TV: Why The Big Reunion Is The Best Thing On The Telly
According to the much talked about ’90s revival show The Big Reunion, being in a band is the worst. If one person wasn’t hating another person, someone else had depression but was too afraid to tell their bandmates. And that’s just the start of it. It seems if you joined a successful band in the ’90s you were destined to be unhappy, overworked and ultimately dropped by your record label. How little we knew as children! Blu-tacking the false smiles of our favourite pop stars to our bedroom walls, never knowing the pain behind their drug-filled shiny eyes.
The Big Reunion is the genius creation of ITV2 and the surprise hit of spring time TV. It brings together six of the biggest bands of the past decade to reunite for one big gig, a big gig that has now turned into a full UK and Irish tour due to demand, to the delight of the participants’ bank managers. The bands all look nearly the same as they did ten years ago, with just a little more pudge around the midriff and a few more frown lines from years of hiding under hooded jumpers in fear of being recognised as that has-been from that band with that song.
There’s 5ive, who are hilariously now a four (4our?) as Jay Brown as decided not to participate. This is to the relief of Sean, the perpetually pointless member of the band, whose role was to sit on things in the background of music videos and make gagging noises in the middle of songs. It turns out that Jay and Sean were never the best of friends, and we are shown evidence of this in a clip from their heyday where Jay tells Sean he looks like a girl as he runs in a womanly fashion on a treadmill. Sean was the main reason for 5ive’s break-up. He tells us that he didn’t know who he was anymore, and needed to get away from the band, and from Jay, to find himself. Ramp.ie feared for his sanity a bit when we saw him on The Voice UK last year, and as rehearsals started on The Big Reunion and he had to stand in the corner for a breather because, as he explained, there was a battle raging between old Sean and new Sean in his head, all our fears were confirmed. Obviously being Sean from 5ive is not a good career move for anyone.
There is Atomic Kitten, who are lovely at singing but by Jaysus when they talk. They should be given one instruction and one instruction only and that is to be mute forever. And to make it worse, Kerry Katona is back, under the guise that Jenny Frost is too busy having twins, but we all know that isn’t true. Kerry saw TV cameras and ran to them like a confused sheep to alluring headlights. She probably wasn’t even invited. But she’s there now, dancing around and doing the talking bits of all the songs because, as she has freely admitted to since leaving the girlband, she can’t sing.
911 and Honeyz have also joined the party. They are the two bands no one really cares about, because they are slightly older and slightly less successful. Hilariously, 911 look like a bunch of builders doing a bit of karaoke at their Christmas party. And Honeyz, the original line-up-change masters before Sugababes were even born, sit in the corner and talk quietly about how many opportunities they missed because people kept quitting, but no-one can hear them over Kerry Katona shouting about Brian McFadden cheating on her.
What’s that smell? Like denim and desperation? Oh it’s B*Witched! The rollercoaster singers have Irish-danced their way into The Big Reunion with more issues than Lindsay Lohan and Lily Allen combined. So Edele and Sinead were best friends but the friendship was too intense, almost like a marriage if you will. So Sinead had to stop being friends with her, which hurt Edele. And Keavy had depression but Edele didn’t realise which was extra horrible because they have the same face. And Edele was given the role as lead singer, which annoyed everyone else, especially the one with the same face as her. And Lindsey felt that no one ever listened to her; also, she divorced Lee from 911 just last year and seems to be coping with it much better than him.
Which leads us to wonder how anyone found the time to actually make any music with all these meltdowns?
Lastly there’s the classic rejects of pop land, Liberty X, who showed the world they were a little bit more talented than Hear’Say by squeezing into some leather and hitting their backup dancers with canes. There’s no drama here, unfortunately. Everyone loves each other and when they get together they always have a great laugh. Boring!
All in all, this is possibly the greatest show ever made. It’s like an episode of Cribs with your favourite celebrity, except in the middle of it all Piers Morgan sits them down in their kitchen and asks them to reveal their deepest darkest secrets to the camera. There’s a new car crash in every scene, whether it is Abs from 5ive rocking a tattoo that reads ‘delicious’ across his neck and talking about the rich sugar mummy (that’s a thing, right?) who he lived off for years, or the three members of B*Witched trying their hardest to sing as well as lead singer Edele and then throwing a hissy fit when their vocal coach tells them they aren’t as good. There’s nothing more entertaining than seeing people talk about things they really shouldn’t be talking about and it’s that guilty pleasure this programme is built on.
So get out your khaki belly top and your tracksuit bottoms with the buttons that go all the way up the sides and prepare a Mr. Frosty snow cone, because the ’90s are back, and they are fantastic.