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TV: Reality bites


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So this week saw the much anticipated return of some British legends to our screens. Nope, Brucey wasn’t back with a primetime show and there was no Cilla Black revival on Saturday night. It was way bigger than that, and way more anticipated.

It was the return of all this fake, fantastic and plastic. The Only Way is Essex crashed back into our lives with a great big, silicone fuelled, bang. If you have (somehow) missed it, think The Hills, on Lambrini. Alongside this, the lady now known with only one name, like Madonna, Gaga, Britney and Kylie... Katie was back with ‘Katie’. (Price, not Waissel).

The Essex lot greeted us with news of engagements, cheating and more money than sense (due to the in-between-series-naked-photo-shoots). There were old characters (can we call them old faces? Even though some look like totally different faces these days?), and the same brilliant bitchery we have missed off our screens for the past few months. There were also some new characters, who are sure to spice things up, and if they fail, I’m sure the producers will think of something/one to do. The girls are getting more orange and catty towards each other with every breath, and ‘pin-up’ of the show Mark will soon be drowning in that ego of his, claiming he proposed to Lauren – because it was ‘what I need, at the moment’. WHO SAID ROMANCE WAS DEAD?

Meanwhile Katie, aka Jordan (as we all really know her), has had a glitzy marketing campaign funded by the big wigs at Sky. I’m sure you’ve seen her pictures at bus stops (the epitome of glamour), a moody and atmospheric mermaid – style shoot, with long flowing hair and more covered up than we’ve seen her in some time. Shame she still has her sex face on though, eh Jords?!

For the actual show itself, we see a different type of Katie-Price-on-the-wall-documentary (yes it is a genre all on its own). Katie has asked for the crew not to film her children, friends or cut the show to make it all about ex hubby Alex Reid.

Sooooo... It’s more about you than ever, Katie?

However, in the beginning of the new series, we see Katie in mega-bitch mode, reducing cage-fighting man-beast Alex Reid to a quivering wreck, by simply telling him he isn’t ‘arf as attractive as he used to be. And he doesn’t dress right. And he looks a mess.

Yes, they were still married at this point. Touching isn’t it?

And not to mention boring.

As are all of these reality/fly on the wall docs now.

With the demise of Big Brother and formats such as Celeb Love Island dead in the water these days, we’ve got to hope that the reality drama is slowly starting to recoil back under the rock it crawled out from. There are exceptions to this rule. Namely Coach Trip. Which MUST come back for another series, after the most recent explosive trip came to an end last week.

We all know that these shows aren’t educating, informative or generally good for us, but it’s what we call a guilty pleasure. It’s the Ben and Jerry’s of TV. We are spoon-fed more chocolate, toffee, fudge and sugar than we can handle, before we just recline into a food coma and just babble at Peter Andre and his new ‘love’ Elen Rives. Or, we sit there and laugh at other people’s lives (See: Kerry Katona) and then forget about it two seconds later. But surely there isn’t much more left that we can unearth in this cheap TV genre? This doesn’t include certain other shows which have a hall pass when it comes to being booted of screen, like the X Factor-esque game shows which tick over the financial side of TV. It’s the mundane and regurgitated garbage that is often found on ITV2/Living during the hours of 11-4pm.

Even ‘Katie’, isn’t as good as it used to be. We used to see her cavorting about in a mankini on a greased pole in Ibiza with 20 men leering at her. In this series we see her ride horses and clean up dog poo. It’s not exactly exciting stuff anymore is it?

So it seems only a series like TOWIE is spear head the campaign to keep this kind of cheap reality TV on our screens. By its success of over 1 million viewers per episode, big TV bosses think we must still love this type of show, and so make more and more.

But I guess with no-one telling them to Shat-aaap.... Who’s going to stop them?

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