They say ‘write what you love’ but it’s amazing how well that applies to something you hate an’ all. Comic writer and columnist Charlie Brooker is the king of this and I plan to use this blog-o-sphere as a platform for my own collection (however shit) of Brooker-esque ramblings. For now, I present a positive review of why telly has it right for once…
Why ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid?’ is BBC Three’s finest import
The ‘make-under’ show hosted by Jenny Frost has recently wrapped up its third series and I’m already suffering withdrawal symptoms. Until a fourth series graces our screens, allow me to wax lyrical about the niftiest show in telly land.
Cast your minds back to 2008 and it wasn’t a particularly thrilling year. An oblivious Rick Astley made a YouTube comeback and Stephen Fry’s Twitter obsession got on the nation’s nerves.
Fortunately, help was at hand and June brought light at the end of media’s abysmal tunnel in the form of BBC Three’s lifestyle program ‘Snog, marry, avoid?’ – The most socially relevant piece of broadcasting since Spitting Image in my humble opinion.
The premise was enough to make the hard cynic I am cry tears of absolute joy: Take a fake-tan obsessed slap-addict and educate them in the ways of natural beauty. Saints be praised.
I for one had grown weary of incessant makeover shows with a confidence complex. (Yes, Gok Wan, I am talking to you). It was only a matter of time before someone pitched the world’s first ‘make-under’ show. And what a winning format it is.
Ex-Atomic Kitten member-turned-bubbly presenter, Jenny Frost hosts the proceedings, preparing a selection of make-up fanatics for her computerised sidekick, P.O.D (a personal overhaul device).
POD isn’t so forgiving when it comes to fakery and her glorious put-downs make for endlessly addictive viewing. (“There is nothing sexy about a bit of Baco Foil teamed with a pair of pink knickers”) ranks in my top five.
My personal highlight of the show has to be the subsequent section entitled ‘Public Analysis’ in which our fake participants get an almighty wake-up call thanks to a brief vox-pop, asking male members of the public whether they would Snog, marry or avoid these disastrous creatures.
To my delight, the answers given are almost always the latter. Some are rightly deterred by this revelation while others take it as a compliment. Dear, oh dear. More drastic measures are needed and sure enough, POD supplies this in spades.
Hopelessly confused by the ‘less is more’ rule (in this case, wearing less in order to get more attention), POD offers each tan-tastic girl (and the odd boy) a chance to emulate their style icon, picking a more sophisticated hairstyle and dress-sense according to their eye colour and skin tone. (Yes, it’s even educational!)
The transformations are nothing short of astounding. It’s hard to fathom that a naturally beautiful, fresh-faced girl was hiding under Lily Savage’s wardrobe.
On top of the ghastly hair extensions, fake nails and spider eyelashes, these girls waltz into POD sporting four to five layers of slap: Bronzer, blusher, foundation…It’s enough to make David Dickinson’s perma-tanned skin crawl.
Yet, before you can say Jodie Marsh, a sophisticated woman emerges. The person is then re-introduced to their boyfriend or mother outside the studio and the reactions towards the new, natural look is the very epitome of feel-good TV. Heart-warming, moving even but always positive.
Before POD casts her computerised lens on these insecure girls, their original look is leading the public to believe that 19-year-old make-up obsessed girls are nearer to 35 years of age. Surely, this is the best lifestyle program, like, ever?
In this grisly age of celebrity, Snog, Marry Avoid has relevance like no other. Could it be too far-fetched to suggest that this become a compulsory ritual in schools and universities around the country? A ‘POD booth’ on every street corner? You heard it here first, Duncan Bannatyne.
Spread the word, mothers, mad aunties and Katie Price-wannabes, natural beauty is the way forward and may the battle against fakery continue long into the decade. Snog, Marry, Avoid?, you had me at ‘POD off’.