Do you remember that scene from Billy Madison, when Billy finds himself fighting against the evil Eric at the scholastic decathlon to inherit his father’s business, and when he is asked to speak on the topic ‘Reflections on Society and Literature’ in the context of the industrial revolution gives a speech about the puppy who lost his way? Billy’s speech makes literally no sense at all, but his passion and confidence makes you try really hard to consider and understand what he is saying.
Then the judge says:
“Mr Madison, what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought, and everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. May God have mercy on your soul.”
When I originally pitched this idea for a story, I thought it made sense. “What I learnt about love and life from Geordie Shore”. Surely, throughout Geordie Shore’s 20 (yes, 20) seasons that have run throughout the past ten years, there must be some real conclusions we can draw about life and love in the 2010s, after all, it was some sort of social experiment right? Eight straight guys and girls in shared accommodation with a camera crew with a tonne of booze.
So when I watched the first few seasons back over the past couple of weeks, I looked out for some real love and life lessons, notebook in my hand, ready and eager to learn and write, however what I got thrown back in my face was effectively the Billy Madison speech. Was I dumber for having watched this show all those years ago? Do the root of my relationship issues come down to watching and learning from fucking Vicky and Holly?!
I tried to write my article, but it too started to read like the puppy who lost its way. I was grasping at straws, and drawing conclusions from irrational thoughts. So I wish to break the cycle, and not have you become dumber having read it. Instead, here is a list of the original cast members, and what they individually taught us about, umm whatever, if anything, KEEMON.
Opening quote: “I should have a degree in pulling women”.
He’s not wrong. Gary got laid. He was the OG fuckboy, and prided himself on it. Aside from pulling a new girl at the club every night, he fucked Holly the first night in the house, Charlotte the second and even “necked on” with Vicky a couple of times.
Gary had Charlotte head over heels in love with him during the first season and from there, they were unofficially on and officially off again all throughout their 12 seasons together, bar a couple of interim relationships. He really loved her too, you could clearly see it. They were a great match with an undeniable connection, and he couldn’t stand to hurt her, so why did he keep doing it?
The answer is simple. Gary wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Despite having the right person in front of him, and ready, he needed that time in his life to be free. So here’s where I start learning:
What we can learn: Timing, for relationships is sometimes everything, no matter how much you like/ love the other person, and therefore not to take it so personally when someone isn’t ready for you.
What we did learn: His penis size was comparable to a parsnip and a Foxtel remote. How to pull a bird. How to show up to the gym no matter how hungover you are.
Opening quote: “I would never kiss anyone without a six pack”.
The most significant thing I learned from Charlotte is that your friends will forgive you for shitting/ pissing yourself in the living room every night. A lesson I am yet to test the waters on, but if I found myself in the situation that it happened, I’m pretty confident I could get away with it thanks to her. This girl was fearlessly herself in front of the camera and it’s not hard to see why she went on to have a pretty successful media career after she packed up her goldfish and left the Geordie Shore house when she couldn’t take Gaz’s crap anymore.
There is plenty to be learned from Charlotte. If everyone was like her, the world would be a much kinder place. It must have been really hard for her, watching Gaz hook up with a different girl every night of the week, she cried but she didn’t let it completely ruin her day, she always put a good laff in above everything else. But at the same time, there was a lot to learn from her wrongdoings.
What we can learn: Unrequited love is certainly the most painful feeling. How to not let a guy completely ruin your day. Time heals all wounds, and that you will eventually move on from someone you never thought you could.
What we did learn: Adults wet the bed. Fish are friends, not food. How to cry so hard your fake lashes half fall out.
Opening quote: “My biggest fear is getting wrinkles”
Jay was hands down my favourite person in the house, and we definitely learned the most about Geordie culture from him. From the get go, he hit us with with straight Geordie facts, and kept them coming all season long.
He wasted no time too, he hadn’t even told us his name before he taught us what a fanny lad was, and thank god, as it’s not easy to explain, and even Jay – the Geordie lord himself struggled.
“A fanny lad, is basically, uhhh, a lad, who is… after all the fanny -do you know what I mean?- and is getting into… all of the fanny”.
On a more serious note, he taught us that minds can absolutely be changed. Before he entered the house, he said to the camera, “Definitely not falling into a relationship in the house like, like definitely not”. But that all goes to smithereens when he meets Vicky 5 minutes later, and decided she was the most smashable bird in the house. To his credit, he remained incredibly loyal to Vicky that whole season, who held off sleeping with him until the very last week.
What we can learn: Even the most horny of guys are capable of staying loyal for the woman they like. Kanye put it best “One good girl is worth a thousand bitches” – something we had to relearn after watching Gaz.
What we did learn: You can’t call yourself a Geordie lad without an eyebrow and chest wax and a fake tan. If you are going to wear a top, make sure its a deep v-neck. How to get a bird in the house to do your laundry. How to get absolutely mortal on back to back nights.
