Eight seasons in, why I'm finally done with MTV's 'Geordie Shore'
The Geordies on the Shore have been getting 'mortal', tashing on and shagging like Tazmanian Devils for over three years now, and until this series (the eighth) I was a closet GS addict.
My weekly trip to the MTV zoo was escapism of the most basic variety. I had it pegged as trash TV, brainless, easy watching, just a laugh. Here was a collection of people whose mentality, motivations, and morals were so completely removed from my own that I was utterly fascinated and endlessly entertained. And Scotty T's one-liners (scripted or not) are relentlessly hilarious. Who doesn't enjoy a cheap thrill every once in a while?
But watching last night's third episode of this eight season (wide-eyed and slack-jawed as usual) I decided to listen to my misgivings and vowed to never watch it again.
The misgivings started niggling early on, but I silenced them in the name of entertainment. Shame on me. But their low-level muttering in the back of my mind graduated to an insistent, pleading squeal last season when Charlotte got so 'mortaled', apparently, that she relieved herself in a cereal bowl in the kitchen and placed it in the sink amongst the dirty dishes, unbeknown to the other house-dwellers. Apart from the obvious sanitary issues, this required considerably more coordination than using an actual toilet, which made me wonder whether Charlotte was really that inebriated after all, which makes the whole sorry incident even worse.
The lack of basic human decency aside, however, the real problem with Geordie Shore is much more insidious. At 35 years old, I'm unlikely to be influenced by the sextet's bad behaviour (drinking to the point of collapse, sex with each other, and strangers, on camera, relentless swearing etc), but what about younger, or more impressionable, people?
What is most worrying is how the young men and women on the show relate to each other. At the risk of sounding like a prudish finger-wagger (I am not prudish, although I do enjoy the occasional finger-wag), it's appalling. After several months of intense shagging, Charlotte made the fatal mistake of uttering the 'f' word. She admitted to Gaz that she had feelings for him. Feelings? Imagine. Poor Gaz had to prove his definitive singledom by bedding the first female who crossed his path thereafter, and several more after that, and then tempting Charlotte back with his offending parsnip at convenient intervals (ie when nobody else would have him).
Gaz had always stipulated that it 'wasn't a relationship', and the terms work both ways (flighty Marnie 'did a Gaz' on a besotted Scotty T). But the terms seem unfair. Not to mention confusing. Emotional attachment is to be avoided at all costs it seems. And that's sad, and damaging, for the guys as well as the girls - those on screen, and those watching. Yes, they are a cast of characters but those girls deserve Oscars if their tears of rejection and humiliation were not at least partly genuine.
I haven't entirely lost my sense of humour. Scotty T can still crack me up with a throwaway gem. But as this group of overgrown kids binge drink their way from one rabbit-like sexual encounter to another, on an endless conveyor belt of public humiliation, earning cash and celebrity, and learning nothing, I'm starting to feel complicit in the disintegration of society. At least I've bowed out before they all kill Piggy.