Last night I inadvertently watched E4’s new show “Party House”. In retrospect, I wish I’d inadvertently fallen onto an upward-pointing kitchen knife instead.
I watched out of morbid fascination. The producer inside me was screaming “how was this commissioned?” It was sort of an attempt to give us a bite-sized structured reality format. Like TOWIE and MIC, it followed a load of young people who are evidently entangled in a web of incestuous adoration. But this group were only given one episode to tell us their story, because next week the focus of the “Party House” will be a totally new group of twats…I mean, people.
So the protagonist was the dull-as-ditchwater Laura. Her name is dull, her hair is flat, she is non-telegenic, her side-profile makes her look a bit obese and her voice-over narrative skills are non-expressive. How is she our protag? Laura is, apparently, throwing a party for “everyone she knows”, but actually she only knows about 5 other people, hence the need for E4 to provide her with a venue and a group of extras to attend it. The show attempts to give the situation a backstory. We would all rather just see everyone arrive at the party and get shit-faced a la “What Happens In Kavos” but no – instead we have to watch them in their local bars/shops, “setting the scene”. All of their names are stupid, they’re all unattractive and there is a backstory involved which literally no-one would care about even if you were actual friends with them. It’s standard “post-university, let’s live in Peckham and pretend we like wearing dirty clothes” type stuff. She’s slept with him and him, and he’s slept with her and her, he’s a bit cocky because he had sex once and a few weeks ago they all went down to a gig in Brighton to watch some grimy band who are probably called “The Rotten Apple Cores” (not to be confused with 90s Irish music sensations The Corrs).
The fairly chunky yellow-teethed girls are chatting with a glint in their glass eyes about the upcoming party that Laura is “hosting”. Evidently, the two main boys, Martin and Shoey (yes, like “chewy” but not), have shagged all the girls who are all sitting around pretending that they don’t mind that the same penises have collectively been in all of their vaginas. Shoey walks in. He’s ginger and a bit fat, and has a beard. He is wearing small shorts. He thinks he’s funny. He’s not. Yet the women – Laura, Jazz and Lucca (WTF?) – all fawn over him like tittering girls at a Fresher’s Week egg and spoon race. I mean, he’s not hot and not funny, but beggar’s seemingly can’t be choosers. Laura asks Shoey if he will MC at the party (again WTF?)
Yaz (not Jazz) is in a grungy shop trying on things like oversized sleeveless shirts and turbans with Martin and Lillia (like Lilly but with a “ya” on the end for an additional attempt at flourish). Yaz is the only attractive one on this show, and yet she isn’t given a love story, so essentially “Party House” is a show about ugly people trying to achieve their first sexual experiences. Everyone is banging on about how “beautiful” Martin is, but he’s not really. Plus his eyes and mouth never move, even when he’s speaking and looking.
Martin and Shoey then go and play table tennis with the token “joker” Danny. They are all worried about the fact that at the forthcoming party Shoey, Laura and Lucca will all be there together. But the viewer at home just literally does not care, because we have known these people for about 6 minutes and have no inclination to give two shits about the fact that someone shagged someone else in a youth hostel in Brighton once. Anyway, Shoey establishes himself as a smug ginger twat. He’s at that naïve youthful age where you want to broadcast your various sexual encounters rather than desperately attempt to keep anyone from finding out about them. He’ll learn.
The yellow teethed girls are STILL in that pub, talking about having sex. They are such a naughty bunch of scamps. The blue haired one with the yellowest teeth, Lucca, announces that she and Shoey once “did it” on a roof and that he is really good at making sex. So good, in fact, that apparently he “bruised her thighs”. Someone should perhaps tell her that’s a sign of a clumsy lover. What’s evident here is that the blue haired girl wants to have her thighs re-bruised by Shoey, but dull Laura is also interested in having HER thighs bruised by him. I’m not sure that Shoey shouldn’t be on the sexual offenders list.
