What Happens in Sunny Beach... Is a Damning Indictment of British Youth Culture


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Let's get straight down to it: What Happens in Sunny Beach (A TV show on Channel 4) is a masterpiece. It's no bawdier than Chaucer was in his time and has all the histrionics of damn good theatre. My boyfriend and I watch it, gasping occasionally, covering our eyes, and screaming at the television (also there's a lot of angry fist flailing, but we like to do that at everything... mainly newfangled gadgetmadoodles and clouds). I think we consider it acceptable, and even thoroughly enjoyable viewing, because the narrator adopts the tone and parlance of a nature documentary voice-over, further reinforcing our feelings of superiority and detatchedness. Middle class young adults who were born 45 watching what other people our age (and weirdly, people up to the age of about 32, seriously why?) are supposedly and apparently up to abroad.

For the record, the Wikipedia entry on Sunny Beach states:

"Several controversies have become associated with the city - especially regarding alcohol abuse and the irresponsibility of bar and night club owners and managers. Foreigners would often become overly intoxicated, share multiple sexual partners without taking health precautions and become rowdy. Business owners are reportedly competing to intoxicate tourists as much as they can and emergency services appear to be inadequate."

So, lots of drunks, terrible healthcare facilities, issues with crime and pickpockets... sounds like the kind of place you might want to, well, avoid? Aren't holidays meant to be relaxing? Aren't they about doing new things? If you want to meet LADZ from Lancashire, why not go to Lancashire and be a female? 

The general motto of anyone on WHISB, who all seem to be from Doncaster, is that 'the alcohol is cheap' and point out that 'they can get away with things they couldn't at home.' Yes. And no. If you consider humping someone else (inevitably from Doncaster, but maybe from a rival college to make things more exciting) covered in foam, in public, somehow acceptable just because you're a few thousand miles away from your parents leather DFS sofa maroon floral wallpaper covered (you know, THIS kind) sitting room, YOU are the reason that escapism needs to exist in the first place.

I thin my favourite character (they can't possibly be real, actual people with engagements and responsbilities back home) comes in the form of an unassuming ginger man (from Doncaster) with a Mike Tyson face tattoo LIKE THAT'S A THING THAT AN ACTUAL PERSON WOULD ACTUALLY GET TATTOOED ON THEIR ACTUAL FLESHY HUMAN NON MIKE TYSON FACE.


But alas, it is on his face and there to stay. From a 'scaring young children in the street' perspective I envy him, but from a employment perspective it's not a move I would applaud, unless it was to applaud removing himself from the decent jobs pool, leaving a place for someone more generally LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD WITH A NON-DOODLED-ON-FACE.

WHISB satisfies my need for crap reality TV that's so appallingly awful it calls into question the boundary between human and animal behaviour, and does it in a way paralleled only by The Valleys and Geordie Shore.

I don't for a second believe that British Youth Culture is actually like this; but a sizeable portion of it is. And until places like Sunny Beach are positively counter-cultural anti-mainstream events that only a 'handful' of people engage in rather than the destination of choice for teens who obviously don't feel like they have yet lived life to it's fullest potential, I reserve the right to rant about the state of Britain's 18-30s.

And it was at that point I rolled over and whispered to my boyfriend as he held me, 'never leave me.'

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