tue 15/10/2019

I Wanna Marry 'Harry', ITV2 | reviews, news & interviews

I Wanna Marry 'Harry', ITV2

I Wanna Marry 'Harry', ITV2

Ludicrous reality show puts new slant on the transatlantic 'special relationship'

Harry's game: some day their prince will come

Great idea. Round up a dozen 20-something American girls whose idea of a royal family is the Kardashians, whisk them off to a stately pile somewhere in the south of England, and put them in a beauty contest to see which one can take the fancy of a bloke who might just be Prince Harry.

... but a terrible programme. Matt Hicks, the fey posh chap with slightly Harry-esque ginger hair who (oddly) looks like both Wills and Harry after they've been processed through a Photoshop blender, is a personality-vacuum blessed with the chat-up skills of the Speaking Clock ("er... you're a bit brazen"). Also you'd have to be quite dim to get involved in a scam like this, whose only possible outcome could be to leave your CV irreversibly reduced to the phrase "Novelty Bogus Royal". And you might be hanged for High Treason, after having your eyes clawed out by your outraged victims.

I was wondering what they must have told the bachelorettes to get them to participate. "You'll never be President, but you could be the Queen of England"? "You can go malling with Princess Pippa"? "They have Subway there too now"? They seemed to have little idea of what they'd got themselves into, or who this mysterious guy was they were supposed to meet. Still, the novelty of the situation kept them wide-eyed and preoccupied for a while, from the lush English scenery to the formal high teas to the seemingly endless supply of booze, presumably laid on to keep them as confused as possible.

The disingenuousness of the project is mind-boggling, with Hicks tying himself in knots to avoid revealing anything resembling the truth while eyeing up the ladies like a nightclub voyeur (he likes the ones with "a twinkle in her eye"). There's also a powerful undercurrent of sleaze in the way "Harry" picks one girl every evening to sleep in the Crown Suite, adjoining his own bedroom, so he can get a closer look at the merchandise.

"Harry" is assisted in his task by the butler, Kingsley, who plays Nick Hewer to Hicks's Lord Sugar. It is to Kingsley that our young pretender confides his opinions on the gals, and Kingsley who may announce unctuously that "Sir has decided that we are to play cricket". The latter was merely an excuse to get the bachelorettes to run up and down in tiny white skirts (maiden bowls Harry over, above).

With Hicks a mere cypher, whatever entertainment value is to be derived from this farrago will come from the women themselves (especially the aggressively hard-drinking Maggie). The situation is designed to provoke bitter in-fighting, and it was daggers drawn from the moment when the gushingly eager Rose became the first occupant of the Crown Suite. Insinuations about what lengths she'd gone to to earn such preferment were immediately forthcoming (the real Harry, above). But the poor things are living on a knife-edge, since every night Harry ejects one of them, Apprentice-style, from the house, whence we see her stumble tearfully into a taxi, never to be seen again. Like the programme itself, perhaps. 

It was daggers drawn from the moment when the gushingly eager Rose became the first occupant of the Crown Suite

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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