Has anybody watched RTÉ 2's new programme - The Model Agent? What do you think? If you're from Ireland you can't have missed the ads for it but I'll just fill the rest of you in. Its a reality tv programme with the tag - '12 girls, 6 weeks, 1 contract'. Model agent Ellis, comes to Ireland to scout the next (the first?) Irish supermodel. Erin O'Connor acts as mentor to the 12 girls who are scouted and over the 6 weeks they go through a variety of challenges as the group is narrowed down to the final girl who will win a contract with Independent Models London (Ellis' agency) and a cover of Image magazine.
I wasn't expecting anything of this programme from the ads. I really thought it was going to be a cringeworthy cheap Irish version of America/Britain's Next Top Model. I wasn't even going to watch it except that my Mum vaguely knew one of the girls on it. So last night we sat down to watch it on RTÉ Player - I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting the cliché's - fake tan and layers of make -up, the bitching and backbiting, the tears and drama. There was none of that - well maybe a few tears when they chose the first few girls to go home, but by that time we were so in love with these real, happy, friendly, relatively down-to-earth young girls that I even think my Mum secretly shed a little tear at their departure.
I was never an avid follower of America or Britain's NTM (I think I only followed one series) but always used to enjoy watching the odd programme, however in recent years I've grown tired of the fake drama. This is where The Model Agent is refreshing. There is no 'house' for the girls where the most minor incident becomes a major drama, in direct contrast they have their families nearby to support them. They are given advice and coaching by Erin O'Connor and even Ellis the Model Agent, who I expected was going to criticise the girls harshly is kind and supportive. You don't love to hate any of the girls, instead any of them could be your little sister or next door neighbour and you wish them all well. It remains to be seen how the series progresses but after the first two episodes I'm hooked... and I already have a favourite!
or watch it on RTÉ Player here