‘The Veronicas: Blood Is For Life’ S1E1 Recap: They Cook Pasta In A Microwave!
Even with a few teary moments, everything lands a little too surface-level in the first episode - if not flat-out boring.
It is a fact that The Veronicas have a reality show, and the first episode has aired. Blood Is For Life covers both a lot of ground and leaves it absolutely untouched in its 24 minutes, zipping between, by our count, five plot-points.
By the end of the first episode, we’ve seen the Origliasso twins do radio promo, argue, have face-lifts, record a song, overcome their fears, and pop up for a surprise performance at a school talent show, where they were happy the kids ‘knew who they were’.
There are tears, tantrums and face-rashes: as with the best/worst reality shows, both everything and nothing happens. The Veronicas are talented, funny (“can you believe we invented head?”) and have a unique dynamic: even on an off day, they’re nowhere near as milquetoast as their show makes them seem.
It would have been entirely possible to watch Blood Is For Life while glued to your phone. Which is perfectly fine, but it does feel like there’s a more interesting show here, hidden underneath an over-zealous, too-careful edit.
Blood Is For Life, So True
When we meet Lisa and Jess, it’s March this year — they’re waking up in QT Sydney, getting ready for a day of promo for their comeback single, ‘Think Of Me’. First, it’s debuting on The Kyle & Jackie O Show, and Jess is nervous, as the song is about her relationship with Ruby Rose, whose name she can barely say without crying.
The way Jess speaks about the relationship doesn’t paint Rose in a positive light, to the point we’re wondering if MTV might be sued for defamation. Words like ‘toxic’ and ‘unhealthy’ are thrown around a lot, and it feels like we’re dancing around a pretty dark topic. Jess says she and Lisa didn’t speak for a year because of the relationship, which is pretty wild considering how close they clearly are.
The tears and fear about talking about the relationship on-air and in promo feels very real, as do the fractures in their relationship — even if it’s played up for the camera when they’re in the car, arguing over paying attention to one another.
Judging by the first few minutes, I expected the pilot episode to follow around The Veronicas on their hectic day of press, but the edit whisks us away after the song’s debut into some light cosmetic procedures.
This is where the show briefly lost me: Lisa’s face is irritated by a numbing cream and gets a bit blotchy, and all of a sudden Jess is asking whether they should call an ambulance. It’s an incredibly extra response — on one hand it’s kind of sweet, but it definitely feels like playing up a very pedestrian moment for drama.
The high-stakes soundtrack doesn’t help, plus the moment is edited really oddly, as the duo keep calming down then freaking out about this rash before someone comes in and tells them it’s completely normal. Well, duh. On Twitter, Jess jokes about her reaction, so perhaps it stems from being an over-protective sister, and we’re just cynical.
*Lisa clearly just needing a hug*
Me : “WANNA GO TO THE HOSPITAL????!!!!!!?”
— THE VERONICAS (@TheVeronicas) November 10, 2019
The Secret Life… Is Not On This Show
Even with a few teary moments, everything lands a little too surface-level in Blood Is For Life — if not flat-out boring. Watching them listen to their (now released) song ‘Ugly’ in the studio really lacked much insight into the process, given that it was pretty much already done, with Jess writing and recording it while Lisa was absent.
Then the duo make pasta in the microwave to save money for a house. Relatable queens! We literally watch them stand around and wait for it to cook, then bicker about the best way to pick it up without burning themselves. They then seemingly eat it without any sort of sauce or flavour: it’s as bland as the show.
Lisa and Jess finish the episode off with their first live performance in a year, which is a lie: they appeared on-stage at Field Day with Mallrat on New Year’s Day. Semantics, sure — they were special guests for one song, but so were they at this talent quest, where they sung ‘Untouched’ to some high school kids.
Both were ‘nervous’ before they stepped out, which has both a glimpse of truth and a sense they’re creating drama for the camera. It’s not a bad thing — that’s essentially their job on the show — but it’s just a bit too obvious.
Next week, they’re off to Los Angeles to record and play some shows around US pride. With a bit more on their plate, perhaps they’ll rely less on empty drama — but if that’s the case, we’re wondering why they even started the season here, instead of just binning it.
The six-part series definitely has potential, but so far speaks to a larger problem with reality TV produced by a pop star’s own team: like Mariah’s World or a Beyoncé documentary, we’re not going to learn anything they don’t want us to see.
Given the season-sting at the episode’s beginning didn’t reference their plane drama, it might not even make the show — just as they claimed on The Project. Which is a shame: sure it smelled of a publicity stunt, but it was an exciting one. We all know/don’t care that reality TV isn’t really reality, but pure PR is just boring.
The Veronicas: Blood Is For Life is on MTV each Sunday at 6pm AEDT, with episodes available to stream for free on their website.
Jared Richards is a staff writer at Junkee, and co-host of Sleepless In Sydney on FBi Radio. Find him on Twitter.