In which not nearly enough cosplaying gets done, and I’m put off drinking tea for months by another weekly attack on geek culture.
Well, there goes my whole belief system, folks. In case I haven’t been sarcastic enough about this whole thing yet, I found out something tonight after watching episode three of E4’s Geeks TV show which shattered my illusions about reality TV.
You know that bit, right, where the boys wanted to go to the mandolin museum, right, and the girls didn’t want to? Well apparently, according to my very good source who was, well, there at the time, right, some of the girls DID actually want to go to the mandolin museum, but they weren’t allowed!
I know, right? All for the sake of arriving at their own predetermined agenda that the boys were being awkward antisocial bastards. Which they weren’t. Mostly.
Okay, we’ll start at the beginning, when one of the girls’ Cosplay group of holidaymakers is dressed in some rather excellent – albeit horrific in a good way – zombie makeup. Rather than just have the group show up at their apartment, something which they’ve done in both of the other episodes, this time a bus comes to pick them up. A bus full of Malia-bound revellers. A bus full of people who quite rightly are a bit taken aback at the girl’s costume. This being the same girl, Kim, who early on admits that she feels very confident whenever she cosplays, so let’s knock that on the head asap, shall we, thanks to the clearly over-edited montage of shocked bus passengers as she takes a seat.
Actually, I’m annoyed at the severe lack of cosplay on this episode. Aside from their entrance I don’t think they actually dress up again for the entire duration of the show. Then again, with such witty observations streaming from the gob of one Matt Edmondson I’m sort of glad we were spared.
(“Just to check, cosplay is like fancy dress, right?” Jesus.)
And the boys, a group of brass banders (which again, the extent of which we don’t see and hear nearly enough) – well, they all seem like perfectly nice chaps. Again, mostly, but I’m actually more shocked at Nick’s condescending behaviour than I am angry about it – mainly because it reminded me so much of…well, me. Apart from that comment about being at university and therefore a grown-up, that is; I graduated uni six years ago and I own action figures. Wrestling action figures. My best mate on Twitter Alex, on the other hand, seems like a stand-up kinda guy, especially when he’s the one to tell Nick – all too late – that he’s acting a bit foolish.
But again, out of context? There’s a scene in the episode where Nick gets visibly angry about the way the other guys take their tea. Like, stupidly angry. And it goes on for far, far too long. For all we know this is a long-running argument which is more like an in-joke between the four of them now. But put in isolation it just looks like he’s blowing his top over absolutely fucking nothing, which just makes him out to be a rather ugly person. The part where he gets overly sarcastic with a random girl who just wanted to see what all this documentary-making fuss was all about (“Look who needs attention now! Off you sod!” – you’re the one who agreed to go on TV, mate) did actually make me quite angry though. But again, all in a context which reality TV by its very nature strips away, this could all be quite reasonable behaviour.
I wish the producers of the show hadn’t tried to make this episode all about Nick’s refusal to go with the flow, because not only does it try to take away from the whole sense of fun which is being naturally had elsewhere for what feels like the first time all series, but it also makes him out to be a massive wanker. (If I haven’t said this enough by now, I’m not saying he is a massive wanker. I’m saying that this is the effect which they chose to try and make on me.) Nick’s belittling of the girls’ cosplay hobby is hinting at something deeper, though, as if all geeks should secretly be ashamed to be geeks. Add this to the constant negging from the voiceover and it doesn’t exactly do geek culture any favours does it, to be mocked for your passions both from the outside and in.
I love the cosplayers’ enthusiasm and determination to have a good time, though: the girls are all smiles as they splash about at the pool party, and even this episode in Malia where it looks particularly non-welcoming to geeks, their positive displays of geekdom were a joy to behold – even when Lucy gets homesick at the start of the holiday she still manages to tough it out!
It’s a shame that the two groups didn’t interact a little more, and that the focus was on who was and wasn’t joining in, rather than concentrating on them just having a good old time even within each group.
Ah well. Not as much hate for the voiceover guy this time, it seems. That’s where you’re wrong – I’m just trying not to repeat myself with how little value it adds, and how distracting it tries to be from the overall message: Geeks Good. Not the show, I mean geeks in general.