With some stiff competition to compete with in the way of TOWIE, Made In Chelsea and Geordie Shore, will MTV’s new reality TV project ‘The Valleys’ steal the nations hearts and reign as the most loved British reality television show?
Now that reality format television is a national phenomenon, reality TV show cast members are splattered all over the gossip columns of newspapers and magazines, pictured on the razz, in the latest ‘on trend’ reality television inspired fashion looks and creating new beauty buzz trends such as the Desperate Sousewive’s ‘Scouse Brow’ and The Only Way is Essex ‘Vajazzle’……What can MTV The Valleys bring to the table?
After the colossal success of MTV UK’s Geordie Shore – which follows the bed hopping and drunken antics of Newcastle’s finest – MTV hopes that their new project The Valleys will gain more viewers than their highest rated UK series ever.
Broadcast in the UK by the end of summer MTV The Valleys plucks 8 young people “from the tranquility of Valley life” and follows their transition over a six week period as they “change their lives in the City of Cardiff”. An MTV UK spokesperson has promised that the “without apology series” will be “irreverent and funny as well as warm, authentic, familiar and genuine.”
So, who are MTV The Valleys biggest contenders?
Inspired by MTV America’s worldwide success of Jersey Shore, with a pun on the name, Newcastle’s Geordie Shore has gone from strength to strength after filming two series in the Tyne and a special in Marbella. Their third series has been under production in Cancun, America and will be gracing the screens of MTV UK In late June.
Throughout series one and two the ‘Tashin on’ and off antics of Gary ‘the parsnip’ and Charlotte captured the nations hearts in what Vicky called “a modern day Romeo and Juliet” romance, “apart from this time Romeo’s a p****”. In the second series Sophie was seen having a hard time with her self-thought ‘playboy’ boyfriend Joel, whilst James’s love life was more successful – as he finally got some action!
The latest news from the Geordie Shore cast is that Vicky and Ricky have got engaged in Cancun after Vicky cheated on her then boyfriend Dan with the newcomer in the last series. Will any couples on The Valleys follow in their ‘lovebird’ footsteps?
With many of the cast looking ‘reem’ in their stereotypical Essex fake tans, hair extensions, white stilettos, fake eyelashes and vajazzles, there is always a rumour, drama or bitch fest making the cast go ‘Oh. SHUUUTuuuup!’
The show has enabled many of the cast to go from rags to riches with their outfits looking more Gucci than Primark and their hair
and make-up more flawless each season. Many of the girls have opened their own salons and fashion boutiques with Lucy Mecklenburg’s clothing range ‘Lucy Loves’ and Lauren Pope’s fashion collection available on little-mistress.co.uk.
With a BAFTA award under their belts, The Only Way Is Essex cast are now gracing our screens twice a week and previous cast members have gone on from the show to star in their own programmes – After leaving the show to appear in Celebrity Big Brother Amy Childs landed her very own reality TV show on Channel 5 and is now featured as a character in Channel 4’s new impressionist show ‘Very Important People’.
The by far biggest star to emerge from TOWIE so far is Mark Wright – the ladies favourite – who has left the show and Lauren Goodyear to go on to bigger and better things from a presenting job on ITV2 now to the bright lights of the Hollywood Hills; Kirk Norcross is also hoping for the same success after leaving the reality TV show to go on Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother, but is yet to have been seen on TV screens since.
Made In Chelsea
Following the desirable and most likely unattainable lifestyle for the majority of British viewers, Made In Chelsea cast members ooze class, sophistication and probably even smell of money! Made In Chelsea was Channel Four’s most tweeted about programme last year and following TOWIE’s lead has been nominated for an award at this year’s BAFTAs.
On the airing of the first ever episode cast member Caggie Dunlop quoted: “In Chelsea the truth is more fabulous than fiction,” and that couldn’t be any truer!
Like a fly on the wall viewers get an intriguing glimpse at the envious party antics of blue-blood granddaughters, grandsons and heirs to the likes of McVities and Quality Street empires, either in London’s sought after Chelsea or the sunnier skies of St. Tropez and Dubai.
