The Model Agency Review: Too Much Reality, Not Enough TV

THE MODEL AGENCY: Wednesday 23rd February, C4, 10pm

Premier Model Management in London is one of the world’s top modelling agencies. They supply chiselled girls and boys for the shows by the biggest names in world fashion, and now they have a reality TV show based on what happens in their Parker Street office.

In the opening scenes we are introduced to the major players at Premier; company founder Carole, managing director Chris, whiny-voiced senior booker Paul, Anthony the American director of scouting and Annie, the very emotional head of the ‘New Faces’ section. Unfortunately, despite being undoubtedly good at their respective jobs, this bunch are about as fun as a punch in the face, which aptly, is just one of the many things I’d rather have experienced than this television programme. If nothing else I was expecting a nice healthy slice of drama or back-biting to get my teeth into, but instead I was just treated to a barrage of unspectacular moaning..

Most of this episode focuses on a 16-year-old model called India who is having second thoughts about whether she wants to be a model after someone in New York calls her fat. Cue an awful lot of crying from Annie, who, incidentally, spends most of the episode in tears and telling us how much she cares about India and how she feels responsible for her. Fair enough, but after an emotional conversation with Jamie, an emotional conversation with Anthony, an emotional monologue to the camera and a very emotional phone conversation with India herself, you start to wonder if we’re going to see anything other than crying and complaining.

Also, what’s with all the talking on the phone? It makes sense that people in this kind of business spend a lot of time on the blower, but as a viewer, there’s only so much time you can spend watching one half of a conversation before it gets a little old. Eventually, Annie gets on a plane and goes to see India in New York, but after another phone call, it turns out that India is going home with her parents. Brilliant, so the moment that the whole episode has been building to is a failure..

However, one interesting subplot to the episode is the constant string of hopefuls who come into the agency to see if they have what it takes to be a model. The best being Sam, a chap who walks in and saunters up to the desk proclaiming, “Some of my friends have told me I have some model qualities or whatever,â€? before walking into a table whilst attempting to operate a chair. We never find out what happens to Sam, but presumably, as he has the confidence to present himself to a model agency, he’ll be fine.
If you’re at all interested in modelling, you may well find this very interesting, but if you’re not, then it’s a bit dull and the falseness that hangs in the air is extremely off-putting.