Marbella. Or Marbs as it’s affectionately referred to these days. I’ve been; once, about 15 years ago when I was a teenager. My Dad goes once a year with his friends for a ‘lads holiday’. I can’t remember a lot about the place, aside from the marina in Puerto Banus and a huge shopping centre, not forgetting the Marbella sign you’re greeted by when you drive into Marbs itself.
Marbella has always been a favoured place in Spain to visit by holidaymakers, it’s popularity has soared over recent years, this I would imagine is down to a little known British TV Programme called The Only Way Is Essex.
The TOWIE lot take an annual (sometimes bi-annual) excursion to the European party place where their constant partying and drama is played out for viewers to see in all its sun kissed glory. And, although I’ve always watched ‘TOWIE does Marbs’, it’s never really inspired me to want to return to Marbella and find out what the fuss is about. All it made me think was how a Champagne Pool Party would be my idea of hell. What a waste of champers! My hair would be on the turn, I’d probably stink of booze for a week and give myself a permanent hangover, not to mention my skin would feel all sticky & horrible once the spraying was over. Ugh, no thanks, not for me.
Anyway, I digress. With the success of The Only Way Is Marbs in mind, it was only a matter of time for a ‘structured reality’ TV series dedicated to Marbella to hit our screens.
Cue Life On Marbs, a show that began on ITVBe in July 2015. It had all the hallmarks of being exactly like TOWIE. Beautiful 20 & 30 something’s, with enough botox and plastic surgery to give even Katie Price a run for her money. Talking of money, these people are rich and I mean filthy rich. Life On Marbs cast list reads like the Times Rich List. These cast members are seriously wealthy, well their husbands are anyway.
As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m a huge fan of reality TV. The trashier the better (I even watched the whole series of Desperate Scousewives back in 2011, for my sins). I simply had to give Life On Marbs a go. And give it a go, I did.
The first episode made me cringe, I won’t lie. Anyone remember Eldorado, the fictional show that was on in the early 90’s? That never made it past one series? Well, episode 1 of Life On Marbs was like Eldorado. But worse. Even I, one of Reality TV’s biggest fans, wanted to hit the off button and erase from my mind, what I had witnessed. My toes were curling and my eyes burning. This. Was. Awful.
However, I decided to give Episode 2, the following week, a go. Perhaps I’m glutton for punishment? Or just have absolutely zero taste (likely)? Whatever the reason, I tuned in and I’m really quite glad I did.
I grew to love Life On Marbs. For me, it had a little bit of everything. It had the drama, the ‘love stories’ (for want of a better phrase), the bitch fights, the friendships, the glamour and the funny parts too. I was finding myself becoming more and more addicted to it, with every week I tuned in.
Yeah there were moments of pure, unadulterated cringe (Oi Oi Josh, I’m looking at you!) but, dare I say it, I found it more realistic and less ‘set up’ than The Only Way Is Essex. It almost reminded me of how TOWIE was when it first began some 5 years ago.
There were no awkward silences, where it feels like someone is trying to remember a line they may have been told to say, or may have had to repeat for the 9th time that day, due to not filming it quite right the first 8 times. The friendships felt real, the relationships almost felt real (they certainly didn’t feel as forced and fake as certain TOWIE dalliances). I just felt, as a viewer, I was watching something that was quite authentic and may have occurred even if a camera wasn’t on the cast.
Life On Marbs had a loveable quality to it, I’d often find myself smiling while watching it (I loved the friendship groups the men had, featuring Jon, Bally, Adam & Jeff). It felt like they had been friends for years and really had each others backs. There was no bitching between them, it just felt like they were having the time of their lives together in southern Spain.
With TOWIE, or another structured reality TV show like Made In Chelsea for example. I rarely find myself actually liking many people. They often seem so fake or so bitchy or so obsessed by drama and trying to grab as much airtime as possible. I really never felt like that when watching LOM. In actual fact, I rarely found anyone difficult to like. They each had their own endearing sides to their personalities. Don’t get me wrong, there was drama at times, it wasn’t all sweet and fun, but even the drama didn’t feel set up. I often find it very repetitive in TOWIE or Made in Chelsea, but in LOM it felt authentic.
I’m gutted Life On Marbs has come to an end. It was a real bit of escapism TV for me, I’d love settling down of an evening and being greeted by beautiful sunshine on my TV screen. I really, really hope it gets a second series, if I had to choose (please don’t make me), I’d sack off all my other reality TV shows just for Life On Marbs. I loved it that much!!!
It’s also made me want to visit Marbella and sip a white wine spritzer in La Sala bar. Although, I have to admit, I’d definitely partake in a night on the back line, it’s got me written all over it. Who knows, it’s my 30th next year so I might have to use that as an excuse and take a trip to sunny Spain and indulge in some Life On Marbs action myself!!! No champagne pool parties though, I draw the line at that.