Once up on a time, there was a small country town just north-east of the sprawling metropolis of London, and it was called Brentwood. Nothing much happened there. In it was an inn, called The White Hart. Once, King Richard II stayed there when he was riding up that way for whatever reason. It had the original 14th-century timbers preserved even.

Then, some time in the early 21st century, some nouveau riche bellend bought it, gutted it, and coverted it into a tacky nightclub called The Sugar Hut. He employed his son as a "promoter" and a semi-reality TV show moved in. Brentwood then went from being a country town to, well, a country town (emphasis on the first syllable here.)

The Only Way Is Essex, known colloquially by the fandom (i.e. magazines about celebrities and the drongoes that read them) as TOWIE, is that programme. It takes a bunch of what Wikipedo describes as "young, rich, Essex guys and girls" and puts them into semi-scripted happenings in Essex. In this way it's only semi-reality in that it's partly scripted but the characters are real. Sort of. Except that might be scripted, or it might be adlibbed. I don't know, it's too meta for me.

Anyhow. The characters are all universally unlikeable. The men are all vain, preening slapdicks who think that because they talk estuarine they're being edgy and confident but are, in fact, just being annoying. They want to be like Mike The Situation from Jersey Shore but are too ugly and stupid (somehow), but still manage to have egos inversely proportional to the square of their dick sizes. The women all have spray tans, think Footballers' Wives was a how-to guide, and in one early episode are found discussing the merits of getting a Vajazzle. I can certainly see why for Sam, Amy, Lauren, and co., getting a Vajazzle might be advantageous, as the cubic zirconia they've pasted to their penwipers could conceivably cover up, or distract from, any genital warts in the vicinity. These fine examples of humanity then proceed to hump and shout at and feud with each other in and around this nightclub and other places. They allegedly have jobs but nobody seems to know what this is. I rather suspect that they're all spoilt rich brats who try to "make it" and are funded in this by their families and/or ITV. One of them aspires to be a Page 3 girl, another tries to be in a band, a third is the aforementioned club promoter. Yeah.

They're basically British guidos if that makes sense.

The first series of TOWIE was shown in late 2010 and was popular enough amongst certain people that a further series has been commissioned. In advance of this, the sleb-rags are all getting in on the characters' off-season and crowing about their latest dramas amongst those of other pointless mouth-breathers.

What I genuinely find annoying is that this programme has unilaterally defamed Essex. Essex is actually a nice place overall, containing Colchester, Britain's oldest town, Braintree, some lovely countryside, the Dunmow Flitch for any couple who had no argument for a year, Felixstowe and Harwich, major container ports, and similar. Even Brentwood was quite nice beforehand. But now everyone's of the impression that it's where moneyed ex-cockney wankers and footballers' wives go to. They think it's all Billericaaaaayy and Saarrffend and Romford, a place only notable for being where Ian Drury pinched a copy of Razzle in 1976, now. The further fact that one of the oldest pubs in the land is now a shit nightclub where this programme's cast hang out further makes me grind my teeth.

And I'm not the only one - Essex locals are also rightly annoyed by this programme.

Now I think about it, though, I ought to try and get revenge more subtly on these people. Maybe I could tell one of the idiots on this programme, anonymously-like, that the key to looking super buffed up and thus a grade-A fanny magnet is to smear Preparation H all over yourself, because it causes the water to come out your muscles or something. And hopefully he will believe me and be filmed smearing himself all over with pile cream, and he will look like the bloody idiot he is, and people will laugh at him and turn off their televisions, AND THIS AWFUL PROGRAMME WILL DIE!!!!!!!!

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