The Geordie’s ‘Shore’ Way to Start Debate

The idea of the public sphere was created during the 1800’s by Jürgen Habermas whose “concept of the public sphere is realm within social life in which public opinion can be formed and which accessible to all.” The public sphere is the notion of democracy, by giving the general public a voice in a social environment and by deliberating and discussing ideas they may influence political action. The mediated public sphere is relatively the same, the only difference being that it is not exclusive to propertied white males as the public sphere was in the 1800’s.

Image

(Source)

Oh, Geordie Shore, without a doubt one of the more controversial reality television shows. For those of you who have not heard of it, the reality program follows the lives of ‘Geordies’, people from the Newcastle area of England. The show documents the lifestyles of the 9 housemates; a lifestyle which basically consists of drinking, clubs, sex, arguments and more drinking. Oh, and of course the fake tan!

The first season the show proved more popular than anticipated and the cast of the show has since expanded and travelled to countries throughout Europe, Mexico and even Australia. In fact, they filmed the entirety of Season 6 Down Under, where it is said to be the “No.1 show on MTV. Thus far, they have filmed a total of 7 seasons with season 8 due to air later this year. During the very beginning the cast weren’t paid for the show, but since the show has risen in popularity they have been able to make careers out of a program most people would consider vulgar and trashy.

So what lead to the popularity of a show considered disgraceful by so many?

The answer is simple, we love nothing more than watching something so controversial and debatable. The show depicts the drinking culture present in today’s society as it follows the lives of young adults who are thought of as vain and arrogant.

The program contributes to the idea of the mediated public sphere because of the controversy it creates, this is evident through the amount of media they caused last year surrounding their time in Australia. It has added to debate by criticising promiscuity and excessive drinking amongst other things. An article in The Daily Telegraph is one example of the attention the show and cast received during their time in Australia. The somewhat disrespectful nature of the show ensures public debate, even amongst the locals of Newcastle who are ashamed of the way Geordies are regarded because of the program, stating that “these idiots embarrass us.” They even began a petition to cancel the show, an example of the influence the mediated public sphere can have.

With all this having been said I have something rather embarrassing to admit, I watch Geordie Shore religiously and find it ridiculously entertaining addictive. No judgement, please?

References:

Clayman, S. E. 2004. Arenas of interaction in the mediated public sphere. Poetics, 32 (1), pp. 29–49.

Benson, R. 2001. The mediated public sphere: A model for cross-national research. Center for culture, organization and politics, Univ. of California, Berkeley, working paper.

Couriermail.com.au. 2014. No Cookies | The Courier-Mail. [online] Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/television/geordie-shore-stars-caught-in-controversy-in-coogee-after-police-called/story-fncaks2k-1226613991416 [Accessed: 13 Apr 2014].

Mail Online. 2011. ‘These idiots embarrass us’: Anger in Newcastle as locals slam Geordie Shore after its first episode. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1391036/Geordie-Shore-slammed-angry-Newcastle-locals-embarrassing.html [Accessed: 13 Apr 2014].

Theaustralian.com.au. 2014. Cookies must be enabled. | The Australian. [online] Available at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/british-invasion-alert/story-e6frg6n6-1226639943430 [Accessed: 13 Apr 2014].

Under, B. 2013. Bucking ‘ell! Geordie Shore is heading Down Under. [online] Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/bucking-ell-geordie-shore-is-heading-down-under-20130226-2f3ml.html [Accessed: 13 Apr 2014].

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “The Geordie’s ‘Shore’ Way to Start Debate

  1. I’ve always found it difficult to grasp the idea that people like to watch these shows (myself being one of them) as they are nothing but ‘easy’ TV. It doesn’t inform people of anything intelligent. In fact it is a bad influence on people through their excessive drinking, swearing and unnecessary promiscuity. However, it’s controversy leads to debate and that’s all that is necessary in this day and age. Anything that’ll get the community talking ‘good or bad’ gains publicity and that is all that matters.