Although, word on the reality television grapevine is that show creator and cast member Hugo Taylor has decommissioned further series of the show to follow in TOWIE’s Mark Wright’s footsteps with his buddy Spencer Matthews, by moving to Los Angeles (LA) for higher hopes of becoming, no doubt, a star on the walk of fame!
But…..other reality shows have been less than successful.
In the cut throat world of reality television, Desperate Scousewives failed to ‘connect with’ audiences in the same way TOWIE, Geordie Shore and Made In Chelsea have. Cancelled after its first season the biggest trend to catch on from the series was the ‘Scouse Brow’ – which possibly could indicate why the show failed to become a success.
With many producers jumping on the reality television phenomenon band wagon are cast members and scripts becoming too ‘fake’ to connect with the British viewer?
We are hoping that MTV The Valleys will bring something fresh to the reality television format and put some welsh zing onto our screens this summer!!
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On 18 April the ‘No to MTV The Valleys’ Facebook page updated their status to say that 42 signatures had been obtained and that they were hoping for 50 signatures by the end of that day.
The Facebook community, which started on 17 April, only has a mere 13 likes so far and has been asking people to share the petition as they ‘don’t want a Welsh Towie!’
One Facebook user commented on the community’s wall to say: ‘this group is a waste of time, you will not stop this show because it has had such a positive response already’.
Miles ahead, MTV The Valleys official Facebook page has 3,579 likes and is yet to share any posts – bar one picture of the Welsh countryside emblazoned with ‘The Valleys’ and MTV’s logo.
The ‘No to MTV The Valleys’ petition also has a Twitter account @No_toValleysMTV which to date has 44 followers; whilst MTV The Valleys official twitter account @MTVTheValleys has 3,681.
Undoubtedly, The Valleys will do for the Welsh economy the same as Geordie Shore has done for Newcastle and The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) for Essex and surrounding areas.
On 30 January this year The Sun reported that TOWIE had boosted the economy more than Kate Middleton, who herself raised a £1bn sales boost in 2011.
The Sun reported that TOWIE fans had boosted the UK economy by £1.4bn through the rising purchases of ‘false nails and lashes, fake tans, vajazzles, white stilettos, and watches’. According to reports TOWIE increased the sales of fake eyelashes by 249 percent, Nailene false nails by 567 percent and a 400 percent rise in the essential TOWIE ‘vajazzle’ – made famous by the show.
The petition – ‘No to MTV The Valleys’ – was published on the Go Petition.com website on 14 April and tells readers to sign the petition because of the following:
• The Valleys will be ‘misunderstood’ and ‘misrepresented’ by the show;
• On screen coverage will show South Wales’s most ‘run down areas’ giving outsiders a ‘negative’ and ‘skewed vision’;
• The show will not have ‘successful, highly educated, hard working and eloquent people’, it will include
‘misguided’ and ‘vulnerable’ people to ‘make money and increase ratings’;
• The young welsh community will be inspired by hair extensions rather than academia; and
• ‘The welsh stereotype will be propagated.’
“Stripped down, MTV The Valleys is about business people manipulating and exploiting human beings – and a nation – in order to make money – how can this be allowed to take place?” the petition background adds.
Popular reality TV shows like Geordie Shore, TOWIE and Made in Chelsea are based on a ‘reality’ format and therefore (although some scenes are added for entertainment purposes) follow the ‘real lives’ of ordinary people; This is what the young generation do these days: drinking, alcohol, cigarettes, wild parties, one night stands and non monogamous relationships.
Although some may choose to ignore it, these programmes depict a majority of modern day youths and society; don’t all areas of the country have their own negative stereotypes anyway? A long time before non-scripted reality TV shows began?
You would be hard pushed to not be faced with the temptation of reality television when picking up the TV remote. The reality TV show format represents the 21st Century and is almost guaranteed to be on your TV planner seven days of the week, 365 days of the year.
So, we chose to say YES to MTV The Valleys……how about you?
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