Life Update #2: Heartbreak Island

 The cast of Heartbreak Island 2018

The cast of Heartbreak Island 2018

I feel like every time I sit down to write one of these I think and/or write the following: 

a. It has been a really long time since i've done this, bad Mark!

b. Why are you still not travelling overseas?!?

For those of you that have been reading my very intermittent rumblings, you’ll know 2018 was to meant to be another year galavanting the globe, visiting parts unknown (RIP A.B), and catching up with far-flung friends. 

However aside from a couple of quick trips across to Australia, I’ve just been in New Zealand.

Ha! 

Whoops, annnnnnnnd Fiji. Genuinely forgot about Fiji. Idiot. 

And of course that six weeks in Fiji filming Heartbreak Island. Hmmmm.

But before we get to that, the travel. 

The travel hasn’t happened yet as I have ended up working full time in a business a friend and I started a couple of years back. Well at least started investigating a couple of years back. A business that, in the last few months, has required my full attention. I can’t say too much more but hopefully that will change in the near future. We just need a couple more things fall into place, and then we are away! 

It is bloody exciting though. It is bigger than anything I have ever attempted to do before. And if (/when) it happens, it has the potential to change many, many people's lives. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

And now to Heartbreak. 

Well, here we are! I can’t believe it is about to be on TV! I can’t believe it is June and it’s all about to go down… Where has the year gone? 

Although I have had some ongoing Heartbreak work since getting back from Fiji, the whole experience really does feel like something from another lifetime.

Having being so engrossed in all of the happenings on the island for the entirety of filming, the world of Heartbreak being my be-all and end-all for those six weeks, it was odd flying back to Auckland to nothing. No job, well no full-time one. No more contestants (so no more gossiping about their every more). No crew.  It was (and I hate to use the analogy) like waking up from a dream. It took some adjusting. 

And so the last two-to-three weeks have been stranger still as I have found myself back in the world of Heartbreak, reliving that past life. 

It has been fun reminiscing. It’s been great seeing lots of Matilda again, and the crew that shot the show - the crew that are yet to get a break. They have been tirelessly editing the hours and hours of footage in preparation of the show going to air! You can’t even begin to imagine the size of this job. Multiple cameras filming 24/7 for six weeks… ugh! 

It’s also been fun catching up with just about everyone I have ever worked with in radio/print over the last 10 years to talk to them about the show and what to expect. 

It is so odd sitting in a radio studio and being interviewed though. Since I was 19 I have always been the interviewer. The one on the side of the buttons, not opposite. Great fun though. I am incredibly appreciative of all the support all my old colleagues have shown too. All very sweet. 

…cue next week when they start slating my performance on TV. HaHaHa! Do your worst I say, nothing will compare to talkback!

So to the show itself as I am now finally allowed to talk about it.

First things first, as it seems to have been the focus for many, yes the contestants do have sex with each other. But, this is a TV show for TVNZ2 at 7:30pm, you are not going to see that happening. Therefore, it is safe for your kids to watch. Even the uncut edition on Friday nights (TVNZ2 at 9:30pm), it is still going on TV. There isn’t full-frontal nudity (at least to the best of my knowledge) however there will be nods to who is sleeping with who and whatnot.

The show was incredibly fun to film and as I stated earlier was all encompassing (in a good way). Every one of the crew was hanging out each morning to find out what had happened overnight - whose relationships were fraying, whose were alight with… errrr, passion? 

And apparently during filming we were only aware of about 20% of what was happening. So much more has been revealed in the edit. One of the producers said to me recently, “You thought there was drama on the island, wait till you see it on TV.” And so, even though I know what happens, I know who wins, I cannot wait to see it. 

I did (finally) get to see episode one on Friday… and beyond the horribleness of seeing myself on TV (hearing myself on the radio I am used to, seeing myself on TV - not so much), it was great. 

So many laughs. So many awkward groans - some of the things that came out of the contestants mouths… I know some of them entered Heartbreak Island to find love, some for the money, and some (and have fun picking these ones out) to become Insta famous and live out the rest of their lives in the social pages. Only time will tell if they succeed, or live to regret their decision to participate. 

I’m not massive on regrets, but I do feel like a couple of contestants may walk away from this thinking they maybe shouldn’t have, or at the very least should've played things differently. You’ll see...

The lesson that was reinforced to me over the course of filming was that you really are best to be yourself. Pretending will only get you so far.

There will be laughter, there will be tears, there will be drama and (potentially most importantly) there will be real romance! It is of course entertainment but it is also an insight into the lives and the inner workings of a group of 20-somethings in 2018. For those not in that age bracket, it will give you a sneak peek into it, and for those in or around the age group, perhaps a moment (or moments) to reflect. And although the situation is very different from my day-to-day reality and no doubt yours, the same themes that criss-cross our own lives, criss-cross the contestants during filming. And so as crazy as it sounds, there will be parallels with your own life - no matter your age. How you deal and/or have dealt with love, rejection, disappointment etc. The show will be the spark for countless conversations I am sure...

Anyway, I am burbling now. For those of you that watch, I hope you enjoy and I look forward to hearing your thoughts - both positive and negative.

Heartbreak Island screens on TNVZ2 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm

Heartbreak Island Uncut screens on TVNZ2 on Fridays at 9:30pm and again on Duke on Sunday night at 9:00pm

ps Fingers crossed I get something else up on this blog before Christmas.

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