Desperate Scousewives

Ey, ey, ey, LUCY MUSSELWHITE is frustrated, but she’s tryin’ to calm down, calm down, calm down.

channel 4 culture desperate scousewives E4 lucy musselwhite made in chelsea towie TV

Mondays, 10pm, E4


Essex, Chelsea, Newcastle… sorry Liverpool, looks like you’re the next notch on reality TV’s bedpost.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a guilty slab of trash with my evening tea-break. Quite frankly an hour of inert, mindless viewing is all I’m good for at the end of a busy day. However, I fear that even the most avid of us trash-fans will find Desperate Scousewives,  a new “structured” reality show borne out of a bad pun, enough to make you miss Amy Childs’ vajazzle.

A lorra, lorra shit

The show kicked off well, with narrator Jodie’s excited introduction to her hometown. “We’re loud and we’re proud,” she gleefully intones. Why yes you certainly are, Jodie. The sound of your voice will stay with me for a while yet, as will your ability to exaggerate the human eyebrow beyond comprehension. Despite this strong opening, as the programme progressed, its content quickly became stale.

Not for the first time, the makers of British TV have latched onto a new trend and are prolonging it to the point of boredom. Desperate Scousewives may have ended with a dramatic blow-out between Jaiden and Amanda after the former’s eloquent insult “You look like shit,” but how that argument ended I’ll never know, because by this point I was counting the marks on my ceiling. There are seven. A less predictable outcome than the stories contrived for this show.

Layla, the affectionately named “two o’clock job” of resident lothario Joe, should have had me sobbing into my copy of The Female Eunuch as she whined continuously about being used. Instead I gazed at the screen entirely absent of emotion. A conversation in which the boys profoundly conceptualized romance as an “all-you-can-eat buffet” did not leave me outraged and hurt for womankind. I remained lacking in sentiment. Bored now. Shows like this have lost their shock factor.

Desperate Scousewives isn’t much worse than others of its genre. It’s just that added to the generic cast of Z-list wannabes and the cringe-worthy nature of their scripted performances is now the element of repetitiveness. Their capacity to astonish us with their stupidity and scandal has crawled away to die and with it any entertainment value they might have had once.

So if you’re thinking of indulging in some trash, Desperate Scousewives will certainly leave you feeling grubby, with a particularly dim cast and catty altercations that give your inner bitch reason to live. But don’t expect anything original or even remotely creative. This fad of not-so-real reality television? Officially over it.