18/07/2013 18:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Babies, Cheating And, Er, Politics: The Only Way Is Essex Is Back!

Huzzah - TOWIE has returned! In episode one of the eighth series, Will Gore discovers Mario's been cheating on Lucy, Gemma's become a vegetarian and Arg is full of philosophical wisdom...

Let's be honest, no one watches Towie for the political insight, do they? Strange then that the first episode of the new series saw Essex's finest engaging in the kind of in-depth analysis of current affairs that might flummox Jeremy Paxman.

lucy mecklenburgh

The horsemeat scandal was the main subject up for discussion. Firstly Gemma revealed that she had become a vegetarian because of it and then, during the least convincing shopping trip around a supermarket since Antony Worrall Thompson shoved a bottle of wine up his jumper, Lauren and Chloe made what sounded like a very salient point about the whole furore: It's unfair to eat horses, you see, because they should be given the same rights as pigs and cows.

Read that last sentence again, think about it and then think about it again. Deep, huh? If Martin Luther King was still around I'm sure he'd be delighted that his ideas continue to resonate through the ages and inspire generations.

Away from the supermarket, a different kind of politics was concerning Bobby (and his gruesome eyebrows). Just after getting over the terrible shock of hearing him proclaim that his sperm was "getting stale", I composed myself enough to take in his next bit of news.

He told Gemma that he was keen to adopt a baby, or as he calls it "a gayby" (I'm guessing at the spelling here), revealing he was confident that the government, "or who ever deals with giving out the babies", would OK him for single fatherhood. "They've got better at doing it for the gays," he added, rather touchingly. The rest of the country might have lost faith in the political class, but not our Bob.

There was plenty of other baby chat knocking around elsewhere, and I'm not only talking about the way poor old Joey is still learning to form those sounds coming out of his gob into proper words. Lauren might be pregnant and doesn't seem too happy about it. Lucy isn't pregnant but her boyfriend Mario, the slimiest villain since that green thing in Ghostbusters, is keen to get her that way.

Sadly, unbeknownst to Mario, his plan for settling into a life of familial bliss with Lucy was about to come spectacularly unstuck. While he was out celebrating his birthday with the lads at what looked like the worst party since the Lib Dems (it's not only the Essex set that can do politics, see!), his girlfriend was being confronted by a pair of identical twins, Amy and Sally, in the Sugar Hut lavvy. One of them, and it was genuinely hard to work out which one it was, claimed to have got it on with Mario not too long ago.

Predictably, Lucy was devastated. At one point she wailed, "Have I got 'mug' written across my forehead?" She didn't need anyone to answer that question for her, of course. All I will say is that she could do much worse than take on board the following gem proffered by Essex's premier philosopher, Arg, earlier in the episode.

With the look of a man who has pondered the futility of existence on many an occasion, he interrupted a discussion his friends' were having about cheese to point out: "There's got to be more to life than this." Think on those words Lucy, and think on them good.

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