Strippers, Channel 4 - TV review: 'More like a reality TV show than a serious documentary'
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.
Tuesday 25 February 2014
None of the women featured in Channel 4’s new three-part documentary series Strippers is on the property ladder yet.
That might be less to do with rising property prices than the fact that – whatever “house mother” Shelley had to say – taking your clothes off isn’t all that lucrative, especially when the personal costs are taken into account.
In addition to Shelley, we heard from three of the dancers at her workplace Diamond Dolls in Glasgow. Former gymnastics champion Kim yearned for a nine-to-five job, 20-year-old Danielle was hiding the true nature of her employment from her parents, while Laefena from Estonia was a fully trained nurse who hoped stripping would pay off her debts. This focus on just three women’s lives meant Strippers sometimes felt more like a reality TV show than a serious documentary.
The most revealing comments came not from a dancer, but from a punter. Following his cancer diagnosis, divorced father Colin had begun attending Diamond Dolls up to six nights a week, and believed he’d formed genuine relationships with the dancers. “A lot of the girls worry about me,” he said. “They want to see that I’m happy.” These words made a pitiable juxtaposition with the coldly indifferent attitudes expressed by the girls themselves.
Who’s exploiting who? The number of strip clubs in Britain has doubled in a decade, so it’s a question worth asking, but asking it only of the people with the most motivation to self-delude isn’t particularly illuminating. Strippers might be better off talking to the owner of one of these lucrative business operations.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Fifty Shades of Grey banned by Indian censors despite sex scenes being edited out
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Seth Rogan's pot fumes delay hacked Sony boss’s office move
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin