The world is a funny place. People like some silly things from time to time. They flit between fads with recklessness akin to madness. When I was a lad yoyos were just the thing, then pogs, then porn, then girls, and finally booze.
All of these fads were harmless and passing things, save the last three. But there is one group of fads nowadays that confuses me more than any of them. They are called ‘Docusoaps’, or ‘Realidramas’ or some arse. They are real life excerpts of people’s lives except there are scriptwriters and scenario devisers and such. This, on the surface, sounds fine.
The thing that is most hilarious and confusing about the whole nonsense is that the scripts and scenarios are so mind bendingly uninteresting, to the point of being physically painful to watch that I don’t know what the appeal of it is. Is it because viewers enjoy the plight of those on the screen more because they are ‘real’ people? Predictable as human beings are and slavering over gossip like hungry dogs, we all tune in with the show peaking at 2 million viewers.
The show’s ‘cast’ seem to fall into many already well-established stereotypes. There is ‘The Fit One’, ‘The Gay One’, ‘The Ditzy One’, ‘The Slut One’, ‘The Ladies’ man one’, ‘The kooky one’. However, none of these drones seems to pull off their assigned role with enough conviction to make them watchable. Instead, we are treated to a shambling troupe of mumbling monkeys, spluttering something or other about who is cheating on whom, or affixing plastic jewels to one’s snatch.
The show’s creators should have cast them in roles as ‘The Sexy One’ etc, but they selfishly insist on using their real names which is mental because the names are gone and forgotten the second they are uttered, no matter how many times.
In fact, I remember two of their names. The first is Jimmy/Joey/Johnny Essex, a witless 21 year old who probably came in his pants when he found out the city he lives in is also his surname. The other is James ‘Arg’ Argent, and the only thing I remember about him is his nickname, ‘Arg’, which I think is pronounced something like ‘ARRRGH’, which is infinitely more hilarious than the man himself could ever hope to be.
The ‘actors’ and ‘stars’ of the show are magazine fodder. It’s the wonderful trick of popular glamour magazines to make everyone in it look appealing in some form. I was snagged on this hook when I saw one of the TOWIE cast in a magazine, and thought ‘You know what, he doesn’t look so bad actually, based on this photograph’(It was ‘The Ladies’ Man’ one, I think.) Alas, upon viewing footage of him, he was just as brain dead as all the others, which nicely proves my theory that everyone who stars in the show, is a shallow, pitiable creature with no shred of either dignity or personality.
One thing they have in spades, however, is a ludicrously high opinion of themselves. Falling into the trap of modern celebrity (i.e: where literally ANYBODY can become a celebrity), they attend parties like normal people, go on chat shows and talk about their lives (boring) and attempt to have ‘side projects’, just like successful and talented bands/actors. But this is madness. The reason established talents can have side projects is because they are skilled enough to pull it off. They have a reserve of talent for other endeavours. The TOWIE lot have literally, zero talent.
It must stop soon. If I were a bouncer at one of these fancy celebrity bashes, I would turn away the TOWIE cast on the grounds that nobody knew their real names, or that they were nauseating to watch. If I were a TV producer and they came into my office pitching another reality show about themselves, I would laugh in their face and have them escorted off the premises. I would probably then chunder into the waste paper bin.
Amy Childs, who left the show at the end of series one, succeeded in having her new show broadcast on channel 5 (!), entitled, ‘It’s All About Amy’. It dips into her newfound celebrity and shows her fucking around onscreen with other Z-list losers who won’t buy a clue and get off television, or die.
Peter Andre features in episode six opening a café in Sussex, while Amy helps out her family in their fireworks shop. I haven’t seen it, though I can pretty much guarantee that the only awesome thing that could have happened in that scenario doesn’t happen, and that is the firework shop exploding in a flurry of coloured lights and Peter Andre and Amy Childs becoming so horrifically burned they cannot appear on television anymore (Peter REALLY loves his kids).
No, it will be a tour de force of depressing and debilitating television, where nothing happens and Amy ruminates on what a nice man Pete is.
Also, ‘The Gay Hairdresser One’ from TOWIE tried to branch out, but nothing happened, as he was pant shittingly boring. I read somewhere that he and something called a Lauren Goodger are going to feature in another reality shit storm where they pretend to be real people and like, work in a pizza shop. I pity the pizza chefs of tomorrow. May death come on swift and merciful wings.
Speaking of Lauren Goodger, something she did actually ended very well. That is, she left the show (to branch out) and opened her own salon. You know what happened to it, straight away?
No one was maimed, regrettably, but I think that it was possibly the only time when explosive force has been utterly necessary. She is hated, and rightly so, for being famous without talent or right. Hopefully people will rise up soon, and there will be mass…well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, here are a couple of ideas that would make much better shows in my opinion, using the same overall premise of scripted reality, but with a pinch of je ne se quoi.
1) The Only Way Is…BEAR ATTACK!
The TOWIE cast are locked in an old mansion with two starved and beaten Kodiak bears and a handful of weapons, and viewers cast votes on who will win.
2) The Only Way Is…Psychotropic Drugs!
The TOWIE cast are forced to ingest a boatload of mind-bending narcotics, and are then set loose into various areas around Essex. There will be scenario cards they pull out a hat, such as ‘Stripped naked and put in a working man’s club’. Randy hijinks for the girls, vicious blood letting for the boys.
3) The Only Way Is…Civil War Mediator!
A vote is cast, and one of the TOWIE cast is sent into a country ravaged by bloody conflict, and must try and broker a peace between the two sides. The laughs come thick and fast as our hero stumbles and bumbles through mountains of confusing paperwork and social unrest.
4) The Only Way Is…Dental Surgery.
The TOWIE cast must complete a series of zany tasks, but should they fail, they will be subjected to degrees of dental torture not seen since the 30’s. The resulting pictures will be published in Heat magazine (a far worse punishment, in their eyes).
5) The Only Way Is…Monkey Sex!
The gang are let loose in a jungle in the Congo, amidst a tribe of Bonobo’s. We will laugh and cry as they try to be accepted into the Bonobo culture, only to be chased around the jungle by horny apes, and eventually, viciously penetrated (Post Watershed).
6) The Only Way Is Essex vs. Made in Chelsea vs. Geordie Shore vs. Desperate Scousewives vs. Born In Cardiff, Bred In Cardiff.
If anyone has seen ‘Battle Royale’, they know where I’m going with this. All the assembled cast of all the terrible reality shows are gassed and sent to a remote island. They are all outfitted with exploding neck collars, which only come off when they are all dead, save one. They have three days and a random kit bag with a weapon and food. If there isn’t a winner at the end of the three days, all the collars explode. If there is a winner, then the island suffers a tactical nuclear strike anyway and becomes uninhabitable for generations to come. The world rejoices, as we are finally free of these awful people forever.
Coming up next: Watch as Frankie Bristol talks to his mates for 2 hours about nothing at all, endlessly droning, droning, droning……………………………………………………………………..