TOWIE: Love it, or hate it?

As soon as I heard about The Only Way Is Essex coming to ITV2, it was a definite no for me. “Why would I want to watch that, I just know the people on it will annoy me?” I said to my friends. They assured me it was good but I was sceptical. Four series in and the hype still hasn’t died down, so I thought I’d give it a try.

So far I’ve watched eight episodes, and I still can’t figure out whether I like it or not. It’s full of people who have awful plastic surgery, have far more money than sense, and who wouldn’t even know what a dictionary looked like if it hit them in the face. Basically, it’s full of people not like me.

The thing is, I shouldn’t care if Lauren’s breast implants are dodgy, or if Arg and Lydia have broken up for good, but I do! It’s so unlike me – these sorts of things could not bother me less. However, for some reason I just can’t seem to tear myself away. Maybe it’s because they are so unlike me, I feel like I am spying into a life totally different to my own. Like, I wish I could throw fantastic parties, or have amazing clothes, or have a boyfriend that buys me a £1000 pair of shoes. I’d love it! Unfortunately that isn’t my life.

But what gets me is the fact that it’s not actually reality TV. Well it is, but it isn’t. They call it ‘structured reality’, and I’m not sure what to believe. Did Lucy actually find those messages her boyfriend Mario was sending to other girls, or was it all set up? Was she genuinely upset, or was it all just a scam? I can’t seem to work out how much of it is real, and how much is fake. Am I being conned into believing a load of crap?

I’m almost disappointed in myself for liking it so much. I don’t learn anything from it, I can’t relate to the people in it, and it’s not even that entertaining. But for some reason, I just can’t resist getting my fake tan on and sitting in my dressing gown twice a week to watch it.

What are your views? Love it, or hate it?

‘Luck’ – Series Premiere Review

Luck brings television to a world that isn’t normally seen – the world of horseracing. With this unique idea combined with a cast that you would normally find in a blockbuster film, you would expect Luck to be worth watching.

The series starts with the main character, Chester ‘Ace’ Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), being released from prison. He is picked up by his driver and confidante, Gus (Dennis Farina). We discover that Gus has become the owner of a racehorse, in order to help Ace rain vengeance upon those who set him up for his three-year sentence. However, that’s all we know.

Immediately, you are dropped into the world of racing; a world involving trainers, owners, jockeys, gamblers and stable workers – the likes of which are rarely seen by the general public. You just have to sit there and absorb the information, there is little explanation. This is a risky approach by writer David Milch – even a horse racing fan like myself can get lost the racetrack jargon, and it is easy to see how viewers may lose interest.

Despite this, Luck manages to keep you interested. The drama explores the glamorous world of horse racing, but also what goes on behind the scenes: the addiction, the greed but also the love of the sport and the horses involved. All of this adds to the main concept of the show – revenge. The scenes are shot beautifully by filmmaker Michael Mann, it’s fantastic to watch.

Luck brings us into the scenes behind a sport which is not as popular as others, and some of the language is complex to say the least. It may require a great deal of patience, but the beauty of the scenes and the darker concepts behind the drama definitely have me hooked.