The Only Way Is Essex
Essex created TOWIE. I love this show. I have been an avid fan since the first episode. I think it reflects certain aspects; not all, but some, completely accurately. A friend of mine moved to Essex a few years ago after living in London all her life and described Essex as ‘the place for pretty people’. This is definitely emphasised with the reality stars of TOWIE
In the two years it has been running it has been criticised and branded as trashy and unreal but whatever the marmite situation camp you sit in, TOWIE’s success cannot be denied or disputed. Currently entering its sixth series, rising viewing ratings, nominations and a BAFTA (2011) and TRIC (2012) award under its belt, the show looks set to be around for a while yet. So I’m happy!
The people that participate in this might be wannabes but so what? Aren’t we all? Don’t we all strive to be acknowledged or affirmed in some way? Authors write stories because ultimately they want them to be read? They want to be noticed in some way and leave their print on the world.
These ‘wannabes’ may be broadcasting their lives on national television in the hope of recognition but isn’t it just a platform for them to go onto to bigger and better things the same way ‘indies’ (authors, song writers, music producers, singers, script writers, actors, film producers) use social media and networking sites to increase their own visibility.
We will upload book trailers onto YouTube, we create Twitter and Facebook accounts to ‘network’ with fellow minded individuals and our readers while at the same time advertising and pushing for sales of our books. We ‘connect’ with book clubs, book reviewer sites; run our own websites all in an attempt to make our presence felt. None of this is a bad thing. In fact the phenomena of social networking will be one of the greatest marvels of the 21st century.
Towie introduced places that people not from Essex had never heard of. Brentwood is now flooded with fans visiting the various lingerie shops, small vintage boutiques and salons that are run by the stars of the show. The club ‘Sugar Hut’ has become one of the most prestigious locations for Essex nightlife with fans travelling across the country to visit. Minnie’s Boutique also in Brentwood, The King William IV public house and restaurant in Chigwell, Carry on Glamping at the Bouncers Farm Gypsy Campsite in Maldon – part of Visit England’s quality-assured Alternative Accommodation scheme. Bella Sorrella in Loughton’s High Street and Laurens Way in Buckhurst Hill just to name a few.
Before you jump on the bandwagon that is jam packed full of critics with a slighted opinion, just take a second to think about the show’s accomplishments and promotion of Essex and maybe give them a pat on the back!