What we didn’t learn, unfortunately: The importance of a kebab to a Geordie boy. “I cannot explain the importance of a kebab to a Geordie boy” – Jay.
Opening quote: “I am a Geordie girl, with a VIP edge”
It is shocking to approximately no one that Vicky is a Scorpio. Vicky was a serial relationship-ist and whirlwind of emotion (namely, jealousy and wrath). Her first season beau being Jay (Geordie lord above). Vicky had two modes- overly soft and sweet (complete with titmouse voice) and Satan in a hoodie. When Geordie Shore required subtitles they were 99% of the time for Vicky in a bad mood.
Whether she would admit it or not, she was in the house looking for love, she may as well have signed up for The Bachelorette. She even ended up being engaged to her second Geordie Shore relationship, Ricci.
She put her baes on a rollercoaster everyday. It was kind of sweet, in a really annoying way. Her and whoever her bae was at the time absolutely destroyed the experience in the house for everyone else with their constant fighting and making up, but what started as fun drama to watch quickly turned into a broken record and even a bit violent on account of Vicky lashing out when drunk.
What we can learn: That some couples absolutely thrive on the drama. What can start out as fun relationship drama, can end as really sad and abusive, tiring for not only you but everyone around you. Choose your battles, and leave your friends out of it.
What we did learn: Alcohol solves literally no relationship problems. It’s cute to have your bae’s name rhyme with your own. How to hold off on sleeping with a guy.
Opening quote: “Hardest graft I’ve ever done, is doing me hair” (I cannot or the life of me figure out what that means).
Perhaps the most notable lesson James taught me was that you can simply be unlucky on the pull. James said to camera, episode one “I’m probably, well definitely one of the best looking lads in Newcastle, if not England…my full time occupation is smashing birds” but didn’t manage to bring even one girl back to the shag pad for the best of 2 seasons, despite trying every night. James kept his head held high and put it down to the fact that he hadn’t met the right worldie yet.
Fun fact, after a long hiatus, James is back for season 20 single and ready to pull.
What we can learn: You can just be unlucky on nights out, even when you are looking cute as hell. Don’t break your standards or lose your confidence just because you are the only one not hooking up at the club.
What we did learn: Deep U necks are not flattering.
Opening quote: “I could talk the back legs off a donkey”
Sophie was the most likeable and positive person in the house. She took on the role of house mother pretty quickly and never really fought with anyone.
Sophie was a sex positive icon way back in 2011 when the world needed more of that. She wasn’t afraid to talk about how much she loved sex, she talked about how excited she was to be a “whore” on the show, and that was just to her parents.
What we could learn: That the girls like pulling just as much as the lads do. You can have platonic friendships with the opposite sex.
What we did learn: How to bang under a doona like a champ.
Opening quote: “Dress to impress- thats me.”
When Greg first entered the house, he was slightly older than the rest of the cast. He also wasn’t the typical Geordie the rest of the lads prided themselves on being. No deep V neck in his suitcase, not a gym junkie, no tan or eyebrow wax. He was more G Star Raw than Abercrombie and Fitch and his physical differences set him aside initially. The divide was so great Greg was seriously talking about leaving as early as episode 2 and at one point, he felt so left out that he cried on Vicky’s shoulder while the rest of the lads were at the gym.
Fortunately, Greg weathered the storm and once he pulled a few birds at the club, he earned the respect of the other boys and eventually became probably the most well liked lad in the crew.
What we can learn: You can be friends with people who aren’t like you. You don’t even have to like them, to be good friends. This is an important lesson in life (seriously), and if things start out a little rough, stick it out, you can always find common ground with another person.
What we did learn: Boys do cry.
Opening quote: “I’m fit, I’m flirty, and I’ve got double Fs”.
Holly. Holly, Holly Holly. (I’m over my word count limit, yet still feel all these “Holly’s are necessary).
Holly entered the house with a boyfriend on the outside. She slept with Gaz on the first night, nay the first afternoon, it could have even been 11am. When she eventually told her boyfriend, he said he wanted to work it out. She said “dump me”, he said “no”, but she wouldn’t dump him either and kept cheating. It went on like this all season and I don’t have the time or the word count to get into it too deeply without me sounding like Billy Madison again. There really is no conclusion to be drawn from her love life as it simply did not make any sense on any level.
Much like Greg, the rest of the Geordie Shore cast did not like her in the beginning. I hate to say it but she really did act a fool those first seasons. When she dramatically exited, no one noticed. When she came back after two episodes expecting hugs and “I miss you’s” she was met with “nobody wants you here go home”- from Charlotte, her only friend! Ouch. But she went on to become on of the most popular characters of the series for the 13 seasons she lasted for. We watched her grow and mature and become a completely different woman.
What we could learn: People change and grow. Always give people the benefit of the doubt learn to forgive.
What we did learn: How to get out your tiddies.