we have become Sunday night watchers and if we miss that we are still not fussed and I no longer go back and watch it on catch up like I used to.

    14 April, 2015
  • Rozzie


    This series of The Block has got worse as the season has gone on. There is even less renovating and design content and more melodrama dribble. I don’t like the way the producers of the show have edited it to create heroes and villains, and the foreman has become an antagonist who goes around stirring up the exhausted contestants. It is cruel – I don’t know why anybody would sign up to appear on the show.

    The little bit of design content that is shown is hardly worth the trouble. Last week, Neil took the female contestants to the home of a noted designer but most of the footage was of them sitting at a table eating. A waste of time. The weekly episode where the judges talked about design in depth seems to have disappeared from the viewing schedule – this was the only good thing about the series!

    BTW, I quite like Deanne and Darren Jolly. At least Deanne has interesting ideas and presents good, coherent rooms. Some of the other rooms are, quite frankly, shocking – they look like a colour blind person has put them together. Seriously.

    19 April, 2015
    • LA


      I agree Dea has great taste and always has a fresh approach to style and I always enjoy seeing her work. She us a fluent stylist and designer and I often find myself agreeing with her. Darren works unbelievably hard working and is devoted to his family and his work ethic and quality are exceptional. Aldo, he is professionally trained to stick to the rules of a game. I’m with them on that and think the show is really letting itself down pandering to the worst aspect of australia mediocre society where popularity is about manipulation and upholding Larkin male culture. I really feel the show needs an overhaul. Budgets should be transparent, forget challenges and winding up contestants against each other. Tim and Anastasia are a disgrace, lazy, dishonest and manipulative. Ayden is held up as a directors choice for his comic contribution, I think he is annoying not as hard a worker as the show shows and his finances need a good audit especially as he hired a professional tradies mate at $25 per hour. Very questionable. Josh us a good worker but Charlotte needs to find out all the facts before she befriends Anastasia and alienates Dea. I hate the constructed melodrama around the relationships and would love the drama be on the design, building and budgets. And a little on how people might pull together in a crisis not against each other. Keith and boy need replacing all they do is gossip and set people off. I hope Dea and Daz win gesso of money and go on to have successful careers in design and building. Also, last year the ships displayed clear racism. You need a rethink. I won’t watch this series again.

      27 April, 2015
  • greg


    I am disappointed that they keep recycling old contestants If they are looking for fresh ideas why not bring back eliminated contestants some that were very unfortunate not to be selected in the first place instead of giving contestants that have already had opportunities and in some cases won considerable amounts of money

    28 April, 2015
  • Maddie


    I understand where you are coming from but I still really love and enjoy the show. I’ve not seen all the seasons yet. I am binge watching at the moment. I liked the Blocktagon accept for the red headed whiner. Triple Threat is well if I had watch all season up to that point, yeah I might have been turned off mainly due to the nastiness that Anastasia and Tim brought and the judges who let their personal feelings (even if they have been treated badly) to dictate their judging. Yes I’d like a bit more reno tips/design tips but I like some of the drama. If I want strictly a design show I’ll just watch the countless others on HGTV or DIY Network…..oh yeah I’m an American…LOL.

    13 March, 2016
  • P.streeter


    Sorry lost it as using the beautiful heritage Gatwick to ravage and destroy her heritage….i just dont get it. Oh and the reno is about pleasing the snobs..it seem be more down to earth.

    8 September, 2019

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