Just before my favourite reality TV show Geeks on E4 got buried in the 11.00 time-slot, I was unfortunate enough to watch episode four as it went out rather than just recording it for future fist-shaking and general sadness.
In this episode three magicians from Yorkshire met a group of girls who dubbed themselves the SuperWhoLocks – a combination of their three favourite programmes (and again, while a fair enough thing to bond over, not really much to identify yourself by for the purposes of geek profiling which this programme enjoys so much) for another sun-soaked adventure and being stared at by the locals.
Sadly, the passing of time and my own attempts to repress all mention of the programme – plus a fairly hectic and hugely enjoyed festive period, thanks for asking – has greatly reduced my ability to review this episode. I made my usual notes on it but sadly these make little sense in the cold light of…well, 4am as I type to be fair.
However, having spoken to one of the cast over Twitter at length, I’ve been able to piece together something of a controversy!
While the group were all clearly having fun (as the programme wants you to believe), with two of the three magicians working their magic and wowing the crowds – making new friends on holiday is part of the fun – not so much for mind-reader Chris, who abruptly left the programme about halfway through.
It seems that the razzle-dazzle of reality TV proved not enough for Chris to fully enjoy himself, despite his clearly having fun on the boat party it proved something of a last hurrah as he departed quickly after. Those clever TV producers weren’t fully able to erase the impression that he actually was having fun though, so he quietly sailed off into the night soon after – and let’s just say, that decision to leave wasn’t entirely on him.
This conversation really did bring home the idea that reality TV isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – especially if the producers have an ideology and an agenda that must be seen through no matter what its participants may actually believe. Which makes it all the more shocking, jarring even, that good times were actually being had aboard that boat by someone who we wanted to be told was actually just antisocial and a loser, itching to be back home with his giant flash cards.
The rest of this post will contain some of my notes plus some explanation if I remember the reference. I don’t expect they’ll make sense, but there you go. Apologies. I’ll make it up with a better examination of the remaining episodes in the near future; only two to go and then I think we can safely say that it’s game over for Geeks on E4.
I can’t believe I’m wasting another hour of my life here.
Yorkshire magicians. Ace. (A cool hobby based in the best of all counties. I’m sold.)
Tom – broke up with a girl over magic. Dedicated.
“Look at that concentration!” – yeah, he’s a magician mate.
“Magic can be exhausting!” – yeah, it takes concentration mate.
The narrator’s really reaching for the sarcasm with these boys. (What’s so wrong about a pursuit which is, though something of a fringe activity, an activity which nonetheless attracts hundreds of thousands of paying customers, TV and Youtube viewers year on year? He’s having to try really hard to make these guys out as anything other than cool people.)
“Conversational Dalek?” Daleks speak English, you prick.
Especially socially awkward girls, not like previous weeks. (To begin with, although Chris explained a lot of this to me was down to part of the artificial storyline they had to cook up for his departure.)
Definitely a set-up now. “Do you girls have any mutual interests?” (Seriously, if you try that line on a group of people in future you will definitely get the same weird looks these lads did.)
The narrator is now resorting to jokes he knows for a fact are shit because there is NOTHING else to go on.
“Is Chris going home?” He’s well within his rights to be shocked! He just wanted a trip with the boys!
He made Aida a lovely birthday card (using what little he had to go on, it’s the thought that counts!)
And again, ripping on them for not going raving! They’re having drinks together, getting to know each other better! It would be rude not to!
“Fifteen years and no social life”. This man is my hero.
Tom is very, very good at magic.
Chris shares the same anxieties as many people “I don’t see the point if it doesn’t make you happy.” Like me watching this. (I think that I was just trying to say here that Chris is not the only person in the whole world who worries about silly things, and gets anxious. And yet, he’s being made out as a proper leper. It’s well fucking harsh.)
Shaun’s about to do magic. “We’re all rooting for you!” says the narrator. Well, it only took three and a half episodes but finally we get a compliment. Maybe it’s because there’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can knock these lads for.
“Debbie McGee to his Paul Daniels.” – You’re not even fucking trying any more. I’ve heard you do better than that.
“Tom has a girl under his spell.” Fuck you. “He spoke to a girl!” Sod off.
I think this must have been one of the less controversial ones. If Chris hadn’t left, there would have been absolutely nothing to go after all these lovely people for. It would’ve been a waste of the cost of a holiday. Oh well. I’m done. Four down, two to go and then I promise we will never speak of this again.