Did we like it?
A horrible yawning abyss of stupidity into which plummeted the equally depraved nights out of two 20-year-olds, while a metaphorical giant finger wagged disapprovingly in their direction with all the bleating futility of a shipwrecked sailor clinging to a piece of flotsam shaking his fist at the sky to blame the blasé elements for his predicament.
What was good about it?
• Journalist Martin Deeson who recognised how the blotto evenings of Sophie – who gallivanted about Northampton with her three pals – and Tom – who wrecked his student house during his 21st birthday party – are acts that have been repeated since time of “Julius Caesar”; and as such are not worthy of such frowning pseudo-social focus as was apparent elsewhere.
• Of Tom, Deeeson observed: “He’s about as wild as my granny.” While he seemed confused that Sophie should be demonised for her night out: “She’s drinking in a non-offensive way so why shouldn’t she enjoy a night out?”
• He also refused to condemn Tom’s purchase of a Jacuzzi to impress the ladies at his party (even though he had a girlfriend who he “didn’t really want, oh yes I do”). “If I had the money to get a Jacuzzi when I was a student, I’d probably be as big a dick as he is.”
• And on the subject of ‘beer goggles’, he quipped: “Without them, most of us probably wouldn’t be here.” Before summing up the whole pointlessness of the show with: “Britain is awash with booze and awash with drugs – but it always has been.”
What was bad about it?
• Rather than distinguishing themselves from the amorphous herd of young people who rampage through the streets of Britain drunk out of their minds, both Tom and Sophie were immediately branded as exemplars of youthful conformity through both proudly sporting tattoos – emblems that far more than mobile phones, hair gel/dye and a deluded belief in their own sexual magnetism mark them out as grunting swine forever charging towards the stagnant trough of ‘cool’, until they’re later transported to the slaughterhouse of middle-age obsolescence.
• Apart from a half-hearted cautionary finger-wagging denouement in which Tom and Sophie watched back their nights out (Tom laughed about it, Sophie recoiled), the majority of Generation Xcess was a degrading dalliance of those ‘lads and lassies’’ nights out programmes that thankfully went the way of all flesh about five years ago when the sight of seeing ugly scum shouting, screaming and stripping on the TV was inundated by a tidal wave of viewing apathy.
• Apart from the lacerating Deeson, the other three pundits were graduates from the university of stating the bleeding obvious, yet though that by speaking slowly, leaning towards the camera, or by having your hair styled like an ageing Premiership footballer would somehow imbue their banalities with the effervescent gloss of veracity.
• After Tom had declared that he and his mates “pulled birds” and then ranked their conquests with a points system (15 points for anal sex, 150 points for fathering a baby) Anjula Mutanda sagely claimed that “it masks his insecurity about sex”. Of course it does, as by morphing the trauma of “pulling birds” into a competitive game it anaesthetises the pain of rejection.
• And after the plump Sophie confided “the way I look is less important to me” than her prettier friend, Christophe Edwards declared: “Sophie suffers from low self-image.” While Anjula perceptively saw that “the more Sophie drinks, the more outrageous she gets. She’s quite different when she’s sober.”
• Dr Mark Hamilton wasted his time explaining the origins of the word ‘hangover’, the scientific name for which is ‘veisalgia’ – meaning “pain and uneasiness after debauchery”; a condition that can be summed up better by the nationwide expression of ‘hangover’.