Seven Days: The Hills meets Notting Hill
Posted on 23 September 2010, 5:12
Just finished watching week 1 of Seven Days, Channel 4’s new adventure in reality TV. The concept: ‘Follow the interwoven lives of some of Notting Hill’s most colourful characters… an outspoken hairdresser, a budding rapper, two glamorous models, a single mother, a student, two pet therapists, a flamboyant restaurateur and many more, all with stories to tell and decisions to make.’
What lifts Seven Days out of docu-soap and into something more interactive is that the filming happened within the past week, and viewers can influence the action next week by giving advice to the characters via the Seven Days website. ‘What you see has only just happened, and what has happened may have been influenced by you,’ says the site.
I found it a curious mixture. It was filmed and edited like The Hills *gag*, but as I know (or know of) at least two of the characters, this appears to have some genuine slice of life stuff in it. Well, as much as that can be when the people are miked up and know they’re being filmed… which may boil down to not very much at all. The Hills was accused of being scripted, and some of the lines tonight sounded a bit rehearsed.
Still, taking it for what it is, I enjoyed seeing a London district I know so well portrayed so handsomely. I loved the sharp soundtrack, and I admired the fast editing which put the events of just a few days ago (including the Pope’s visit) into the action.
There was one scene I just had to rewind and replay to take in the full and fabulous eccentricity of property developer Malcolm as he described the death of his beloved cat, Tiger. Sitting in the hot tub with a female friend, he confided, ‘I just couldn’t bury him in garden. I couldn’t. I put him in a fridge on his favourite pillow and covered him with rose petals… and went away for two years.’
Samantha (model, blonde) made a bid for the Nasty Nick crown when she a) made her friend Laura weep real mascara tears by saying her hair looked awful and b) declared, while flipping through a clothes catalogue, ‘I wouldn’t even wear that dress for sick children.’ Samantha’s clearly going for the career boost she’s dreamt of for a while.
The #sevendays Twitter feed went like a rocket all through the show, and the Channel 4 website collapsed under the traffic – which was pretty disastrous, given the amount of signposting it received all evening.
Looking forward to next week, though, if only to see more of Onion, a celebrity pooch of Portobello Road.