Geordie Shore, TV review: Eight series in and X-rated show-offs are still somehow talk of the Toon
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 23 July 2014
"This programme contains strong language, sexual scenes and references from the start and throughout." So goes the on-screen warning at the start of every Geordie Shore episode, but it bears repeating: this programme contains strong language, sexual scenes and references from the start and throughout.
Also relentless thumping house music, binge-drinking escapades that will give you vicarious liver ache, and a communal water bed designated "the shag pad". Even in a genre defined by exhibitionism, this Newcastle-set reality show has a well-earned reputation for exceptional filthiness.
This goes some way to explaining why Geordie Shore has made it to an eighth series, which started on MTV last night. It's outlasted both the original Jersey Shore and another UK spin-off, The Valleys, but the show's lineage stretches back even further. Geordie Shore is a direct descendant of The Real World, the 1992 MTV show credited (blamed) with launching the scripted reality TV genre, in which footage of young people out on the "toon" getting "mortalled" is combined with morning-after interviews featuring heavily scripted dialogue.
This is why no one was particularly surprised when an ex-cast member of the show turned up in the background of that Magaluf sex video. That's exactly the kind of behaviour we expect on the show. But has it all changed? As this series started last, the formerly purple-haired Holly was almost unrecognisable, with a new brunette do. "I'm sassy now," she told her housemates solemnly. "That's slutty and classy." Meanwhile, the chat-up line "I dare you to snog us" had instigated an unlikely romance between Gaz and Marnie, with Gaz revealing an emotional side that even he seemed surprised at. "If they shag again tonight, that's basically love," was Holly's assessment. Good to know romance isn't dead, then.
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