Who would have thought that with the amount of scripted reality programmes gracing our screens these days there would be any room, or any desire, for more? Oh, MTV think so.
Who would have thought that with the amount of scripted reality programmes gracing our screens these days there would be any room, or any desire, for more? Oh, MTV think so. Over the past few weeks MTV have been filming in Cardiff for their next Geordie Shore-esque venture ‘The Valleys’ – not quite ‘The Hills’ is it?
The official website claims that the new show will ‘pluck’ the cast from their tranquil life in areas such as Tonypandy in South Wales to be given the opportunity to balance a new job and life in Cardiff. Bit patronising no? I’m pretty sure that most 18-30 year-olds who live in the Valleys would have been to Cardiff before, it’s not exactly a long and difficult train journey, but MTV is acting like being in the city will be a complete culture shock to the cast.
I can only imagine the exaggerated portrayal and generic stereotypes that will follow (probably of Cardiffians as well as those from the Valleys), and it seems I’m not the only one who is concerned. Brothers James and Alex Bevan of Rhondda have set up a campaign and blog titled ‘The Valleys are Here’ in the hopes of promoting a more positive view of the Welsh valleys.
With TOWIE, Geordie Shore and Desperate Scousewives to name but a few already under fire for the reinforcement of negative stereotypes, we can only hope that MTV take note. However from what we’ve heard so far, ‘The Valleys’ is surely just another regurgitated reality show hoping to rake in the viewing numbers with its generic format. No doubt I’ll be one of them though, mainly to see how South Wales is portrayed to the rest of the nation.
With so many television channels and production companies jumping on the scripted reality bandwagon I can’t help but wonder whether we’ve finally reached the point of saturation and will see an increasing boredom and lack of interest in the popular genre, or if the format will just be repeated until there is literally no part of the UK that hasn’t been stereotyped, criticised and in turn humiliated. I guess only time will tell, but until a newer, fresher and more exciting idea for TV comes along it looks very likely that The Only Way is ‘Scripted Reality’ (pun intended).