It's becoming apparent that reality TV as we once knew it is officially over. The days of Big Brother, Survivor (remember that, was a I'm a Celeb type thing) and Shipwrecked are gone. Instead we have a mass of programmes dedicated to the talented people of the UK such as X Factor, Britain's got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and then there are the fly on the wall reality programmes.
These started to infiltrate their way into our lives quite a long time ago with TV imports from the USA including Laguna Beach which started in 2004, The Hills which started in 2006 and then Jersey Shore which began in 2009.
So off the back of their success the UK followed suite in 2010 with The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE). I remember when the first episode was due to air on ITV2 and thought I'd watch it as I had half an hour to kill before my other programme started. I have to admit I was glued as were many others!
(L-R: Mark, Jess, Sam, Amy, Kirk and Lauren)
The programme made Nanny Pat's sausage plaits and Vajazzling an overnight sensation let alone popularising the phrases "Reem", "Jel", "No carbs before Marbs", and "Shuuuutuuup". Oh and there is the little matter of a certain Mr Darcey!
TOWIE has just finished it's second series and a third is planned for later this year. I literally can't wait!
In May 2011 E4 began showing their reality series called 'Made In Chelsea'. This was quite the antithesis to TOWIE as, well, not meaning to sound snobby, but these people seem to have two brain cells to rub together. On watching it, I don't think they're worlds apart from the Essex lot. They just pronounce their "P's" and "Q's" better.
(L-R: Amber, Francis, Millie, Caggie, Hugo, Spencer, Fredrik, Rosie, Binky, Ollie, Gabriella and Cheska)
We have a group of 12 guys and gals who live around Belgravia, Knightsbridge and The Kings Road in London who spend their time running their diamond enterprise, buying jewellery, writing their blog and bidding for eligible bachelors in charity auctions which then causes a love triangle between you, your best friend and the 'eligible bachelor'. Oh to be born with a silver spoon, aye.
To be honest though they all seem to need get a grip, Ollie (third from the right on the above photo) doesn't crack a smile and did ever so well in hiding his sexuality (I thought he was a rival for Harry off TOWIE from the first episode), Hugo (fifth from the left) imagines he's god's gift to women, and well Binky, what is with that name?! It reminds me of something off a kids TV programme.
And finally onto MTV's Geordie Shore. This is unlike the other two programmes as this is based on Jersey Shore from the USA, as all the 'cast' members live in the same house. As you've probably guessed this is based in Newcastle in the North East and I couldn't wait to watch it!
(Clockwise from top right: Sophie, Jay, Vicky, James, Holly, Gaz, Charlotte and Greg)
In the promo adverts the main thing that grabbed me was the pure shamelessness of them. "I'm not one of those people who has more faces than a game of guess who, if I don't like you I'll tell you" (Vicky), "I've never kissed anyone without a six-pack" (Charlotte), "I should have a degree in pulling women" (Gary), "I find the highest place in the club and get on it like a car bonnet"(Sophie), and Charlotte, what on earth is this about: "I'll open a tin of hot dogs and pour brine all over me body." Err ok then.
At the end of May 2011 the first episode premiered and it received a backlash from the people of the North East who felt badly portrayed as man eating, drunken, sex addicts. After watching the first couple of episodes I can understand why, after the first three episodes Holly 'spooned' with Gaz even though she has a boyfriend, Charlotte and Sophie got so drunk on the first night they had passed out by about 10pm, they all were involved in a huge fight in a club, Greg has taught the other guys how to wine and dine women, Charlotte and Gaz have been in the 'guest room' and Jay and Vicky are on and then off and then on and then off. Phew, it's hard to keep up with this lot.
So after watching all three programmes I have to admit Made in Chelsea just doesn't cut it for me but I will continue to watch, maybe not religiously but if I can catch it I will. As for Geordie Shore, I luuurve it! At the end of every episode I can't wait for more and Vicky, I love her! But lets face it you can't beat an original and TOWIE will always be the one to beat.
So what do you think of these programmes? Let me know in the comments below!
(Images borrow from Google Images)