Friday, 10 February 2012

Made on Essex Shore, ft. the Desperate Scousewives

It’s Monday night and here are your news at 10. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and….” I switch to E4, just in time to catch the review of last week’s Made in Chelsea. Thank god, just in time. Maybe here it dawns on me that somewhere I’m potentially getting my priorities wrong. Obviously I’d like to defend myself by suggesting that as a student I’m allowed to live in the ‘student bubble’ without so much as the faintest idea of what’s going on in the outside world, and yet, as a budding journalist, I do feel naturally guilty and ashamed! A couple of years ago, the U.S. brought us The Hills and The City, only for us Brits to jump onboard the ‘constructed-reality’ show bandwagon and launch The Only Way Is Essex (affectionately: TOWIE), Made In Chelsea, Geordie Shore AND the brand new, yet to be rated or slated, Desperate Scousewives. But why are these shows such a success and why do we knock them, only to actively count down the days until the next episode…in the meantime agonizing almost as much as Millie, that Hugo has probably cheated on her with Rosie in Chelsea?! The drama!!

 As the British public, due to our notorious need for celebrity, we practically allow anyone and everyone to become a ‘celebrated public figure’ who is featured in our media. Wikipedia tells me that Amy Childs became “well-known in 2010 while appearing in ITV2’s semi-reality programme The Only Way Is Essex where she brought the word ‘vajazzle’ to public notice.” Yes, that’s right. She achieved fame and fortune by promoting vajazzles aka vaginal diamante… Kudos to her!

True, 100 years ago our ancestors didn’t have reality shows or even Heat or Hello! to inform them what their contemporary Kate Middletons were up to and yes, perhaps they were less trivial, materialistic and superficial. Then again, look at Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire or Lord Byron, the celebrities of their own time. They have always existed. It is in our human nature; we need someone to look up to, to crave to follow, to aspire to. The triviality of our generation lies, if anywhere, in our ability of showing a genuine interest in someone who specializes in genital gems. Personally I think it’s wonderful to admire and observe public personalities such as Stephen Fry, French and Saunders, Judi Dench, JK Rowling…I could go on. Yes, they’re on TV, on audio and in print, but due to their talents, passions and hard work, not the fact that the camera follows them when they go on a ‘constructed’ night out.  

So surely, come next Monday night at 10pm I’ll be watching the news or Stephen Fry’s QI… 
Nah, I can safely assure you I’ll be watching Made In Chelsea because yes, I love it and a little bit of easy viewing never hurt anyone. 

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