It’s fair to say that 2015 has been another rollicking, unpredictable, and hair-raising year in reality TV. From rows to scandal to plain madness, let’s have a look at how the biggest offerings fared over the last twelve months.
The year kicked off with The Voice UK, now truly settled into its January slot after being twolloped (that’s definitely a word) by Britain’s Got Talent for two years straight. The show itself was just like it usually is – laughably long, cringeworthily positive and amateurishly-produced. Who thought it was necessary to drag episodes out for two hours, without any ad breaks, and virtually no cutting of content in the edit? New
judge coach Rita Ora brought fun and energy to proceedings, but lacked the musical experience of her predecessor Minogue (the Kylie variety). Still, her flirting was pretty fun – and the contestants, though doomed to abject career failure, seem very varied compared to X Factor. Also at this time of year Celebrity Big Brother. It had Katie Hopkins. Next!
When Spring arrived we were quickly whisked on to Britain’s Got Talent, which after a damp squib of a 2014 series, found itself piquing my interest again. There was plenty of variety and the edit focused on surprising viewers – did you expect this girl to be a karate kid ninja-whizz? Aside from the infuriatingly aimless audience commentary, this series delivered, providing plenty of laughs and banter between the judges along with Ant and Dec being on top form.
Oh, and starting during BGT’s run was Big Brother. But that was just the usual downmarket offering of manipulated drama leading to hilarious viewer outrage. The BB fanbase are a passionate bunch, if nothing else.
The summer brought ITV2’s interesting revival Love Island, which dumped 23 civilians onto an island and essentially involved them getting to know each other in the so-called ‘love shack’. Occasionally a couple deemed the worst lovers would get thrown out until just one pairing remained. Yeah…the less said about this one, the better.
Onto the once-culturally significant Autumn staple The X Factor. How did the mighty X fare this year? Wow…how the mighty have fallen. This year’s series was a concoction of bland judges (where was the nasty one? Or the crazy one?), insultingly blatant manipulation, presenter mishaps (oh Olly…that blunder…) and production missteps (typos on the opening titles? Really?). It found its formula this year – give contestants a song they can’t sing (unless they’re Louisa Johnson), get Nick to deliver a scripted disapproval such as it being “fake” or “like a bad musical” (unless they’re Louisa Johnson), and send them on their merry way home (unless they’re Louisa Johnson). All this is why we’re finding it hilarious to see the angel Mr Cowell spent half a year fawning over flop so badly in the singles charts…
The year closed with Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice, with the former providing its usual infectious joy but continued to bore us stiff – despite all the frolicking and charming cheesiness we just can’t bring ourselves to care about the result. The latter, now a trademark autumn fixture, continued on great form with Claude Littner becoming Lord Sugar’s advisor and duly calling the candidates out for their errors or deceit in the boardroom. Said candidates weren’t a very likeable bunch aside from the ‘suited-and-booted’, pink-jacketed Ruth, who was shown the door in favour of the miserable hateable cow Selina. There were a lot of firsts this series, such as both teams losing with their disastrous health food products, a project manager being fired before even choosing her final three, and a candidate calling it quits despite their team winning. Dear Old Al seemed a tad miserable though!
So there we have it. It’s been another fun 12 months in the world of TV’s most talked-about (and possibly controversial) genre.
Any predictions for next year? Send us your suggestions at @CelebMix on Twitter!