Now don’t get me wrong, readers. I quite like Alexa Chung. She’s from the Miquita Oliver stable of young female presenters who are at once quick-witted, affable and presentable. Offscreen they’re probably monsters (and I have it on good authority that Oliver acted like a twat in a West End Wagamama once, flouncing about shouting into her mobile), but they have onscreen charm and I liked ’em when they first appeared.
Harder to like them now. In Oliver’s case, she’s apparently been demoted to the lowly position of being Steve Jones’ stooge. His barrage of unfunny, clunky spiel makes T4 unwatchable, compounded by the fact that the Sunday morning hangoverathon features nothing but Hollyoaks repeats, Friends repeats and crap like Smallville. It also features ‘Vanity Lair‘ – a Big Brother style reality gameshow extravaganza. Alexa Chung presents this show, coming in at supposedly crucial points to set tasks for the ‘housemates’, lowering any kudos she may have attained beforehand, be it from her likable charm or the fact she hangs out with vaguely cool pop stars.
This gameshow / reality nightmare has rules which, after watching both the opening episode and the final episode, I still find pretty much impossible to fathom. Chung sets them tasks and, from what I can gather, their attractiveness is ascertained based on their performance in these little mind-games.
But it’s stupid. Completely and utterly stupid. As with Big Brother, all of those involved are failed or wannabe models who’ve all walked straight out of Gap via Toni & Guys with their stupid just-gone-out-of-date haircuts and togs, as thick as pigshittle and dripping in irrelevant bullshit. Not one of them is in the slightest way attractive. Even any surface, God-given beauty is masked by smug grins, vacant, gorm-free eyes and enough foundation to drown a foal. They are a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with one section of our uneducatable, celebrity-worshipping youth. Sadly, that demographic who always seem to make it onto the TV.
Why do we never see smart teenagers and early 20-somethings on the TV? I’m sure they exist. Instead, Channel 4 lines up the thickest bunch of deadbeats and shoves them through the E4 mangle so we’re presented with a seemingly endless parade of fuckwitted juvenile twats, day-upon-day… and it’s not on.
Even worse, Chung refers to the contestants as ‘beautiful people’. It’s clearly scripted, but does she not lose sleep over going on TV and referring to clearly clueless grotesques such as these as ‘beautiful people’? I know I would. You look for an ironic twinkle in her eye – some sort of indication that her heart’s not in it or she’s playing it for laughs. But there’s nothing there. Not a jot of self-awareness. She’s turning up, doing it and getting paid.
Even worse, the ‘beautiful’ people’s attractiveness is worked out based on what their fellow contestants think of them. So you have unattractive people judging other unattractive people on how attractive they are. No wonder this shit-heap went under everyone’s radar. For something to be bad, it has to at least have a concept behind it. When something’s as meaningless as Vanity Lair, as chaotic and pointless, viewers can’t even form judgement on it. They just wait for it to fucking end before they can get on with their lives.
To top it all, the ugliest, most sneeringly awful Johnny Borrell-alike bell end won it.
Don’t expect a second season.