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TV review: The Only Way Is Essex
The Only Way Is Essex is back - but is it still worth watching.
Crack out the fake tan and fizzy wine - The Only Way Is Essex Is back. But with six series' hitting our screens in just two years, are we finally vajazzled-out?
She may be the least glamorous (and orange) of the cast members, but Nanny Pat is just about the only genuine thing left on TOWIE. I can't help but love her!
Gemma and Arg's 'relationship' is more awkward to watch than seeing a dorky middle-aged man bust out his best moves on an empty dance floor to ABBA. Cringe.
The Only Way Is Essex is very much like Mr Darcy the micropig. Fans of TOWIE will remember Mr Darcy as the pet that James 'Arg' Argent bought for his then-girlfriend Lydia Bright. At first the pig was a cute novelty, but he soon grew too large, quite unsightly and rather boring - just like ITV2's structured reality show.
It's not that I don't like TOWIE - I was a huge fan of the show when it first exploded onto our screens like a vajazzled-glitter-grenade back in 2010, but since then, no less than five series have been churned out.
"Even the numerous layers of slap can't hide how uncomfortable Joey and Sam look with each other"
The shows are processed quicker than it takes to get an express spray tan and, in the whirlwind of diva-dramas, raunchy-romances and feisty-fights, it's hard to keep up with it all. Will series six bring the show back down to its uncomplicated core?
After a summer of partying in Marbella (and making horrendous dance music tracks - yes I'm talking to you Jessica Wright), the TOWIE crew are now back in the glamorous Essex town of Brentwood. Last time we caught up with the gang, Mario Falcone proposed to Lucy Mecklenburgh on a ridiculously expensive yacht and Arg and Gemma Collins admitted their undying love for each other. Sam Faiers also buttered Lucy up the wrong way, by saying that her engagement to Mario was a mistake.
Well, hell hath no fury than a TOWIE star scorned and the episode opens with a seething Lucy bitching about Sam to Lydia.
We then see Gemma revealing to the Faier sisters that she thinks Arg is perfect for her as 'they both like
"It may not be as enjoyable as it was when it first hit our screens, but TOWIE is still addictive"
Twister ice lollies'. Well, if they like the same frozen goods, it must be serious.
Sam then massages Gemma's ego by saying that she reckons Gemma and Arg are the new 'Posh and Becks' - they have no shortage of beauty salons in Brentwood, but maybe they should invest in some more opticians.
The double-date between Gemma, Arg, Sam and Joey is quite painful to watch - I'm just not convinced that Arg and Gemma are the real deal. Even the numerous layers of slap can't hide how uncomfortable Joey and Sam look with each other, but (along with Nanny Pat) Joey is probably the only remaining cast member who seems genuine in front of the cameras. Let's hope ITV2 don't snap him up for his own reality show just yet.
Luckily, the first episode is saved by the epic argument between Lucy and Sam. In a row that wouldn't be out of place in Albert Square, Lucy confronts Sam about 'tarnishing her engagement' at her party. A slanging match then
"It's hard to forget the show's glory days with Amy Childs and Mark Wright"
ensues with Lucy storming off in tears and Mario vowing to expose Sam for cheating on Joey by finding some pictures. Ooh, TOWIE suddenly got exciting again!
It may not be as enjoyable or as fresh as it was when it first hit our screens, but TOWIE is still strangely addictive and once the real drama starts, it's hard to switch over. Some of the original cast members are still entertaining to watch, but the problem is that many of the new recruits are rather dull.
It's hard to forget the show's glory days with Amy Childs and Mark Wright and the question is - are the current cast interesting enough to keep people watching? If not, the show's in danger of being forgotten like poor Mr Darcy the micropig who we haven't seen in a while. Come to think of it, where does Nanny Pat get the sausages for her sausage plaits?
Verdict: Still addictive, still annoying.
Is The Only Way Is Essex still worth watching?
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- Yes - it's still really entertaining.
- Maybe - only if there's nothing else on.
- No - it should have ended ages ago.
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