Writing miscellaneous

The Age of the Reality TV Soap

Okay, I admit it. I have become everything that I despise. I have become something much worse than any soap viewer or Big Brother addict. This is the age of the ‘reality soap’ and I, we, are the children. Need I say more? You’ve twisted my arm. The Only Way Is Essex, Made in Chelsea, Dirty Sexy Things and, to a lesser extent, Geordie Shore. The devil of all television programming. If soaps are there for an exaggerated form of escapism and reality TV is the illusion of the possibility for anybody to become a ‘celebrity’ then this new breed of popular television is almost indefinable! I have unwittingly fallen under its spell. Ever since the birth of The Hills in 2006 which was the first of its kind to combine reality TV with scripted drama these programmes have been on the rise and there’s no telling when this facade will stop!

The combination of indoctrinating content with ‘thrilling’ story lines and identifiable characters is lethal to say the least, yet I can’t help but find this rise in Z-list celebrities quite laughable.

I recently reached the point when I realised how intimidatingly big and invasive these shows are becoming when I accidentally ‘starred’ in one on a night out…

So I was stood outside a pub in Camden waiting for my friends to arrive and happened to notice a TV crew lurking around outside and filming (it appeared) some guys who can only be described as ‘Camden scenekids’. Messy dark hair, faded denim jacket…ostentatious yet moody expression on their faces… To anyone who has been to a pub in Camden Town I can guarantee that you know this walking stereotype. Well anyway, I didn’t think much more of this camera crew as you know just as well as I that celebrities who are ‘in’ are as changeable as a woman’s clothes and I, for one, don’t have time, scrap that, I, for one cannot be bothered to keep up.

This particular pub had been redesigned and therefore if your choice of air is anything but paint then you’d have sat outside too. Outside the three of us were having a catch up and (very lady like I must agree) began talking about fighting. Well, I kicked off the conversation by stating that I had, in fact, never been in a fight- at which point a flashback appeared before my very eyes. Okay, so there was that time that I punched a guy on the bus for stealing my hat but it was a great hat! It was blue and cost me 50p and how many people can say that they’ve bought a blue hat for 50p? My point exactly. My friend’s turn: apparently her big crush at Uni mistook her for a guy amongst a big rough up and culminated in her passed out on the floor with a broken nose. Tough love. And no, she didn’t pull him after all of that. (This isn’t a Disney film- this is real life). Finally, my other friend, a model, explained she had something of an ‘episode’ in which she blacked out on a night out with her team the night before a, needless to say, very important shoot. This episode I speak of involved an all model brawl. Luckily they were advertising sunglasses.

Now I realise this hasn’t painted a pretty picture of myself and said friends but we’re honestly good people! It was a mutual lack of focus thanks to our good old friend, whiskey. Well anyway, after enthusing our less than proud moments to each other we noticed that the whole time we’d been sat directly behind the television crew I’d seen earlier. At this point a friend explained that they’re making a new Made in Chelsea called Camdenites. You heard it here first! Hopefully we achieved clarity in the illusion of so called ‘Camdenites’ for prospective viewers but I’m pretty sure that the sound team will gladly delete our happy memories from their unimaginable show. Oh well. There’s always the Beasts of Brixton.

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