VEighteen months ago, Billy Fearon (Tom Brittney) was a nobody. He then became the courtesy star of the sixth season of the reality TV program Love or Lust. People still recognize him on the street. For a Category Z celebrity and in the social media universe, that’s remarkable. Every selfie uploaded with the self-proclaimed “Womanizer” still goes like crazy and brings a thousand and one exalted comments.
However, Billy’s star is sinking. He fails to post the “lunchtime motivation” reminders for a pointless “power protein powder” and to feed his followers details of his personal life. This is not only due to the new secrecy, but also to the fact that Billy does not have an interesting private life, but instead has endless debts. Especially since the marketing deals haven’t materialized and the penthouse has to be paid for. This is not actually on the top floor of the house, but it is recorded with the smartphone camera. Nothing Ferrari, zero perspective. His manager is not amused. Anyone who doesn’t make the leap from the “Love Island” parallel world and doesn’t establish themselves as an influencer brand is a loser and disappears into the poverty of the “reunion” meetings of such formats.
The Rise and Fall of a Young Man
Billy’s core brand is in dire need of a reinterpretation. Selfies with hospital staff, social engagement for the children’s ward, that sort of thing. Or the reconciliation of the TV bed hopper with participant Michelle (Emma Catherine Rigby), whom he badly cheated on the dome show. The best opportunity to do so is at their “Moods” collection launch party. She is “designer”. That means people bring stuff to her and she says what she likes about it. It’s a shame that Billy doesn’t quite function anymore, lets himself be towed by a Season 7 contestant who takes pictures of him and herself in bed and presents the picture to the social media community.
It’s doubly bad that Billy really likes Michelle and that a liaison isn’t good for her image (“warm-hearted & sweet”). And three times as bad that Michelle wants to pass him on to her professional management, but at the business meeting he can’t think of anything unique about his personality. Then come hate posts, requests to take a rope, obnoxious comments about his flabby appearance, attempts to get his old life back (he’s “not considered serious enough for his previous job anymore”), total loss of control, and attempted suicide . And at the end, in the clinic with his mother Amanda (Amanda Abbington) at his side, a cynical punchline that sums up the whole business of and with the reality “stars”.
The fictional but close to the facts shot BBC film “Make Me Famous” needs not much more than fifty minutes from the screenplay of the presenter and producer Reggie Yates to authenticate the rise and fall of a young man painfully exactly and to “reality” -to examine the TV industry (director: Peter King, camera: David Procter). The film tells the before and after, the casting process and posthumous fame, on two time levels. “Make Me Famous” remains at a critical distance, does not pass as the “background story” of a real season, but has an observational, socially critical dimension without cheap moralism. Fictional scenes of the “Love or Lust” casting show what the makers of such shows, compared to which the current “jungle camp” seems harmless, imagine authenticity. He should just be himself, Billy is told. That means he’s supposed to play the stereotypical role of the sexist puke who flattens women in droves. Show employees Kelly (Aiysha Hart) and Stephanie (Nina Sosanya) tell him that only arouses interest. The “human interest” factor is provided by his past, a father who took his own life, the photo of little Billy, grief-overweight, bullied, nicknamed “fat Billy”. Victory over yourself, a six-pack as proof: Billy Fearon, supposedly fantastic testimonial potential for sports and nutrition brands.
“Make Me Famous” looks closely until the last fade to black. Up to the last irony of the marketing cycle of a young man who was first made irresistible and didn’t find the jump. Eighteen months can mean an eternity, measured from the first post to the last.
make me famous runs today at 11 p.m. on ZDFneo and in the media library.
#reality #star #dogs