Despite my fondness for terrible television this is my first Sorority Girls viewing. I tried to watch the first few episodes for the sake of research and ended up hiding behind a cushion. So I’m not absolutely sure what the point of the programme is, but as far as I can tell a sorority is a group of female students who really enjoy clapping and shouting and want to look like any First Lady in the bad, unglamorous stretch between Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama. But possibly whilst getting their bums out and covering themselves in jam. I have a feeling I have missed something important in the pre credit montage, the main pa2rt of the show involves watching a group of bitchy American sorority girls whittle down the Brits who bafflingly want to be part of the first UK sorority.
In a move that squicks with antifeminism, Seattle University student and social chair Devan has decided to get all the fraternity guys down from Washington State to “party” with the Brit girls - and by party, she means get the girls drunk and unladylike and make it easier for her to choose which one to get rid of next. She hopes the girls won’t be doing any “creepy shacking” with the guys. According to Devan, to creepy shack is to sleep with someone erroneously and sneak out of their bed at 4AM before anyone can catch you. As Devan is the creepiest being in any room she enters she must know all about it. She pops home to her campus to show us the “virginity tree”, where boys throw pairs of shoes into the branches when they have “taken a girl’s virginity.” I’m sure they chose Devan to narrate this part because her Hello Kitty chipmunk voice is distracting enough to make the viewer’s brain wait a good three minutes before going “what was that? That’s FUCKING weird.” I really hope there’s another tree on campus where girls do the same. Not sure what they would throw, though. Perhaps breadsticks or conkers.
We meet the “typical fraternity guy” who “has charisma and respect for himself and others” and apparently aspires to be a not hot, not funny version of Michael Cera and likes to wear chinos that race to meet his receding hairline. Oh, and because he’s a party rebel type he drinks lots of shots. In restaurants, when deliberating the merits of the Malbec versus the Cabernet Sauvignon he probably gives up and asks the waiter for “a bunch of tequila” because he’s that crazy.
The attending gentlemen also explain the charming meaning of their word “sorostitute” - because we couldn’t possibly have guessed. “A sorostitute is a slut, takes it from behind, maybe with two, three guys at a time.” If it turns out that the frat boy version of a sorostitute is a dudebro I am kidnapping these boys and making them sit through a full screening of Baise Moi.
She pops home to her campus to show us the “virginity tree”
The US girls explain to the boys that they think they’d been the “perfect temptation” for the Brit girls - bloody hell, they have a low opinion of us - and set about organising Operation Frat Attack, which must be the rape-iest sounding event to ever happen on prime time reality TV, including the nipple incident on Argentinian Strictly.
The girls tell the Brits that they get to party with the American boys as a treat - oooh, sneaky! - and chuck them some bedsheets to help them dress for the toga theme. One of the English girls heads to the garden to decorate her toga with some ivy. “This is ivy, isn’t it?” she asks the camera man. “Ah well, it’s green and leafy anyway.” As Dorothy Parker said, you can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.
Suddenly the boys burst in and launch the attack by picking up our girls and running off with them - apart from poor Chloe, who is forced to walk to the restaurant by herself. She says she feels like a “lonely little troll” - but surely it is better to live a thousand days as a troll than one day as a sorostitite.
The party kicks off with shots - wooooooh! Lads! Most of the girls think the boys are “rude, inappropriate and vulgar” but Camille seems to be having a lovely time. However, American sister Dominique is worried she’s enjoying herself for the “wrong reasons.” Ah, the enjoyment of flirting and booze reasons. Camille should be ashamed of herself - and we’d better check the nearest tree for shoes.
The next day all the girls wake up in the sorority house, so if there has been any creepy shackery the cameras haven’t picked up on it. Their task for the day is to decorate wooden paddles with glitter glue to “express their personalities”. Apparently this is an old sorority tradition, but I think the show might be helping Hobbycraft do a soft launch on its “customise your SM equipment” section. (Imagine what you could do with a pack of pipe cleaners.) The Americans will give the would-be pledges marks out of five, and the team with the most points...hold on, there are teams? Anyway, the losing team has to go and hang out with the frat boys for a bit longer at the Labor Day party. Oh, sorry, that’s the winning team.
We hear Devan’s concerns that the boys are “recruiting the girls to enjoy themselves” and as a social secretary and party organiser she’s very keen that enjoyment doesn’t happen. When the show finishes I’m sure the Daily Mail will snap her up as a columnist. In spite of this most of the girls have a great time at the party apart from Christiana who sits on a hay bale and sulks into a plate of coleslaw. It’s unclear whether she’s in a mood because her Fine Art degree skills only gave her three out of five for her gold glitter paddle or if it’s because her skirt’s a bit short to ride the Bucking Bronco.
The boys sneak off to pick a Fraternity Sweetheart - the girl who is guaranteed freedom from elimination in the next round of whittling. It’s really just an excuse for the boys to be mean about girls and make boob gestures and stupid noises. They end up choosing Sophie who seems very nice, and stand around her chanting a song that rhymes rose with nose. The prizes in this show are dubious.
The girls are called in for the whittling. Christiana gets bollocked for not socialising with the boys enough and Maxine gets bollocked for socialising with the boys too much. Dominique slams her for being vulgar and flirtatious, revealing “the boys called you Maxine Obscene.” Dom, the things that rhyme with your name are not your fault!
Katie gets told off for not applying enough spirit to her paddle making
Christiana gets bollocked for not socialising. Maxine gets bollocked for socialising too much. She is "vulgar and slightly flirtatious- the boys described her as Maxine Obscene. IT'S NOT HER FAULT THAT'S WHAT HER NAME RHYMES WITH! Katie also gets told off for her poor paddle making and leaps to Maxine’s defence - and all the girls come together to explain that not only is Christiana crap at joining in, she’s been bitching about everyone when she thinks they’re asleep. Even though Christina tries to explain this away as “making an effort to talk to everyone”, the Americans eliminate her. Christina wishes everyone luck and makes her exit, but she doesn’t look too upset. And why should she? She’s got all the qualities she’ll need to win next year’s Apprentice.
Next week the girls will be making sausages. It’s unclear how this relates to sorority business, but as long as they don’t cover them in glitter and sequins it should make tasty viewing.
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