The Only Way Is Essex
(2010-) is ITV2
's answer to Jersey Shore
or The Hills
, set in the county of Essex.
Known for its fake tan, big cars and party lifestyle, it follows the lives of the Essex "rich kids" who are friends, as well as the people around them - making it a big cast of characters.
Despite being a Reality TV
show, it does set up some of the events for entertainment purposes, but how far this happens is debatable.
This series provides examples of:
- Anti-Role Model: Mark to Joey. So much so that when Joey chats Lucy up, she walks off as soon as she hears he wants to be just like Mark.
- Batman Gambit: Used by Arg, and Joey, plus Amy Childs, Maria and Lydia at various points in the show.
- Breakout Character: Arg in series 1, definitely Joey Essex in series 2. Now, it's Jasmine Wallia.
- So much so that Arg is upgraded to main cast in series 2 and Joey gets a whole episode revolving round his date with Sam.
- Butt Monkey: Arg... whether it's Mark telling him to sort out all the "timber" Arg has put on or his ex, Lydia, or her mum, Debbie, screeching at him, Arg always seems to be on the receiving end.
- Subverted somewhat because everyone loves Arg, and he's a very talented singer.
- Captain Obvious: Joey Essex tells Sam he knew she wouldn't like him taking her to the tip on their first date.
- Also when asked who the prime minister is, Joey replies it's "that geezer..."
- "Did you know England and Ireland are different countries?" asks Amy.
- Catch Phrase: TOWIE has spawned many...
- Mark's constant use of "plum" or "plank" to Arg.
- "JAAAAMMEEESSSS!!" by both Lydia and her mum, Debbie, when annoyed with Arg.
- Joey Essex in season 2 spawned "reem", before going on to call a pair of trainers "rarmus" in the next episode, before topping it off with "rarmus, reemus, reem, rarm" in the same scene.
- "REEM TEAM!" at Gemma's pub quiz
- Even narrator Denise Van Outen gets in on it when the disclaimer at the start of an episode says the show contains "people looking reem".
- Cerebus Syndrome: When Lucy Mecklenburgh appeared, the show instantly took on this tone.
- Darker and Edgier: In recent times, it's taken on this tone, and although not quite Without a Trace or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, it will get there eventually. Lucy and Mario started taking the show onto this path, and Jasmine Wallia continues it.
- Epiphany Therapy: Far from falling into Discredited Trope territory on this show, sometimes Once an Episode.
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Gambit Roulette: Amy Childs and Maria Fowler play this Up to Eleven on occasion.
- Internet Counterattack: Discussed in British media. But this verges on Critical Research Failure calling them trolls, as the proper term is cyber-abusers.
- Knight of Cerebus: Not one, but two, unusual for Reality TV - Lucy Mecklenburgh and more recently, Jasmine Wallia. Can make the show very uncomfortable viewing at times. Both of them have made the show Darker and Edgier.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Need we say more?
- Local Hangout: The Sugar Hut, in Brentwood.
- Lower Deck Episode: One episode mainly centred around Jessica Wright, with the main cast Demoted to Extra.
- Money, Dear Boy: Was referred to on a showbiz blog as "Jessica Wright Gets Paid", but this is open to interpretation. It could well have been snarkiness.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Lydia Bright and Gemma Collins do this.
- Out of Focus: Anyone who works for the city council etc.
- Reality TV
- Sidekick: Mark and Arg; Harry and Amy; Kirk and his dad, Mickey
- Tempting Fate: In The Only Way Is Essexmas, Arg says to Amy at the reveal of girlband LOLA's fourth member that he's tense because he has to keep looking over his shoulder in case Lydia shows up. Just as he says this, she does.
- The Chessmaster: Chloe Sims does this Up to Eleven to get what they want or need.