What has happened to British television?

Claudia Fellerman questions the future of British TV

made in chelsea reality tv TOWIE wannabe

What has happened to British television? First The Only Way is Essex, then Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea and Sorority Girls, not to mention Jersey Shore, Big Brother, the beautifully named Tool Academy and other such drivel. So now we welcome Desperate Scousewives to the pack. The first word that comes to mind is 'seriously?' Do we really need another reality TV show, following the mundane lives of either the overly wealthy, the overly bored, the probably quite good looking, but wearing way too much slap, people from different parts of the country? I'm not saying that I don't watch them, or that you shouldn't, but really, how many do we need? I'm waiting for the day when an advert for Living in Leeds or Drama in Durham pops up on E4. It's imminent, I'm warning you.

So how did the newcomer do? Hot or Not? Within the first five minutes, the only things I was impressed with were the panoramic shots of Liverpool, other than that, unsure. The standard half naked guy, identical-looking girls walking around town with rollers in their hair and the appalling acting are doing nothing to convince me. And it seems that I’m not the only hesitant one. With 60 to 100 new tweets every few minutes, everyone on Twitter wants to have their say; so far ‘shocking’ seems to be the most used word. As one tweeter points out, it’s ironic that they’ve chosen to call the programme desperate Scousewives, because these guys are definitely that.

Hair and beauty salons, visits to boutiques, so far the show screams wannabe TOWIE. I thought it couldn’t get worse…a girl just tried to bleach her hands to get rid of the fake tan stains. Awkward. Another downside? All the guys look about 35. Not that there’s anything wrong with 35 year olds, but come on, some young, hot eye candy wouldn’t go amiss. As my housemate pointed out, they really could have made an effort to cast at least one good looking straight guy?

Another somewhat strange feature of the programme, the ‘actors’ talk to camera. Isn’t it supposed to be reality? In my version of reality, people don’t stop and talk to cameras randomly in the street. Or is it supposed to be acting? Because it definitely isn’t succeeding there either. Very strange.

Overall verdict after the first episode? On the one hand, it hasn’t claimed to be rivaling Downton Abbey or even Eastenders, it’s simply here for a bit of fun, but on the other, it’s pretty painful to watch. We’ve barely been introduced to these people, yet we’re supposed to care about their heartbreaks and love triangles? Regardless, I’m sure that people will continue to tune in for the rest of the series (I haven’t yet decided if I’ll be one of those people!), and maybe it will follow in TOWIE’s footsteps and actually win people over. We’ll have to wait and see.

One last note: one guy just claimed to own the Hilton hotels. Um, I’m pretty sure the Hiltons actually do that?