Sat folding washing and watching Geordie Shore on MTV last night, the UK version of Jersey Shore, with a sick feeling in my stomach. My god! These kids are getting paid to leave their families, get overly-tarted up (think spray tans & tight clothes) and go stay in a house together that is decorated in a very urban stripped-back cutting edge style with huge artworks and funky furniture, a hot-tub and 'shag pad' and a million cameras and microphones.
Then they proceed to get shit-faced on booze almost every night, go clubbing, have faux-dramatic arguments with each other and have lots and lots of sex. Booze and sex. That's the entertainment.
I've said before that I am a huge fan of Reality TV for the real emotion that it can engender and the window on other people's worlds that it can offer. I enjoy it for it's voyeuristic elements but also for the people watching that I can do from the comfort of my couch (sans wine, as was my usual evening TV watching companion).
I understand that it is the participants emotional highs and lows that make Reality TV what it is. That the normal life (in the case of docu-soaps) or constructed tasks (in the case of game-docs) are just the packaging around the real stars - the ordinary people who are the focus of the programme. How do they cope? What choices do they make? How are they affected? How do they interact with others? What are they saying? What are they doing? That's the stuff I love. When the tears come on Reality TV they're real tears, and I have joined in and have cried many a time when exhausted couples are being booted off The Amazing Race or Jade Goody talks of her battle with cancer on her own personal docu-soap. (The Kardashians don't count any more, it's not real - they're acting).
But I'm sorry - what do the producers of Geordie Shore, or Jersey Shore for that matter, think they are doing in trying to force emotion by plying these young people with buckets and buckets of booze? They're crying, they're slurring, they're shagging, they're falling over, they're vomiting in the toilet, they're just all totally hammered, and this was just in Episode 1! Is this entertainment? It's certainly car-crash television and me not watching isn't going to stop it being made (or is it?) so continue to watch I will. And worry. And thank the good lord in heaven I'm not boozing heavily any more.
Coz yeah, I'm a recovering alcoholic who views alcohol completely differently now to how I used to. But while I've gotten drunk and cried, slurred, shagged, fallen over, vomited into the toilet on more than one occasions it was always a private, personal endeavour. I was never enticed to do so by fame, money and a bunch of TV executives who should know better.
There's a rant for ya.
Mrs D xxx