Oct 2012 23

The Valleys0

Posted In Opinion,TV

At the beginning of October MTV launched it’s new reality show, The Valleys.
It is referred to as “The Welsh version of Geordie Shore” and has the tag line “The Valleys: There’s No Going Back”.
When I caught a trailer for it I was immediately excited.
You see, I love Geordie Shore. Completely. It took me a couple of episodes but by the time I could remember all of the characters names I felt affection for most of them. Admittedly a kind of appalled disgusted affection you might feel for a cat that can licks it own bottom, but affection all the same. I like the girls and I am fascinated, but not in the slightest bit attracted, to the boys. They are all so funny, you see. Mostly deliberately funny. Shockingly honest, self deprecating and often very drunken.
Of course Geordie Shore is a spin off of the hugely successful American show, Jersey Shore. I’ve never watched the original US programme so haven’t been able to draw a parallel between the two Shore Shows. As far as I am concerned Geordie Shore stands alone as a decent, car crash TV/soap opera style augmented reality drama type thing.
The same can not be said for The Valleys.
To be fair to it, I have only watched one episode. I missed the first two but have found the following synopsis on the MTV website:

Deep in the heart of South Wales, in the quiet and picturesque rolling countryside known asThe Valleys, nine youngsters are currently stuck in humdrum and unexciting jobs, but dream of a life of stardom, limousines, flashing paparazzi bulbs and adoring fans.

Brand new show The Valleys will pluck them from obscurity and thrust them into the limelight where they will live in a house kitted out with a ‘cutch-hut’ and cameras, to see if they succeed amidst the hustle and bustle of Cardiff city.

I wanted to love this show, I really did. Maybe I will after another episode? Stranger things have happened. But, after my first viewing I have no affection for this bunch of badly dressed, badly spoken, badly mannered bunch of fame hungry wannabes. The best way to describe an hour long episode is: imagine watching 60 minutes version of THAT section of the 1990s Channel 4 show The Word, called “The Hopefuls”. Yes. It is a 2012 equivalent of a young man french kissing an elderly lady.
The Welsh cast, all drafted in from a relatively rural existence to get stuck in to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Cardiff in order to make something of themselves, have clearly been spending all of their days leading up to the first episode watching Geordie Shore. Each character tries to out do one another in the filth stakes, using the lewd Newcastle based show as it’s benchmark. The Geordie Shore girls could (just about) pull off their incredibly honest sexual banter because it was always funny and was, in my opinion, said intelligibly and with tongue firmly in cheek.  (Wahey!)
Not so in The Valleys.
The show’s tried and tested format sees the cast commentating on footage of a recent night out as they speak to the camera.
Whilst reviewing a crazy boozy night out in a karaoke bar, where the 9 “stars” of The Valleys appear to be the only patrons in the entire building, we have the following sequence of comments –
Nicole: “Lateysha says she doesn’t like Leeroy but I think it’s a bit like bum sex: she says she doesn’t like it but I bet she does really”
Leeroy: “Jenna’s not like most of the girls I’ve been with. Yeah so she’s got fake boobs and stuff but she’s proper classy.”
Jenna: “Leeroy’s cute but he’s a boy and at the end of the day all boys think with their dicks.”
Just after this individual piece to camera sequence, the footage of the night out shows Nicole dancing with her skirt hitched up. This lasts for a few moments before Liam, the gay housemate, pulls her knickers down to her. Her possible love interest in the show, Aaron says “What the fuck?! Nicole’s got her knickers down to her ankles, her bean’s hanging out… I don’t know what she wants me to do, like! I do want to bang Nicole, but I’m not going have live sex in front of everyone, like.”
Fair enough.
Nicole is happy to explain “when I’m dancing I don’t want a sweating fanny so I just let a little bit of fresh air in, you know, because I don’t want a sweaty fanny.”
Perhaps it’s me…
No. No, it’s not me. It’s them. They are offensive, nasty, one dimensional freaks. Vulgar. Obscene. They appear to be one trick ponies, only able to revolt, not entertain.
Will I be watching the next episode?
You bet your fanny I will.
The next episode of The Valleys is on MTV tonight at 10pm, Sky channel 126 or Virgin 311.
LW

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