Desperate Scousewives launches to strong ratings

Debbie O'TooleDesperate Scousewives, the latest entry in the “scripted reality” genre, launched on E4 last night with half a million viewers but has met with a mixed reaction from the critics and not all in Liverpool are impressed with the series either.

Fake tan and peroxide blondes are back on the television as yet another scripted reality series is launched. Last night Desperate Scousewives blasted onto E4 following the lives, trauma’s and tantrums of some Liverpool housewives. The series follows in the footsteps of fellow E4 series Made in Chelsea as well as ITV2’s The Only Way is Essex and MTV’s Geordie Shore.

According to overnight figures Desperate Scousewives launched with an impressive 563,000 viewers but it has met with a decidedly mixed reaction from critics, viewers and residents of Liverpool itself. The Guardian’s reviewer, John Crace, described it as ‘predictable, vacuous and with a tongue in as many cheeks as possible, Desperate Scousewives is a show that leaves you feeling just that bit grubbier for having guiltily enjoyed it”. While the Radio Times described the cast ‘about as lifelike as the terracotta tans, straightened bleached blonde locks, acrylic fingernails and foot-long eyelashes’.

Mark and ChristopherMade in Chelsea cast member Caggie Dunlop was seemingly unimpressed of E4’s newest scripted reality show tweeting ‘Watching desperate scousewives… I need subtitles.’ Some residents of Liverpool were not impressed at the series either claiming it gave the city a bad name. MTV’s Geordie Shore met with similarly criticism when it launched; unhappy Newcastle residents were not happy with the image the series gave the city and its inhabitants.

The scripted reality format might be controversial to some and low brow to others but BAFTA recently announced it would add a new category to its television awards to cover the genre. The move came after The Only Way is Essex won the viewers choice award at this year’s BAFTAs; a win that was not all together popular with everyone.