I was a BIG fan of 'The Hills' when that was first shown on MTV right through to its final episodes (even though it had sort of lost its way after Lauren Conrad left); it was a brand new style of programme that was completely addictive, so it was only a matter of time before us here across the pond made an English alternative. But what is it about these programmes that gets us hooked?
For me personally, it is the ability to somehow relate to the people on the show. Ok, I have never had a vajazzle, been brainwashed by a Pratt or necessarily been in the exact romantic situations as some of these 'characters', but there are aspects I can relate to and I think being able to watch their problems unfold and see how they act in that situation can somehow make you feel better; it is comforting knowing there is somebody, somewhere in the world, experiencing something like you are experiencing - even if aspects are added for entertainment value!
During the final episode of 'The Hills' I made a comment on Twitter about being able to relate to a couple of the situations and somebody tweeted me, who I do not follow and do not follow me, made a completely ignorant comment in a reply and said how I needed to 'get off the coke and get some self-esteem' - I think it is fair to say I was not impressed. I didn't retaliate because honestly, anyone who knows me personally knows how utterly stupid and defamatory this was but it really did shock me, and thinking about it today, months later, it still does! So what if this new style of programme isn't necessarily the most intelligent, thought-provoking or or ground-breaking? For many people it is a bit of an escape and a guilty pleasure, so I am going to be enjoying 'The Only Way is Essex' tonight before I head back to land of 9-5 writing about the food and drink supple chain, environmental efficiency in business, all things Lincolnshire and whatever else is thrown at me!
If you're watching it tonight too, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!