So many things are against this show.
The fact it uses one of the lexicographical barbarities of our era in its title – OMG – a phrase most associated who are able store their brains in the cavity in their left back molar when they need their cranium space as an emergency oxygen supply when they forget how to breathe.
There’s also the fact that it’s on ITV2, a channel rivalling MTV as the worst in the world, producing programmes that have less imaginative spark than a couple of copulating slugs could concoct even as they are crushed under the boot of a myopic farmer. And finally there is ‘With Peaches Geldof’, the feeble capitulation to a generation – of all ages, ‘eight to eighty’ – who lap up programmes based on the celebrity who has been hired to add their indiscriminate patronage to its desperate viewing figures.
And it’s with this last point that we’ll begin. Largely because Peaches Geldof is a much better television presenter than we anticipated. We didn’t have high hopes as a couple of years before we saw her try and launch her own magazine, and while she had a few decent traits – her hatred of Razorlight for example – she came across as bolshy, arrogant and spoilt.
How much of that was down to ‘storylining’ (see MTV), editing or simply being a brat was unclear. Thankfully, she has matured since then, now displaying added vulnerability.
Comparisons with her late mother are obvious. She lacks, for better or worse, the sardonic touch of Paula Yates – again most likely down to lack of experience (or being a completely different person) – but she does share her easy charisma. A sense of acting in a dislikeable manner and yet still keeping a magnetic appeal.
Admittedly, she is hardly dealing with the toughest guests – some comedian, some pretend vampires – while the level of debate would shame a box of yapping puppies, and so it would be interesting to see how far she could on less frivolous show (although as the most profound entertainment show on at the moment is Graham Norton this may be difficult to put into practice).
Her cause is helped by being flanked by two pleasant co-presenters, Aled Jones (not that one) and Emma Kenny, neither of whom are as irritating as Terry Christian, Jean-Paul Gaultier or Katie Puckrick. The only problem we have with OMG is the content, which, in this opening episode, was utterly dreadful.
It began badly as Peaches delivered a pre-recorded five-minute monologue to camera about what the show was about. And as it transpired every item on the show was more throwaway than a new-restaurant-opening leaflet this was utterly superfluous. Matters were made worse when Peaches concluded the monologue with, “It’s OMG with Peaches Geldof”, only to cut to the studio where Peaches said, “It’s OMG with Peaches Geldof”.
However, the introduction was much better than the items featured. The first fifteen minutes – though it felt like three hours – was devoured by fake vampires, the sort of parasites who lead such vacuous lives they fixate on badly-written fictional ciphers (Being Human excluded) to give them the freedom to be a little bit naughty and pretend they want to suck a friend’s neck.
The only things duller in the world than fake vampires are ‘real’ vampires – especially those romanticised, wan weeds who extort cash from impressionable teenage girls with the same cynical amorality as Pete Waterman did in the 80s – and Dean Piper, a Daily Mirror hack perched in the crowd who made inane contributions less welcome than Joseph Stalin at your wedding.
The bit about Grinder – an app that enables gay men to locate other like-minded gay men in the nearby vicinity – was an abortion that should have been scrapped the moment it was thought up. Aled sat in a café and looked at messages sent to him by potential link-ups, only for the one invite he received to cry off at the prospect of being on TV. Back in the studio, Peaches revealed that Grinder would soon be available for straight people with a “Get in!” only for Emma to express reasonable concern about the potential dangers to women of using such an app.
And after a news article that claimed Katy Perry wasn’t too happy about Russell Brand publishing online a photo of her without her make-up, we became suspicious about exactly when OMG was produced.
This suspicion was exacerbated when the final item was about how a modern relationship only officially ends when it is announced on Facebook. Very 2007. And the spunk on the rancid biscuit here was that Dean Piper weighed in to the debate, spewing enough bullshit to fertilise the entire Indian rice crop.
But the framework of the show is solid. It’s crippled by its slot on ITV2 on a Wednesday and by pandering to passing fads of four years ago, but if it plays to its strengths – the presenters – OMG could last a lot longer and become a far more culturally relevant than almost every teen-focused entertainment show since The Word.