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'Essex' recap: 'The engagement party'

By
Mark Wright

© Rex Features / David Fisher

Finally, Nanny Pat and the gang have got their just reward. The Only Way Is Essex has been nominated for a BAFTA 'YouTube Audience Award' alongside esteemed company such as Downton Abbey, The Killing and Sherlock. Arg's battle with the bulge and Joey Essex's efforts with his hair are without question a match for the sleuthing skills of Benedict Cumberbatch, Maggie Smith's Countess of Grantham or Sarah Lund's jumpers in The Killing. All of this considered, it's only fitting that the latest episode of TOWIE was a party special with the no expense spared engagement of Mark & Lauren. In our usual style, Reality Bites charts the episode's highs and lows below:

The Only Way is Essex S02 Cast: Arg
The Good
- Brokeback Mountain engagement -
An Only Way Is Essex engagement party is not any old engagement party. For an Essex engagement you need the groom-to-be to arrive on horseback with his best mate, a vomit-inducing cheesy speech, a gaggle of women flashing their cleavages and legs on the dancefloor and some illicit affairs and sneaked kisses in the corridors with ex-girlfriends. More OTT than a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding dress and boozier than a night on the tiles with Charlie Sheen. Our only problem: where was our invite?

Gemma Collins from 'The Only Way Is Essex'
The Bad
- Grower or a show-er -
Maria Fowler, Chloe Simms and Gemma Collins provided the drivel running commentary of the week, which this week focused on the hot topic of men's genitalia. More specifically it involved Maria and Gemma attempting to explain the concept of a "grower or a shower" to the gawping Miss Simms. It's always hard to tell if Simms is confused or if her latest round of surgery has just left her face a bit wonky. What turned this typically Essex discussion beyond tedious into the awful was Gemma 'Vanessa Feltz' Collins candid honesty about the "cobwebs" she's collecting due to her disappointing sex life. It put us right off Nanny Pat's pineapple hedgehog.

The Only Way is Essex S02 Cast: Mark
The Essex
- Mark and Arg's shower session -
We were granted some of the most homoerotic scenes captured on camera since Tom Cruise played Maverick in Top Gun on Sunday night. Mark and Arg continued to play along with the producers' running gag about their back-slapping, hot tub-sharing, soapy, lathered-up bromance, filming a flesh-filled scene that wouldn't be out of place at the start of a dreadful porno. Arg's wobbly middle bits and Mark's tanned torso were exposed in full, followed up by a full-on bum shot that, without question, single-handedly justifies TOWIE getting the BAFTA ahead of that Downtown Abbey fluff.

The Only Way Is Essex continues on Wednesday at 10pm on ITV2.

> 'Essex' recap: 'The Botox party'
> 'Essex' recap: 'The pool snog'
> 'Essex' recap: 'The pub quiz'

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