COUCH POTATO: Yes, The Valleys is just as bad as we all feared
11:35am Friday 28th September 2012 in News
QUITE the wide and varied choice, in TV land, between 10pm and 11pm on Tuesday night.
It was take your pick from Shameless, Men Behaving Badly, Embarrassing Bodies, Sins and Secrets, Dog Patrol, Boys With Breasts, Creature From The Haunted Sea, Monsters Inside Me, Maneater, Monkey Life, and Wasted, on Playboy TV.
Meanwhile, over on MTV, all of the above.
We’re in The Valleys, a reality show, of sorts, that could have been called How Obscene Was My Valley?
But before we plunge into its murky depths, there’s one matter to be addressed.
You see, before it aired there was a predictable outcry from several quarters, including Rhondda MP Chris Bryant and the understated and demure, erm, Charlotte Church, that the series would be ‘hideously patronising’, ‘exploitative’ and ‘horrific’.
To which I say, of course it flippin’ is.
But only if you take the programme seriously or have a longing simply to get your name out there.
So well done for giving yourselves, and the show, the publicity all sides wanted.
The fact is it’s impossible to take it seriously.
It’s even more ludicrous and well-trodden ground than Geordie Shore, MTV’s own blueprint for The Valleys, which itself is a copy of a copy of a copy.
So now we’ve put that little debate to bed, what’s it all about?
Honestly? I’ve no idea.
There’s a vague plotline that eight kids from South Wales move to Cardiff to pursue their dream jobs, but 90 per cent of the action is drinking, debauchery, bitching and bed-hopping, to the point that it got tiresome within the first ten minutes.
But, bless them, MTV went through the motions to set the scene anyway, with the Valleys painted as a place even bleaker than Milton Keynes and the Welsh capital like it’s the lost land of Atlantis.
“Going to Cardiff is a dream come true.”
“If you want to do something with your life, the place to be is Cardiff.”
“Moving to Cardiff is possibly the best thing that’s ever going to happen to me. It doesn’t happen to people from The Valleys.”
No, no-one from up the road from Cardiff has ever made the move to Cardiff. It doesn’t happen. Reach for the stars, kids.
The self-absorbed cast of twonks include Lateysha who thinks she’s the “best-looking thing in Wales” and announced: “When people see me, they think I’m Beyonce,” – which is odd, because I thought she was a bouncer.
Habitual bum-cheek barer Aron, is a kick boxer who “wants to be the Welsh Van Damme” but has more chance of being the Welsh Hoover Dam.
Then there’s DJ Liam, the only gay in the village and Nicole, the self-declared thicko of the bunch, which is saying something, whose least annoying habit seems to be urinating in the shower.
Carley flashed her boobs within moments of meeting the others and said: “By day I work in a call centre, by night I’m a legend.”
And there was Jenna, whose mother paid four grand for her boob job and highly protective father is a burly, tattooed man who keeps guns.
So she seems quite nice.
But once you’ve met them, that’s about it. Nothing else happens. The Valleys will have a niche audience like all the other shows before it.
And, frankly, they’re welcome to each other.
It was Liam who, watching his housemates drunkenly romping around on a nightclub floor, summed it up best: “I was just thinking, ‘This is embarrassing now.’”
Amen to that.
This week’s Spudulike awards
● The X Factor quietly ditching Frankie Cocozza wannabe Eddy String.
● Another award-worthy episode of The Thick Of It.
● “Amsterdam’s oldest prostitutes”, 70-year-old twins Louise and Martine Fokkens (I’m not making this up) turning out to be the most entertaining guests in This Morning’s history on Tuesday.
● Shaun Ryder stealing the show on All Star Mr & Mrs.
● John Lydon inadvertently putting in the funniest karaoke turn I’ve seen, on Later... Live With Jools Holland.
● The restraint shown by Watchdog’s Matt Allwright when a rogue trader tipped a bottle of urine over him.
● Andrew Marr, a fortnight after embarrassing photos of him groping a female producer were published, examining 27,000-year-old handprints in a cave in France, on BBC1’s History of the World: “There is something so common, so ordinary about making a handprint that you can’t help but feel oddly connected to them.” That’s his story and he’s sticking to it.
This week’s Spuduhate awards
● The X Factor’s inexplicable love affair with that berk Rylan Clark, and Nicole Scherzinger bottling it when challenged for reasons by a rejected group;
● Doctor Who slipping into selfindulgent twaddle;
● Gok Wan using the phrase: “My darling,” 34 times in one episode of Baggage (I counted them).
● Channel 4 doing more to put people off illegal substances than any government campaign by making the dullest 75 minutes of television with Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
● Andrew Marr’s air miles exceeding even the average Kate Humble series for History of the World.
● This Aled Jones introduction: “After the break, he’s sold 62 million records worldwide and more singles than any other artist in the UK this year. So what’s making Flo Rida cry?” Best guess? Having to plug his new record by being interviewed by Aled Jones on Daybreak.
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