Anyone else feel a bit queasy watching SAS Australia hours after all hell broke loose in the Middle East?
Watching "recruits" - from Olympians to footballers to scientists, an actor and a convicted cocaine smuggler - be buried alive in Jordan, not a two-hour flight from in Israel seemed very First World-ly and, frankly, more than a little gratuitous.
The small (very small) mercy was that it was filmed some time ago and we know how reality TV and real life can collide (witness the grief MasterChef Australia endured the week of its 2023 season launch when Jock Zonfrillo died). Still, there is something inherently uncomfortable watching Anthony Mundine recite prayers in a coffin, however theatrical it was meant to be.
Watching drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury not just behind the field on their 10k run, but coming third as daylight was a clear second, was tough. But not as tough as the convicted cocaine smuggler being "interrogated" by chief SASer, Ant.
Having spent years in a Columbian prison - and all that entails - could well have unwittingly "prepared" her well for such a challenge, however manipulated it may be.
Enter Lindy Klim, a Balinese princess once married to Michael Klim, a man who swam quickly for Australia.
Not only is she a princess in the desert, but she has allergies and her period. She also doesn't like public toilets. Eep!
Forget sanitary ablutions, they next had to team up with a complete stranger to find a "military cache" on a moving train, grab it and leap off into the sandy abyss.
Barely being able to catch a cold, the prospect of catching anything moving is daunting - as it was for actor Craig McLachlan who didn't just not find the package but lost his partner, Cassie, who face-planted on the rocky train tracks early in the piece.
Former NRLW Dragon Mahalia Murphy teamed up with another footy type, former Sydney City Rooster Boyd Cordner in an effort described by the SASers as "comedy gold".
Yup, these are hard taskmasters who don't care where you've come from.
Then followed the short sketch involving the SAS medic and onetime AFL player Jason Akermanis. One thought he should be medically retired, the other was a medical professional who refused to autograph that exit strategy.
Bye bye Jase.
To wrap up ep one, Boss SASer Ant pretended to know nothing of McLachlan's legal travails - that stemmed from alleged sexual misconduct charges five years ago.
To be fair, that any recruit had no clue about the "strategies" the SASers use seems inconceivable given it is season three, after all.
But all that blurs into the background when the teaser for Tuesday suggests three recruits pull the pin in episode two. Yikes, who will be left standing?
S AS Australia continues 7.30pm Tuesday and Wednesday on Channel 7 and 7plus
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