This week we were treated to E4′s latest slice of reality pie, in the form of Dirty Sexy Things. A show which follows the fabulous lives of eight suitably gorgeous models living and working in London town. So far, so brilliantly generic.
However upon settling down to watch this latest feast of eye-candy, it became immediately apparent that things aren’t quite what they seem:
Cryptically described by E4 as a ‘concept-doc’, the appearance of that increasingly ubiquitous pre-titles disclaimer suggests that Dirty Sexy Things is poised to dip it’s immaculately manicured toe into the murky waters of scripted reality.
Now I’m happy to play along with the likes of The Only Way is Essex, comfortable in the knowledge that it’s all completely staged rubbish and just a bit of cartoonish fun. But somehow the motives of E4′s latest effort seem more insidious, when they choose to feature painfully real issues that the likes of TOWIE (thankfully) shy away from.
Self-confessed ‘sometime diva’ who loves a good party, being in front of the camera and being back home with his mum.
Yes, yes, all jolly good fun. And yet in episode one, Jay reveals his long-term battle with weight and body image that tests his resolve during the very first underwear shoot.
Now I’m not suggesting that Jay’s issues are fabricated (because they clearly aren’t), but I think E4′s playing a dangerous game by exploring these kind of problems in anything less than a completely honest format. And to me, THAT pre-titles disclaimer only makes an audience question the truth in everything they see.
Anyway, serious rant over. Let’s get back to the fun stuff.
Eschewing the traditional ‘search for a star’ format of other model-centric shows, Dirty Sexy Things follows photographer to the rich and famous, Perou and his recurring cast of models on an eight-week ‘project’ that will ‘challenge his own abilities as well as push his models to the extreme’. All suitably vague, with just enough structure to hang a show off.
So what of the models themselves?
All in all, they’re a reasonably likeable bunch of model archetypes helpfully pigeonholed by Perou in his shopping list of requirements before the
staged open casting. We’ve got a beef cake, kooky waif, preppy boy, Russian beauty, bit of rough etc. etc. Pretty much something for everyone then.
X Factor fans will probably recognise BB (which apparently stands for Black Beauty… but probably not THAT Black Beauty). He’s a professional dancer who’s appeared on stage with the likes of Alexandra Burke, Mariah Carey, Alexandra Burke, Rihanna and er… Alexandra Burke (he mentions Alexandra Burke A LOT).
Perverts amongst you will be pleased to note that E4 seems intent on maximising the amount of flesh on display at all times. When the models aren’t standing around in their underwear, they’re either taking clothes off or putting clothes on. Which means you’re usually only a minute or two away from a well packaged bulge, pert buttock or thinly veiled nipple.
In summary then, Dirty Sexy Things looks like it could offer a modicum of fun. And while I might not be entirely comfortable with certain aspects of it’s ‘scripted reality’, it should at least provide some dubious titillation over the coming weeks.
Dirty Sexy Things is on E4 on Mondays, at 10pm
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