People like to watch the replication of life on television: hence shows such as Channel 4s Big Brother gained so much popularity back in the 2000s. This want for realism has lead the mass public to ‘The Only Way is Essex’. It seems people believe that they can watch shows like this and see how people should live. It seems right, doesn’t it? You could watch an ‘unscripted’ show about people ‘like you’ to see examples of real life? The show depicts people shopping, sitting around talking, partying, going to bars and every day expressing what they want to do with their lives. But, do the people do these things naturally? No. They’re glammed-up bad actors. The show has fabricated a world and its watchers seem to believe its actually real. In fact, they’re watching designed behaviour showing what producers know they want to see. This makes ‘entertainment’ while also bringing a negative after-effect that is down-right worrying.
With twitter interaction, viewers are tricked into getting more involved in the ‘characters’ lives. They feel they ‘become part of the show’ without realising that they’re being duped. We’re being told who we should be with a supposed ‘unscripted’ show. However, it’s obvious from watching just five minutes that the show is in no shape of form unscripted. People simply don’t talk like that. These ‘characters’ speak too clearly and they have long pauses between speaking. Even if you consider the possibility of them being slow speakers, there are no overlaps (unless there’s a designed argument) and some lines are cold and unnatural. The settings may be the ‘everyday’, but like any TV show set these too are set-up with extras.
This brings up issues about reactions to the show. Some may just watch to laugh at the type of people they’re imitating. Others may make these people their role models and copy their behaviour. Either way, ‘The Only Way is Essex’ is as awful as the internet warns. It shows fake people living fake lives and encourages their viewers to partake in the lifestyle they see. That lifestyle involves a lack of education (as many of the characters have poor vocabulary and general knowledge) and a focus on sex and pregnancy (in one episode nearly every scene spoke of a character either having a baby, wanting a baby or having unprotected sex with random people in clubs). We should laugh at these characters, not want to copy them. And that is why ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ is a bad show that needs to be destroyed.