Party time! The house has a pool and is trying to be American by dotting red plastic cups everywhere. All the “guests” aka extras arrive, looking like the first generation cast of “Skins”. It’s all neon sunglasses and plastic animals. Laura has gone all out and dip-dyed her hair. Someone spray-paints “I Heart Penis” on a wall and someone else has written “Kiss It” on their bottom.
Shoey, who is upset that Martin and Laura made sex in Brighton, talks to Martin about it. Martin is unable to vocalise emotion or contort his facial muscles into an actual expression, so he doesn’t really know what to say about all this.
The party is in full swing, but Lillia makes a late entrance in order to cause a stir. The problem is, no-one gives a shit. Literally, no-one. Also, her dress is the colour of sick.
Shoey starts his MC-ing duties and says “are you all having a good time you sexy swines?” All the extras who have been hired by the E4 casting producer scream in excitement, without a clue as to who Laura is or why they are there. Shoey then shouts something predictable along the lines of “lets all get wasted and get laid” which prompts the large blue haired girl to get up on stage, nearly breaking it, taking the microphone and saying into it whilst looking at Shoey “the only one getting laid tonight is you…right here”. The crowd then wait with anticipation. She said “right here” so we are all expecting some on-stage rutting, but no such luck. It’s just horrid.
Martin and Lillia sit by the pool. They are both so boring that, frankly, they deserve each other. He says he likes her. Any minute now he’s going to touch her tuppence and run off behind the canteen. She then basically pies him off. She tells him he should basically get over it and fuck off. It’s brutal! Martin, who I think might be a robot, can’t seem to process this blunt rejection and looks as if he might cry. It’s the best scene of this hideous, hideous programme.
Out on the balcony, blue-haired Lucca has dragged Shoey outside, to presumably start “laying” him. Shoey tells her that he is repulsed by her and that her public, microphoned declaration of sex was disgusting. She is proven, therefore, to be an embarrassment to womanhood. She says she “feels like a massive dick”. She should! Shoey tells her that he actually loves dull Laura. He says “sometimes I think I should disappear into the sunset alone”. You should, Shoey. Shoo shoo Shoey!
The blue haired girl pretends to cry with Laura, who comforts her by saying “Mumma Goose says no tears”. Shut up, Laura. She’s crying because of YOU!
The extras around the party are all rubbing and grinding each other, having a great time. Yaz or Jazz or whatever her name is scolds Lillia for hurting Martin. Apparently they once sat under a duvet together, which means they are practically married.
Martin and Lucca, who have both felt the bitter chill of sexual rejection this evening, throw themselves at each other out of desperation. It’s tragic. I also worry for Martin’s safety as he is very skinny and Lucca is…not.
Let’s remember for a moment that this is boring Laura’s party, yeah? Yet she has spent most of it alone. She now sits by the pool, flapping the water with her trotters, hoping that Shoey will come up behind her and throw her in. Oh, look at that, he does. They kiss, despite the fact that Shoey just devastated Laura’s best friend. It’s not a betrayal of friendship though, because Lucca and Martin are currently snapping a plastic sun-lounger somewhere, so she’ll be fine. Shoey says the very romantic phrase “I think I could go for you” to Laura. How lukewarm and un-nice. Soft, smooth music kicks in but literally, I cannot tell you E4 how much the nation do not care. Stop trying to make us feel something with your insertion of a gentle melody. Laura then says “I think everyone had a good time”. NO ONE had a good time, Laura, you silly little cat!
The morning after everyone is all “last night was crazy” and “what HAPPENED last night?” You all know perfectly well because none of you got sufficiently hammered and you all behaved as if you’re still in high school. It was the tamest party ever to of happened. But that’s what you’d expect when dull Laura is the hostess, no? Laura does a voice-over round up. She says “what happened afterwards with me and Shoey? That would be telling…” aka their potential relationship is now circling the proverbial toilet.
Next week it’s the turn of the lesbians and the gays, by the looks of the preview. More yellow teeth, more dip-dyed hair. I won’t be watching.