I Wanna Marry Harry Has Hit Our Screens. Here’s What You Need To Know

A Prince Harry lookalike and 12 American girls. What could go wrong?


by Jess Commons |
Published on

You’ve seen all the furor surrounding new American reality TV show I Wanna Marry Harry, right? The programme, which starts tonight in the UK on ITV2, is basically a reality show in which 12 American girls are brought to the UK, put up in a ‘castle’ and bitch, catfight and undermine each other for a chance to win the affections of Prince Harry.

The only problem is, Prince Harry is not Prince Harry (shocker). He’s actually a Prince Harry lookalike called Matt Hicks; a geology graduate from Southampton University who now spends his time cleaning up oil spills and riding around on bicycles because he can’t afford a car.

Anyways, the question you really want to know the answer to is this: you know the show’s going to be bad, but is it going to be bad bad or guilty pleasure bad? We had a little pre-watch for you and here’s what we learned.

Matt is definitely not Prince Harry

Be under no illusions here. Even the drunkest, staunchest anti-royalist crackpot Brit would be able to pick Matt out as a fake from 100 yards away. While he does share some startlingly similar characteristics (height, hair colour after a dye job, nose and eyes), passing himself off as the Queen’s grandson was always going to be a long shot, even by reality TV standards. Unless that is, you’ve got a bunch of Americans girls to fool, one of whom doesn’t even know what Prince Harry looks like. Which is always handy.

My Fair Lady ain’t got nothing on I Wanna Marry Harry

Matt may have a posh accent (convenient) but he starts out the whole process unable tell a shot glass from a crystal goblet. His transformation from hard-hat wearer to fourth in line to the throne is something of a thing of beauty. He is forced to learn posh people sports, like fencing (obviously) and shooting (with Kinglsey the butler as his assistant) and horse riding. Luckily, he masters all of them in the space of a 15-second montage. Phew. Close call.

There is no limit to the amount of times people can say ‘Prince Harry’ in one episode

From the narrator to Kingsley the butler to the girls to Matt himself, poor Harry’s name gets mentioned about seven times a minute, every minute, as if the whole thing was a poorly disguised advertorial for the royal family. Which it’s absolutely not. We’ve got a feeling the Queen is royally PO’ed by the whole thing. Especially the bit when Kingsley the butler insinuates that the contestants can sleep with Prince Harry if they win a night in the royal suite.

The girls are looking for real, genuine love

Weirdly, for a show that’s hinged on one person being the most famous prince in the world, no-one claims to be there for a quick stab at fame. Instead, the girls maintain that they’re on the show to find true love and actually don’t care whether Matt’s Prince Harry or not: ‘Prince Harry, Harry Potter, I don’t care.’ This will definitely come in handy when the reality TV gods deal their cruel twist and Prince Harry turns out to be just plain old Matt.

Matt is also looking for real, geunine love

Poor Matt’s not got it totally easy, you know. Apparently, he gets mistaken for Prince Harry about ‘seven times a day’ IRL and there’s been lots of cases in which girls suddenly go off him when they realise he’s not the real deal. Matt’s hoping that by coming on I Wanna Marry Harry, he’ll meet a really cool girl that’s actually really into *him. *By dressing up as Prince Harry. And pretending to be him. A flawless plan, sir.

This show is failing the Bechdel Test spectacularly

God bless the girls on the show. They just wanted to be on TV and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the truth of the matter is, the show’s designed to make them look like total nightmares. One episode down and they’re already bitching and plotting against each other to destroy their fellow competitors so they can have a chance with a man that they met an hour earlier who may or may not be famous. Sisterhood it ain’t.

Whether The Bachelor format that gives a man a position of judgement over a group of eager women feels outdated or whether it’s the cruel added twist that plays on society’s presumed impressions about the intellectual capabilities of a group of beautiful women, something about the whole thing just feels a bit icky.

There’s probably a lot more going on than immediately meets the eye

Since the show aired in America, one of the girls has admitted she wasn’t totally fooled by Matt Hicks: ‘I just felt as though something was off. Plus, I don’t think the Queen would allow [Harry] to go on a show to date a bunch of crazy American girls.’ Knowing the lengths reality TV has gone to in the past, we’re guessing this girl’s admission is just the tip of the motherfucking iceberg.

I Wanna Marry Harry is on ITV2 tonight at 9PM

Follow Jess on Twitter @jess_commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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