    1. I completely agree! I absolutely (and embarrassingly) love Geordie Shore, but if someone asked we why I watch it I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s entertaining and addictive, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. But, yes, it very much does cause debate and raise issues relevant in contemporary society.

      xx

  2. Every point you made in your post, I 100% agree with! I also wrote about Jersey Shore and totally see the similarities even though I don’t watch Geordie Shore myself. It is weird how the shows are completely vulgar and disturbing but we love watching them for all the wrong reasons; and they are such a bad influence. It kind of makes me worried about the future generations…
    I particularly liked how you talked about the cast filming in Australia and the reactions of the residents. I had no idea they even came to Australia; but adding that link of the Daily Telegraph article was a good way for me to read more on the issue. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! Yeah, I agree, it is slightly worrying to see what reality television will be like in the future considering how scandalous it already is.

  3. I am an avid Geordie Shore watcher… I don’t understand why its so addictive!! But I do completely agree that what they do causing debate in the public sphere, especially if we consider that Geordie Shore is broadcast on MTV where an audience of mid to late teens is being targeted. The culture of binge drinking and living with loose morals is probably not something that needs to be promoted to young adults especially when we consider the issues raised by the sexualisation of children. Good work on the post though

    1. Me too, unfortunately I can’t get enough of it! I agree, things such as binge drinking and sex can probably do without being so glorified. But hopefully by watching the consequences some of the housemates face as a result of their reckless behaviour will encourage viewers to not be so careless.

  4. The show generates so much criticism, but at the end of the day – ‘all publicity is good publicity’! Criticism fuels speculation, speculation provides viewers! I am not among the many viewers of this show (I personally find reality TV completely uninteresting) HOWEVER I can completely see how people become so drawn to it! The cast are portrayed as being your ‘everyday’ people, who live exceptionally sensationalised lives! It’s valued for its easy entertainment… and not much else.

    1. Quite right! We very much live in society where bad publicity is considered better than good publicity, that’s evident through what has happened with Miley Cyrus. The same thing applies to Geordie Shore, although there are some who might find it completely appalling there will always be people (namely myself) who are going to love trash TV. It’s somewhat unfortunate, but that’s just the society we live in.

  5. I am also ashamed that I am completely obsessed with this show! I can definitely see why people find shows such as Geordie Shore pointless but without it, what a boring world it would be! Without controversy and without debate, this world would be too utopian!
    The points you raised were very relevant, especially with the linking of the casts visit to Australia! Your perspective on reality television and the public sphere was very entertaining and well worth the read 🙂

    1. I entirely agree! Geordie Shore (although vulgar) generates public debate and draws attention to the issues in today’s youth .

      Thank you very much for your kind comment! x

  6. Great post. I used to have an obsession with Geordie Shore, it was just fun to watch people be complete idiots. I was interested to see that people who actually live in Newcastle are embarrassed by the Geordie group. It brings me back to when The Shire premiered on Network Ten and it quickly had the majority of the Sutherland Shire up in arms, saying that it was not a true reflection of Shire life.

    1. I’ve never actually watched The Shire, but I’ve heard it was rather awful and boring. But perhaps the locals of Newcastle feel the same way the people of the Sutherland Shire did, which is fair enough I suppose. No one wants their hometown depicted in such as offensive manner. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Great work, Jar! You’re funny, witty, well-researched and to the point. I have to admit to having never watched Geordie Shore before, but the way you explained it, and the controversy it creates, actually got me interested (a rare thing with tabloid-type shows), so well done! Definitely agree with you that we love to watch controversy and debate – I guess it’s pretty much just part of being a connected, social person in the 21st Century!

  8. I loved the inclusion of the videos and images! Really provides an image of what these people are like and their relevance to your discussion of the public sphere!! You write really well as well 🙂 as a fellow Geordie Shore obsessor, I enjoyed reading this post 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s