Saturday, 14 November 2009

Z-list "slebs" on 'Reality TV': a rant

Now how on earth did I missed this...?

Jordan: apparently every inch the equal of Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart...

For those of you reading who may not have heard of her, Jordan is a pneumatically-titted UK 'glamour model' with [purely ghost-written] literary pretensions - think Anna Nicole Smith, but without the MENSA credentials, talent or social grace, and you'll be in right neighbourhood.

There are other differences, of course.

Whereas you or I might have our car serviced every 10,000 miles or so, instead, she has another breast augmentation done, to her existing G-cup, at one of the many drive-thru von Zeppelin Maintenance Depots in LA - a habit now second only to her penchant for Botox touch-ups, collagen abuse and cosmetic surgery on those finicky bits behind the ears which no one else sees any way. They've even invented a genre and styling for her: 'Chav Chic'; and one to which Julie Burchill has duly managed to rattle-off a dozen tomes in praise. Mind you, our Julie knows about these things; what with her living in the tortured ghettos and mean streets of leafy Brighton & Hove...

So what's wrong with Jordan?

To the extent that she's made her entire reputation by selling her near-dirigible breasts as the sole reason to notice her, I guess nothing. It's hardly a new method of self-promotion, is it?

No. The reason I mention her is that she's emblematic of all that is tragically samey and predictably uninspiring about the cheap populist, mass-produced and celeb-obsessed dross which has become the mainstay, and chief output, of UK commercial television; with it's stockpile of otherwise arresting titles like 'Celebrity Wife Re-grouting', 'Celebrity Goat Husbandry', 'Dancing with Celebrity G-Spots on Ice', 'Celebrity My Left Testicle Plays a Gershwin Medley Whilst Doing The Ironing' (actually, that would be one for which I'd stay in and watch), and other, seemingly endless talent-free fare.

The depressing thing is, it is precisely that: endless; cheap to make and easy to sell to advertisers; with a ready and ever eager slew of viewers who've an apparently bottomless appetite for just about any old tat to which a 'reality' claim can be slapped. Couple that with a herd of 'slebs' so unassumingly famous that they've managed to remain under my radar for the duration of their entire careers and you've apparently the recipe for a 13 week fan-doting TV series. Or is that just a long-winded way of saying 'lowest common denominator TV'?

But let's be honest for a minute - just how 'real' is so-called 'Reality TV', anyway - when, in reality, hardly any of it so much as skirts the circumference of being real. Should we have a quick think...? Hmmmm...?

Well, unless you've either undergone SAS selection, or unfortunate enough to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge during the murderous reign of Pol Pot, when was the last time your life got so 'real' that you were gagged and bound, like some willing dominatrix fodder, before being nailed to a board, suspended beneath a helicopter, and then dragged upside-down through a crocodile-infested swamp in a jungle, whilst being force-fed worms and other items not normally found on a Michelin-starred menu? In all likelihood, probably never, right? In which case, surely there's a potential breach of the Trades Descriptions Act in that 'reality' claim somewhere?

Are there exceptions to the rule? I'd be lying if I said no.

I'll confess I'm one of those folks who enjoys watching annoying Z-list "slebs" make utter arses of themselves for the viewing masses; and all for the chance to reboot their all-but-moribund (otherwise they wouldn't be on the show in the first place) careers. If forced, I can watch it for, ooh... minutes, as this is the only time in their fleeting careers when we're ever, in all seriousness, going to get the chance to see them as they really are: warts and all, sans make-up, and without their standing coterie of fawning Green Room-gofers.

Do I love seeing the expression on their faces change after being told that they can't have their own way? That they're not going to get any hot food for the next two days as a result of making a complete jakes of the tasks needed to win food-stuffs? Seeing them so paranoid because - heaven forfend - someone else in camp was "talking about me!"? And then, after only 20 minutes of being 'on set', on the first day, sat round a log fire, treating each other to their back-of-a-cereal-box cod-psychology & rhetorical mantras about "we've just got to remain positive, innit?", whilst giving each other pep-talks on the only jungle survival techniques their brains have managed to retain from the rushed briefing given to them by the programme's Production Assistant, only 15 minutes before being cast to nature's elements?

Do I love it? Hell yeah!

And now, after having already completed one tour-of-booty on the show in 2004, Jordan, whose breasts are so large they've been allowed their own post (zip) code and require their own seat when flying, embarks on her second course of "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" in the Australian jungle; the same place she met her now former husband, Peter Andre.

So I'm wondering, in signing the contracts for appearing, whether she'll insist on a pre-emptive prenuptial divorce clause, prior to meeting any of the male members of the cast? Let's face it, it'll save time. Mind you, she's not really looking her best these days, after all 'the work' she's had done - no doubt it's a different kettle of fish for any potential jungle husband to see his bride-to-be without any of her usual caked-on warpaint and looking like a sulking Ethel Merman most of the day. I reckon it may just dampen their ardour a touch and see her leaving the show without a husband! What will Hello! magazine spend its budget on?! They've nothing in the diary, wedding-wise, until one of David and Victoria Beckham's kids ties the knot!

There is an upside, though. The prospect of seeing another series of this starve-a-sleb on commercial TV makes me eternally grateful that I can now Sky+* the entire thing (is that a bona fide verb yet?): record it and then fast-forward through as much of this full-contact adult-crèche thing as I like, missing all those damned adverts (*for North American readers, think TiVo)! Happy days!

Things are looking up already!

Now, about that show where a left testicle plays Gershwin whilst doing the ironing...?


  1. That's very kind of you Susannah - glad you liked it :)

    I've just clicked-over (new verb?) and have added your site to my blog list.

  2. Hahaha - That was awesome!

  3. Glad you liked it Maryanne! Thanks for reading!

  4. I'm following your wonderful blog on NB and google just have a look at please

  5. Cheers Pedro - likewise, I'm now following your English blog on NB and Google :)


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