Desperate Scousewives ..A Scripted Reality Show Too Far?


Is there a TOWIE-shaped hole in your life? Did you give Millie a run for her money in the crying stakes at the end of Made in Chelsea? Well dry your eyes mate, a new regional reality show in the form of Desperate Scousewives has bounced onto our screens; bold, brassy and aiming to fill the gap left by its predecessors. The question is… will it succeed? More to the point is there another gap in the market for telly at its trashiest?

I’m sure you know the drill by now, it’s no surprise that Desperate Scousewives is basically more of the same. Like The Only Way is Essex on steroids; the girls are blonder and the morals appear to sink even lower. One of the first scenes involves a guy trying his best to chuck out his previous nights ‘company’. “I’m not being funny love, but I’ve got things to do…â€? he utters. What like slapping on St. Tropez and plucking your eyebrows? Hmm, he’s a charmer this one. Evidently the show is a carbon copy of the standard formula, one which takes a group of good-looking young men and women and films the trials and tribulations of their glamorous (or so we’re led to believe) lives. Of course a lot of the scenes are ‘set up for our entertainment’.

But are we really entertained? I suppose there does seem to be a genuine fascination with the diverse regions up and down our fair land, as this increasingly popular telly genre proves. Most people do tend to hold a sense of identity and loyalty based on where they come from, right? You’d like to think so, yet instead of these reality shows representing the stuff which may produce pride, they portray the worst parts of our country, the things we cringe at.

In the opening narration, Liverpool is described as “the pool of life, the centre of the universeâ€? and fair enough, I’m sure most people who hail from there would agree. The Beatles! Brookside! Err… Cilla?! It is interesting to note however that as the show aired, Liverpudlians took to Twitter in their droves bemoaning the poor acting and even poorer impression made by those featured. One person said: “Hate desperate scousewives already!â€? adding on the inevitable… #teamtowie. “This show made me cringe so much. How many real scousers were in it, 4? Will not be watching again and I don’t think real people from Liverpool will give it the time of day. Awful!!” said another, on the E4 website of all places! While one viewer congratulated E4 on “reaching a new low”. Not all verdicts were so critical though. It seems there are some people who were sucked in by the Scouse charm. “It is what it is. Trash. And I love it!â€? shouted one unashamed viewer.

It doesn’t matter how loyal you are to your hometown though, apparently a girl walking around in curlers during broad daylight is enough to send anyone over the edge. One particularly irate tweet exclaimed “no real Liverpool lass would be caught DEAD looking like thatâ€?. Alright, calm down, calm down.

Perhaps it all boils down to originality. Desperate Scousewives is clearly an attempt to repeat the success of Essex, and so the format and style has become a bit boring and predictable. I wouldn’t mind so much if it repeated the humour or even the genuine likability of some of the people (Joey Essex might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but he seems like an alright bloke…).

If there’s one thing Scousewives is, it is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Will people watch it? We’ll have to wait and see, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the very people moaning on Twitter are doing the exact same thing next week, and the week after… and the week after that.