‘I hope Rylan got a lot of cash for Hot Mess Summer but sadly even he can’t save the show’

TV critic Ian Hyland shares his telling verdict on Hot Mess Summer

Hot Mess Summer will be hosted by Rylan and debut on Prime in 2024. (Prime Video)
Hot Mess Summer is hosted by Rylan. (Prime Video)

In an interview ahead of his new Amazon Prime Video reality show Hot Mess Summer, Rylan Clark revealed how he deals with rude trolls: "I just check my bank account and go: 'F*** you, I’m rich.'"

Even if you don’t appreciate his potty mouth, you have to respect the honesty.

I just hope that he was paid a lot of money for hosting Hot Mess Summer, because, having binged the six episodes for myself, I’d be surprised if Rylan’s incoming online feedback turned out to be wholly positive.

To be fair, it’s not the worst reality show that’s ever been made. It would definitely be in the running for that dubious honour though.

Not that Hot Mess Summer being such a reheated mess will alter Rylan’s career trajectory one bit.

His stock is so high he can afford to suffer a minor mishap on a streaming channel. Plus, he got a few weeks of topping up his tan on dazzling Zante out of it.

Rylan and Lee - Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)
Rylan and Lee behind the bar on Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)

I fully expect him to continue to match the equally ubiquitous Alison Hammond show for show. And I remain convinced that he will take Graham Norton’s seat in the Eurovision commentary box in the next couple of years.

Sadly, as brilliant as Rylan is, his presence cannot save Hot Mess Summer.

Luckily for him - and us - its format contains a twist which would make a second series very difficult to pull off (unless they’ve filmed one already).

Eight party-loving British twentysomethings are flown to the Greek island of Zante under the illusion they are taking part in a riotous "Brits on the p***" show called Party Summer.

However, the morning after their first night in a luxury villa Rylan explains what’s really going on.

Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)
The Hot Mess Summer cast are shocked to find out they are going to be working at the bar. (Prime Video)

They’ve been set up by their pals back home who are fed up with their no good partying ways and want them to learn there’s more to life than selfish and self-destructive benders.

So if they want to stay in Zante for the three weeks, instead of partying in bars they will have to work behind one – with the chance to share in a potential £60,000 prize.

Despite the producers desperately trying to make it look like there’s a chance the eight will rebel at this news and jump on the first plane home, you won’t be too surprised to hear they all agree to suck it up and take the bar jobs.

And that’s a perfect example of what is wrong with this format. To borrow the words of this year’s wise man of The Apprentice, Virdi Singh Mazaria, it commits the crime of over-promising, but under-delivering.

Dani  - Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)
Dani is one of the stars on Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)

Come on, as if any twentysomething funseeker is going to let a few hours of glass-collecting and the odd spell of toilet-attending put them off what would still amount to an all expenses paid sunshine break on a glorious Greek island. And that’s before we discuss the £60,000 prize and the fact they’d get the chance to become famous (well, ish) on a reality TV show. (Yes, some people do still very much see that as a life goal.)

To be honest, the over-promising and under-delivering starts with the contestants. I was expecting to meet eight of the most despicable party animals in the UK.

You know, the sort of people who end a night out under a stack of recycling bins, or propped up on a doorstep, or face down on a neighbour's front lawn. (Yes, that’s right, those are also some of the places I’ve found my Amazon parcels over the years.)

Turns out that they aren’t that despicable at all. Some of them are even quite entertaining.

Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)
The Hot Mess Summer stars settle into life in Zante. (Prime Video)

They were probably just talking up their legendary boozy exploits because they believed they were auditioning for a boozy show called Party Summer.

Similarly, the friends who nominated them may have exaggerated their bad behaviour in order to make sure they made the cut.

Of course, we have come to expect such tricks on reality TV shows. Under normal circumstances we would simply roll our eyes and plough on.

Unfortunately, once the drama over Rylan’s cruel deception has subsided (spoiler alert: there isn’t actually that much drama) what we are left with is the prospect of watching eight people working in a pool bar - for five more hour long episodes.

Sure, the production crew tries to spice things up a bit along the way by throwing in a surprise eviction here and a surprise newcomer there.

Lee - Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)
Lee is the 'ruthless' bar manager on Hot Mess Summer. (Prime Video)

However, any whiff of jeopardy goes out of the window the second you realise that if “ruthless” bar manager Lee actually did start sacking the contestants then pretty soon there would be no one left to work in the bar.

Meaning? The bar would have to close and the show would be over.

When that realisation dawned it took a Heraclean effort for me not to simply skip straight to the end to see if they won any money.

If you decide to save your strength and hit those forward arrows I promise I won’t judge you.

Hot Mess Summer launches Wednesday 7 February on Prime Video in the UK & Ireland

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