Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Reality TV - My Guilty Pleasure

The start of 2014 has brought with it a cornucopia of fabulously trashy Reality TV shows, providing the perfect antidote to my annual post Christmas gloom and the terrible January weather.

Last weekend I immersed myself in Splash, Celebrity Big Brother plus its Bit on the Side and Dancing on Ice, and I'm not ashamed to admit I loved every moment of it!

Splash is such an unlikely concept. Watching celebs of all ages, shapes and sizes take to the diving board under the watchful eye of pocket-sized Tom Daley should not be entertaining.  But somehow it works.  The delivery is very old fashioned, reminding me of TV from my childhood.  The flourish of the disrobing celebs revealing their bejewelled showbiz cossies before they make the walk to the diving board feels like watching the Miss World Swimwear round from 1976.  But instead of watching beauty queens on parade we have a mix and match array of soapstars, comedians, TV presenters and reality stars strutting their stuff.  As they make their dives I'm not sure if I'm willing them to pull off the perfect twist and tuck with a splashless entry, or whether I really want to see the mother of all belly flops.  Either way I am glued to the screen for the entire few seconds that they are mid air, heading headfirst into the pool. However, the tired format of unfunny judges, and stale presenters does cause me to drift off between dives, as I find myself hitting social media on my phone. If they could condense the show into a 30 minute montage of splashing celebrities, I'm sure it would much more interesting to watch.  This week Gemma Collins from TOWIE was one of the celebrities taking the dive, and I have to say she was a revelation.  She is fabulous larger lady who overcame her fears and pulled off her simple dive with relish.  Her oversized boobs were battered and bruised from training, but she trussed them up in her gorgeous, slinky black swimming dress (yes it was a dress and not a costume) and showed all of us plus sized ladies how it was done.  Well done Gemma!

Dancing on Ice All Stars is what I have been waiting for ever since I saw the teaser trailer last year.  The return of Todd Carty is eagerly anticipated in next week's show along with other favourites such as David Seaman, famed for smashing his partner's face into the ice during the infamous Head Banger incident from series 1!  This week gave us the awkward pairing of Jorgie Porter with the Lothario Sylvain Longchambon, who has gained notoriety for bedding his skate partners. Sylvain hooked up with that Samia from Corrie during the last series, dumping former partner Jen from Hollyoaks.  As Jen and Jorgi are best friends, this lead to a bit of animosity.  Little, doe-eyed Jorgie was rather unpleasant about her skating partner in the show and in the media beforehand. It wasn't very professional or gracious - but the producers knew exactly what they doing when they paired them up to court controversy.  Personally, I think that as Sylvain and Jen were not married and had no children, it isn't that scandalous that he hooked up with some one else.  Lots of couples find love in the workplace, and for them DOI is a job and they fell in love while doing it. It's the natural order of things. People do move on in relationships and just because you do it publicly, watched by millions of viewers doesn't make it any less valid.  I think Jorgie deserved to go for being a little bitch - albeit a very cute, little blonde one. The loss of Joe Pasquale was however a sad one.  His groin thrusting, Flash performance was a joy to behold.

There is something so utterly cathartic about watching a bunch of celebrities (aka has-beens, wannabes or Z-Listers) throwing themselves into a reality show in the hope of resurrecting a dying career, earning a few extra bob, getting a topless shoot in Nuts or holding on to their tenuous 15 minutes of fame. There is, at this time, a really interesting phenomena of people who have found fame on reality shows, entering other reality shows. It's like reality and celebrity is imploding in on itself. On CBB we have stars from TOWIE, Made in Chelsea and The Apprentice going head to head.  It's like the ultimate reality contest, a modern day arena for gladiatorial combat, between stars who are only famous for being themselves. Egos clashing.  Attention sought.  Limelight hogged.

So far there has been a lot of smutty goings on in the house featuring Lee Ryan from Blue with the topless model that he was handcuffed to for the entry show.  Is their budding relationship real or just showmance? Time alone will tell. But I for one love a good celebrity, onscreen lovefest.  Remember Jordan and Peter in the Jungle or Chantal and Preston from CBB??  More alarmingly we have Dappy from N-Dubz, Jasmine, who is an American 'actress' who once punched Lindsay Lohan, and Luisa the baking sex addict from The Apprentice, taking to the bathtub for a rather grotesque game of truth or dare involving nipples, girl-on-girl action and rubber ducks.   Dappy is like a little puppy dog with way too much testosterone coursing through his veins.  He tries to hump everything. His over excited little face as he plays up to the camera and his constant crotch adjustment leaves me unsettled!  He is known not only for being the woolly hat wearing pint sized frontman of N-Dubz but also for posting a nude, full frontal photo on the internet. Now for the purpose of research, I may have Googled the 'Dappy nudes' and yes, I may have snorted my coffee at my laptop screen.  At 5' 2", Dappy is a little fella, consequently, his well above average nob hung like a third leg reaching down to his knees.  In the Big Brother house, he is enjoying boasting about his 'meat' and likes to wave it about when near to Jasmine. Consequently we have had a visual on Dappy's bellend hanging out of the leg of his boxers as he attempted to mount the snoozing girl in bed.  And it is only the first week!  I am pretty sure the beast will be fully unleashed at some point.

Meanwhile Chelsea's lovely Ollie Locke and octogenarian, national treasure Lionel Blair have had the most wonderful bromance.  The camp duo are just perfect together, a friendship transcending the generations.  TOWIE's Sam Faiers has shown she is just as lovely in 'real life' as she is in Essex, as she conducts herself with kindness and good grace. Love her! Sadly, heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield has not shown himself to be the housemate we hoped for.  He showed his American Christian homophobic views in a bedtime chat with Luisa, likening being gay to a handicap and something that should be fixed. It's unbelievable that so many people can still hold this view and spout such unpleasant and offensive nonsense. He also went on some tirade about animals being on this planet solely for man's convenience, but because this was in an argument with Liz Jones, who is a bit of a crazy cat lady, the impact on me was not as great as it could have been.  I disagreed with his opinion but I like seeing Liz challenged.  So Evander turns out to be an arrogant, ignorant bigot and not the cool guy I hoped for.

It's definitely panning out to be a great season for some reality TV indulgence over the next few weeks!  And anything that lifts my low January mood is good by me.  So I will be immersing myself in my daily dose of escapism for a while, until the desire for more high brow entertainment resurfaces in the Spring!


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