The office has been abuzz with talk of a new show on TV: namely, The Only Way is Essex. Some have said it’s so bad it’s good. Others contend that it is just bad. I was keen to find out.
I was reassured by the fact that the Essex show was on ITV2. This is my favourite channel, mainly because you can almost be guaranteed a bit of Katie and Peter action at any time of night or day.
You see, I don’t really like good telly. Give me one of those five-star rated dramas and I’ll be asleep within moments. It’s only the so-called shit telly that I can pay attention to. I can watch any amount of Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood show, or At Home With the Kardashians.
So, to the show. At first sight it looks like a sort of Essex Hollyoaks, without a script. There’s lashings of fake tan, fake eyelashes, fake nails, fake acting. In fact, it might be nearer the mark to say it is more like an updated version of Eldorado, the ill-fated soap on in the early days of Channel 5.
But there has been some debate whether, aside from its lack of plot or characterisation or anything – does it represent an idealised Essex?
I reckon – and I may just be saying this because I’m from Essex and I’m narcissistic enough to write a blog – that it does. Essex, as Mark says, is a bubble. People in Essex have very little reason to leave and go elsewhere. I’m almost alone in my friends from school in actually having left the county. I’m not quite sure why I left: probably out of a desire to be curmudgeonly.
Also, this is a telly show that dares to have a sense of fun. It is rubbish on most normal levels, but it is almost impossible not to keep watching. I sat through two episodes this evening and was genuinely disappointed when it finished.
I think The Only Way is Essex is just like most things from Essex – a bit chintzy, a bit crap, but on the whole brilliant. I just hope Stacey Solomon makes a guest appearance.