Last night, I sat down for the first time and feasted my eyes upon a full hour of “Geordie Shore”, the television series that one simply cannot escape – especially when one lives in a house full 0f 20 year old women. While I was expecting to be repulsed, annoyed, disgusted, bored and generally sad, I found myself instead feeling something else. Something strange.
I realised that “Geordie Shore” is amazing.
A quick synopsis for those not in the know: “Geordie Shore” is essentially pure unadulterated debauchery: a gang of party-animals move in together, get drunk, have sex and argue for a solid hour. If I’ve missed any deep underlying themes, connotations or social commentaries, feel free to e-mail me ASAP.
As Jay, Vicky, Gaz, Charlotte, Sophie, Ricci, Holly and James shagged and shlurped their way through the sixty minutes designated to them, I began to wonder about my attitude towards the show so far. Not being someone who feels the need to watch a programme before I criticise it, it dawned on me that I had totally misjudged this show. Far from the vapid tackiness of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, and miles from the pure shiteness of “The Only Way is Essex”, “Geordie Shore” is a show which exploits its best points to the maximum. These best points are mainly the leading characters and their inane sayings, their drunken antics, and their incessant hunt for the “bang”.
Okay. Obviously there are certain aspects to the concept which would rankle with any decent-minded person. Who wouldn’t be irritated by the idea of these neanderthals sitting around and whining about their problems? Who wouldn’t be incensed by these “beautiful people” flaunting their bodies and dubious habits in our faces? And who wouldn’t want to throw their mug of tea at the television if they hear the word “party” used as a verb once more time?
Forget these niggling issues. “Geordie Shore” invites us into a world of abandon. We can sleep in until two, lounge around until six, have a bite to eat, head out, “tash on”, and generally “get mortal”, all in the company of the most attractive albeit stupid people in the world. These characters are different from their American counterparts, mainly because of their innocence. We laugh and cry along with them, watching them fondly like children in a playground, albeit a playground populated mostly by “bellends”.
In my opinion, however, “Geordie Shore” is more than that. It’s more than just some reckless abandon, allowing us to turn off our mental gag-reflex for an hour. “Geordie Shore” is something more.
Could it be drama? Could it be literature? Could it be Shakespeare? In my mind, there is no doubt. What makes Shakespeare great? Why do we love this ruff-wearing tight-bandit from the 12th century or whatever? Because he was just sound? Because he wrote some plays about some people that were pretty decent? Not quite. A quick scour of the interwebs throws up the following quotes from various distinguished sources.
“His characters are among the first to show their internal thoughts, their 3-dimensional conflicts, and express them in some of the most eloquent speeches and language ever written. The stories he wrote weren’t new, but the understanding he brought to the people in them has rarely been surpassed. His characters come alive on the page and on the stage and screen.”
What is “Geordie Shore” if not a comprehensive and thoughtful look at the current human condition? Nowadays, our youth is primarily programmed and orientated towards a hedonistic lifestyle unsurpassed by those who came before. Is this a healthy thing? Does it disgust us or attract us? These are issues which one cannot help but ponder during an episode of “Geordie Shore”. It brings these issues to the fore and opens up a frank and fascinating debate. So Shakespeare’s plays provide rich fodder for meaningful discussion? So does Geordie.
“His plays have intricate plots with many twists and turns, providing an excellent exercise in logic.”
What about Jay and Vicky in the first season? She entered the house, and the two roomed together – shnogging prevailed. Tashing on etc. Conflict followed, a hateful relationship with intervals of passionate love, sordid cheating – a web of hate developed. Now they’ve developed a “just friends” relationship, but will love kick back in? Not if Ricci has anything to do with it – but why is she getting involved? Shouldn’t she be worrying about that rocky relationship with her boyfriend? Switch the names to some poncey prose and you’ve got a Shaksepearean story right there. Why shouldn’t we care about these people, when we do care about Lear, Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Ophelia, blah blah blah? Some of “Geordie Shore”‘s wildest narratives look tame and sensible when compared to Bill Shakespears’s finest.
Shakspeare dealt with love, justice, passion, revenge, retribution, evil, jealousy, ambition and much more. “Geordie Shore” is a pinnacle of television because it points out these themes in modern day life and tells us that we too can relate to them. Forget the castles of medieval Denmark – these traits exist in your life too! This is the point the Leaving Cert English course. Two years of Shakespearean drudge, or an hour in front of the TV? Hmm…
“They are thoroughly entertaining and stimulate the imagination.”
Need I say anything about this one? I think not. Romps, rants, sex, alcohol, frolics and an awful lot of fun. Forget Kim Kardashian, she’s a fake. Believe in “Geordie Shore”. It means something.
To finish, here’s a quote from beloved Geordie sage Vicky: “Gaz and Charlotte are like Romeo and Juliet…if Romeo was a twat.”
I tried to hate “Geordie Shore”, I really did. But then I realised: it is modern day Shakespeare. I salute it.
Is Geordie Shore not terrible? Is Newcastle our 21st Century Verona? Tell us what you think.
Image from here