The price is nice: Selling Sunset's Davina is too mean for TV, says today's cancel culture
The price is nice: Selling Sunset's Davina is too mean for TV, says today's cancel culture Credit: Netflix

Last week, the third series of Netflix’s inexplicably brilliant television show, Selling Sunset, arrived on Netflix. The show, for the uninitiated, follows a group of very beautiful, very mean estate agents (sorry, ‘realtors’) as they try to flog multi-million-dollar mansions, but spend most of their time arguing and having ‘work family’ drinks.

The show has everything you could possibly want to turn your brain off for an evening: beautiful houses, beautiful people, a set of Botoxed male twins who own an estate agency, and in-depth conversation about pubic topiary.

The show also comes with one of the most hated reality TV show characters in modern memory. Davina Portratz (age unconfirmed) is a vintage reality TV show villain, in that she takes completely arbitrary stances against the show’s hero – heartbroken Chrishell, whose husband (This is Us actor Justin Hartley) blindsides her by filing for divorce – and stirs drama whenever possible.

三级成人视频Ever since Selling Sunset dropped, the internet has been swimming with calls for Davina to be axed from the show. Because that’s what we do in 2020, isn’t it? We get rid of people if their behaviour isn’t A*. But the people who are baying for Davina’s blood seem to have missed the rather salient point that without someone to dislike, a TV show doesn’t work.

三级成人视频Without Portraz, the show would be dull. Even the quippy pseudo villain Christine, who gets married in a black wedding dress in the show’s finale, wouldn’t be enough to keep us watching. We all know that we love a bitch, and we all know that the baddie is a trope as old as reality TV show itself. Older, actually.

From Shakespeare to Molière, villains are a pillar of drama. Even the Great British Bake Off has to have favourites and least favourites. Every single glorious moment of Selling Sunset came from the delicious joy of hating Davina, revelling in all of her bad clothing choices and the fact that she still hasn’t sold the $75 million-dollar house she’s lumbered with.

Being the most hated character on a reality show is a public service, really. You’re allowing total strangers to fill their evenings by hating you. And now it doesn’t even stop with people shouting in the street – haters can seek you out on every social media platform and tell you just how much they’d like to see you fail at everything you dream of. It’s a thankless (though admittedly well paid) job, and it’s completely essential to making television. Or at least it always has been. But as the world becomes more and more obsessed with expecting perfection from anyone in the public eye, it seems possible – likely even – that the bitch might go extinct.

三级成人视频If you need any further convincing that niceness is apparently the rent you pay to exist in the world, look at Ellen DeGeneres, currently weathering the kind of storm that was once reserved for people who committed acts of atrocity. Her crime? Not being very nice.

It was probably only a matter of time before the world came for Ellen三级成人视频. As a society we’ve got a bit of a fetish for building famous people up, only to tear them down for being ‘annoying’ (Taylor Swift), ‘fake’ (Jennifer Lawrence) or ‘privileged’ (Daisy Ridley). But despite a glittering career, reports that she doesn’t make eye-contact with guests and isn’t especially nice to the people she brings on to the show, now threaten to topple her castle.

三级成人视频This is, I’m afraid, predominantly a female problem. Men, it seems, are allowed to be nasty. Simon Cowell’s entire career was based on telling people that their lifelong dream was a fantasy. Gordon Ramsay won the heart of the world by putting a piece of bread either side of a woman’s face and telling her that she was an ‘idiot sandwich’. James Corden, currently being mooted as an ideal replacement for Ellen, has reflected publicly on the fact that he hasn’t always been a nice person – he gives over a decent chunk of his Desert Island discs to it.

Of course Ellen’s brand was based around treating others decently – she closed each show with a plea to ‘be kind’, and yes, it does seem that there was a disconnect between this kindly presenter and the ruthless professional Ellen allegedly is behind the scenes. But was anyone really stupid enough to think that a woman, specifically an androgynous dressing gay woman, worked her way to the tippity-top of the entertainment industry by being constantly sweet?

Where's Ellen's halo gone? Credit: REX

There is an enormous overhaul happening in the entertainment industry right now, in an attempt to purge it of sexism and racism. That purge is essential and overdue. But there is no sense in adding ‘not nice’ to the same list of characteristics which get you kicked out of Hollywood, especially when it only seems to be expected of women. Not being sweet or kind is not a crime and is not the same as being predatory or prejudiced. Sometimes ‘not nice’ is what gets things done, or what makes a show worth watching. 

If we eradicate everyone who isn’t ‘nice’ from the landscape of entertainment, I can’t help thinking that we’re going to end up watching some very boring television indeed.