The Only Way is Essex is so ridiculous that it is good; from the exaggerated story lines to the awkward pauses when a character is trying to remember what it was they were talking about. Although the programme is easy to watch and the lack of consonants is easy to laugh at, it does have a relatable side to it.
As I grew up in the area where TOWIE – as the fans call it – is filmed I can honestly say that it is not representative of the general population. I can name very few people that have the courage to negotiate their way through the streets in high heels, mahogany skin, and extremely tight trousers.
However, after this false glamour, there is still a relatable element that you cannot ignore. We all know that guy who thinks he is God’s gift to women, that girl who is stuck in a dead-end relationship but does not realise it, or that friend who gets very emotional about their ex-boyfriend after a few glasses of wine. Granted, the story lines are embellished and stretched out, but there is still that ounce of reality in it that we can all recognise.
Other ‘reality’ programmes give their characters the chance to share their thoughts in retrospect but the cast of TOWIE forego this, causing numerous confrontations and producing a show similar to a car crash; you cannot stop watching it.
Yet, above all, I love TOWIE because it is relatively clean; the characters don’t talk about drugs and sex. Nor do they swear in every sentence, and they rarely fight, whereas other reality programmes seem to show half the cast drunk every episode. They might not know where South London is, but some of them seem to be genuinely good natured and that’s refreshing to see after the horrors reality shows have produced over the last few years.
On the other hand, my love for the show might just be because I like bragging about my membership card to the cast’s regular haunt.