Katie Thomas & Alex Radford evaluate the SUN, SEX & SUSPICIOUS PARENTS…
We know what to expect by now: teenagers off on their first mates holiday, excited for a booze filled adventure in a tacky foreign nightspot and unknown to them, they’re closely followed by their parents.
What follows are the alcohol induced escapades of a group of ‘lads’ on a night out, which usually results in a weeping mother, shocked by the side of her son never seen before and a tight lipped yet secretly smug father, when forced to comment muttering “I was the same at his age”.
The nature of the show is a little monotonous, but it at least makes for an entertaining hour of television. There’s certainly comedic value in the teens actions and although we’re maybe laughing for the wrong reasons, it’s amusing to see how ‘ladies man Steve’ or ‘lightweight Hannah’ attempt to live up to their nicknames. Another particularly entertaining trait to the programme is watching the holiday goers attempt to ‘pull’.
In a more recent episode, we saw a group of Sussex boys doing everything in their power when away in Thailand to ‘bang some sluts’ and were, instead, met by continuous rejection. I couldn’t help but feel smug witnessing their defeat after the boys had spent the initial twenty minutes of the show bragging about their unfailing talents with women.
Watching drunken youths making fools of themselves under the watchful eyes of their parents is always going to make a good TV show and with holiday locations varying from the French Alps to Thailand, the premise of the show is unlikely to become stale.
Reality TV in all its supreme triteness only becomes really good when it either embraces its inherent vapidity or elevates itself above that and becomes genuinely uplifting. The former is exemplified by the amassing train wreck that is Jerry Springer while the latter by the heart-warming Educating Yorkshire. Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, however, attempts to do both these things and ultimately fails to do either very well.
Each episode opens with various scenes of alcohol sodden teenagers enjoying the carnal escapades that the party islands have to offer. Then we are presented with a set of introductory videos designed to get us to mentally categorise the various teens on screen in to some negative reality TV stereotype, including the bitchy one, the slutty one, the stupid one and the innocent one. So far so appropriately vacuous: the basic building blocks of good crap reality TV have been laid.
The show then performs a U-turn and proceeds to try and turn itself into a touching expose of the relationship between parent and child. It becomes blatantly apparent when the show presents parents cooing over the moral worth of their child as he drunkenly holds the head of his friend back to prevent him from choking on the various fluids he is spewing, seemingly from every orifice, is supposed to be an example of emotionally riveting television. Reality TV of this sort only really entertains if they revel in their disastrously nihilistic nature and Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents attempt to transcend this simply falls flat.