Sunday, 4 March 2012

Tallafornia: The skid mark on the boxers of Ireland.

It’s difficult to critically assess Tallafornia. From one perspective, you have a soporific, incongruous piece of absolute garbage that destroys any last morsel of self-respect Ireland has at such a tumultuous and embarrassing period in our history. On the other hand however, we have a fascinating mockumentary created by TV3 in a bid to highlight the growing blight of materialism and avarice prevalent among middle-class Irish adolescents in the midst of the worst recession in decades. It’s probably the former though, isn’t it? As in, Tallafornia is an “incongruous piece of garbage”. Yeah, let’s go with that.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the premise of the show at this stage but I’ll explain anyway in case you’re not so Talla-savvy. Tallafornia follows the lives of seven vain and preening imbeciles who have been plonked together in a plush semi-detached house in Tallaght. The aim of the show is to follow their lives as they adjust to their new surroundings and in particular, their love-lives. They’re all Tallaght natives and are eager to show how their community is “vibrant and alive”. How they set about showing this is another story all together.

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve only seen two episodes (and I watched them purely for the sake of this article) so I can’t count myself as a Tallafornicator at this stage but I think I have a firm grasp of the dynamics of a Tallfornia episode. Each instalment features two to three day-trips and two nights out interspersed by a selection of clips from the Tallafornia household and candid one-to-one interviews with each of the cast members, voicing their views on everything from sex, their fellow housemates and well… not much else besides that. The day-trips are the most amusing as the Tallfornia crew have to try and actually act. You know, pretend that they’re not actually slimy, and conceited shitbags. This is difficult as almost all of them are.

The Tallafornia crew are quite a colourful bunch each with their own little idiosyncrasies and annoying habits. There are three girls, Nikita, Kelly and Natalie. Natalie is quite a nondescript player, happy to remain on the fringes of the group while Kelly and Nikita are more loquacious but this is not necessarily a good thing as they both have the combined intelligence of a bottle of Aldi shampoo. Nikita is your typical blabbermouth, nonsensical Dublin oompa loompa while Kelly is more ditzy and deceiving. At this stage in the series, Nikita and Kelly are not talking to each other as one of them did something the other one didn’t like… I think it involved men of some description though I can’t be too sure (I dozed off a few times).

There are four buff, strong and incredibly narcissistic Tallafornia lads to accompany the terrible trio of girls. Cormac, charmingly and rather wittingly I might add christened ‘the Cormanator’ by his housemates, is perhaps the most vain and most narcissistic of the lot but displays his narcissism in a more reserved fashion than his housemates which is helpful. He’s rather quiet, dismissive of his housemates (especially Nikita) and is built like a brick shithouse. David is the most bourgeoisie of the crew with his bleached hair, muscular physique and fake D4 accent. He is also perhaps the least intelligent which is quite a feat. Jay is the most affable of the men and seems to get on with everyone. He can be quite wise from time to time also. Well, comparatively wise I mean. He’s not quoting Nietzsche or anything.

And then there’s Philly. Yep, notice how I’ve opened up a new paragraph to discuss Philly. It’s because I’ll need it. Philly is the most putrid, most repugnant, most idiotic member of the Tallafornia crew and it’s not as if he’s facing weak competition. He is the archetypal Jackeen wide-boy. Actually Jay-Z describes him best – “You know the type loud as a motor bike but wouldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight.” That’s our Philly, plenty of talk but no action. He constantly brags about bringing “bitches” home and how Kelly and Nikita are apparently lusting after his well-oiled body. He is right on one count – Nikita has, for some unknown reason, been quite taken by Philly but let’s remind ourselves that Nikita is also the girl who “scored” twenty-one men in one night in episode three I think. And he has never brought a girl back to the Tallafornia household. You are quite the sex symbol Philly. Besides his horrible hubris, Philly is also a pillock towards his male housemates, his supposed “mates”.

Take episode four for instance. David and Kelly have just called time on their relationship and, in an attempt to make David jealous, Kelly makes advances towards Philly. Now instead of repelling said advances, like all good “mates” should, Philly proceeds to drink shots off Kelly’s breasts and feed her alcohol from his waist. He then justifies said provocative behaviour to David by stating naively “I didn’t kiss her mate”. He dismisses all blame for himself and instead accuses Kelly of being a “whore”. Classy  behaviour Philly you turd.

The rest of the crew’s antics seem incredibly staged and rehearsed. The arguments are quite tame in comparison to what I’ve seen between real idiots in real life and the dialogue between the characters is poorly acted and surely scripted. I have no idea why anyone would watch this unless they wanted a glimpse into the lives of spoiled, ostentatious eejits who should be banned from human interaction until they learn that there is an earth. It is round and it doesn’t just revolve around them. Do yourself a favour, don’t watch it.

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