The Cutprice Guignol

The Sixth Year: American Sigh Story

My Super Shite Sixteen

I look down on people for a lot of reasons. I look down on people for binge drinking, for sleeping around, for judging people, for being indolent, for posturing, for stupidity, for being that one person who does “Brown-Eyed Girl” at karaoke. Luckily for me, I don’t look down on people for being massive hypocrites.

But I have never- never- hated anyone or anything more than My Super Sweet Sixteen UK. I’m being contained here, but only because I’ve gone beyond rage and entered into a zen-like trance of pure fury. I’m filled with such rage it’s almost all I can do not to set the building on fire with a smile on my face as my insignificant corporeal form is eaten up and finally, finally the anger will dissipate.

But where to direct my hatred? There are three main targets; the first is, obviously, the birthday girl/boy. Each week features a different entitled goblin as it’s focus; swinging between squealing, pixel-thin sloanes and idiot chavs. And they are just astoundingly shallow. I mean, I dye my hair, I wear make-up, I’m hardly a butch lesbian lumberjack- but Christ. One of them explains that without shopping, she’d kill herself. Another has a two-thousand pound custom dress handmade in India. One of them demands a thirty-thousand pound wristwatch as a gift. One of them auditions girls to dance with him, and is also Welsh. The mind fucking boggles. Everything to these people is a vapid fashion statement; their clothes, their venues, their hair, their friends. And the sheer cost of these things. You know what I did for my last birthday? I had an evening in with my Dad, and we watched American Werewolf in London with a curry. Later in the week, I had a quiet drink with a couple of close friends.I didn’t do it in a Swarovski-crystal-embroidered dress, and I didn’t have my father on the phone trying to fly Shane Ward in on two days notice.

And that brings me neatly to my second hatred-target; the parents. Constantly coddling to their putrid spawn, they spent outrageous amounts of money on utter bollocks. One girl refers to her father as “Daddy” which is, frankly, sickening; leaning out of the window of her new convertible and blowing a kiss at the camera, intoning “I love my daddy!” like a violated Bratz doll. It’s tempting to blame the parents in this case, and there’s no doubt that they are responsible for their bastarding little offspring. But it’s difficult to watch a seventeen-year-old throwing a strop because he doesn’t get the car he wants and say it’s not his own fault. It’s even harder to watch a fifteen-year-old dressed as a rapper and sprinkling money on two pretty, wide-eyed juveniles as he poses for promotional photos and not want to cry, to just cry.

The third and perhaps most soul-crushing element is the guests. Gurning, grinning, dancing, snogging, sweating little toads desperately grasping at even the implied offshoots of fame. Pushing their fat little heads in shot as they deliver shiny-faced vox pops on how amazing the party is. Comfortingly rubbing the host’s back as they weep over the fact that their cake hasn’t got enough money on it. All of them coiffed, curled, buffed, tanned and made-up to the max, looking like nervous foals taking their first high-heeled steps; they want to get involved with all the debauchery but aren’t quite sure where to stick it. Weep for them. Weep.

The worst part of it? This is exactly the reaction I’m supposed to have had. Outside of the people of questionable taste who aspire to this sort of thing, it’s sole aim is to outrage people like me with it’s ludicrous decadence. And they’ve done it, the bastards. They’ve won. What does that make me? We’ll see. We’ll see.



I woke up this morning to discover I’d committed complete, unprecedented dignitycide. Still wearing last night’s jeans and very little else, I was roused by the opening riff of Have Love, Will Travel, which may or may not have been completely imagined. My right hand is covered in light burns, I can still taste brandy right at the back of my throat, and I can recall very little past ten; one particularly potent memory was standing in front of my mirror and almost sobbing with laughter at my own reflection which, although depressing for my waking self, at least gives me the option of a career in facial comedy if the whole university thing doesn’t work out. I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone I tried to “communicate” with last night; I use that term loosely, because all evidence suggests that it took me almost four minutes to spell “I” correctly before giving up on conversation and slipping into a brandy-induced coma, face firmly entrenched in the keyboard of my laptop.

But none of that- none of that- contributed to my diginitycide as much as this.  I have an awful, humiliating secret. In fact, yesterday, I sat down in front of Netflix mid-afternoon and only rose again many hours later after watching the entire series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl back-to-back. A series starring ex-Doctor Who assistant Billie Piper in what must be one of the most confusing roles in the world for young Whovians, it’s all about the kinky exploits of high-class prostitute Belle du Jour (potrayed with nostril-flaring self-awareness by Piper). Bizarrely, the main love interest throughout the series looks the spit of Arthur Darvill.

I have no problem with a series being about sex. And, much as it tries not to be, SDoaCG (pretty pleased with that abbreviation considering it’s twenty to seven in the morning) has only one redeeming feature: the novelty of seeing sex on prime-time TV. Everything else is completely without merit, and I say that as someone who has seen all the Jackass films. The characters are nil-dimensional, the plot is non-existent, the characterization is outstandingly weak, the acting (save for Piper who is sort of alright) is across-the-board dire.

And the sex is awful, too.  All her clients are either pretty buff or hilariously ugly.  Even after a night of glamorous romping, Piper is barely disheveled; after an evening of light drinking, I woke up looking as if I’d slammed my face repeatedly against my make-up bag.  And this is a series about one of London’s top call girls; it’s likely she’d have had sex with her bra off more than once. As I always say; if you come to ITV for uncensored sex, the internet is going to blow your mind.