Anybody watching ITV2 last night would have seen the next installment of fine car-crash television-The Only Way is Essex. Hmm…
In the follow-up before the pilot show, there were streams of articles stating that the ‘stars’ of the programme wanted to shed people’s perceptions of the south-east county. Yet, lo and behold, they all fit the Essex stereotype.
Smothered in fake tan with a lust for designer gear and plastic surgery, the girls are all in the ‘professions’ of beauty, modelling or wannabe pop star. Similarly the boys swagger around in their flashy cars and are just as, if not more, vain as the girls.
It’s attempts at being a British version of The Hills are poor. The docu-soap format is rigid and the ‘acting’ is absolutely dire. Sadly, the strangled accent (“awight babes”) is most definitely spot-on.
Contrary to popular belief, not all of Essex is like that. We’re not all thick Barbie dolls who aspire to be glamour models or star on reality TV. Sure, it’s slightly entertaining to the rest of the country, perhaps even the world to see their assumptions about places like Bas Vegas and Billericaaaay play out on screen but in reality, we don’t all have fake boobs, hair extensions and work in salons.
Essex can count footballer Bobby Moore, former justice secretary Jack Straw, comedian Russell Brand and actress Helen Mirren amongst it’s famous expats.
No doubt the public will keep watching to keep up with the exploits of the little dahhhhlings but unless you’ve visited the area (but for ‘Sugar Hut‘) don’t tar us all with the same brush.