Sorority Girls is cult viewing – quite literally

In E4's new(ish) not-really-reality show, American beauties try to teach Leeds lasses how to behave

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Have you seen Sorority Girls on E4? I hadn’t, but I watched the second episode last night (even though Don’t Tell the Bride on BBC3 was featuring a sci-fi themed wedding).

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I don’t know if you ever saw the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where a nerdy teenage genius creates his own Buffy robot, but Sorority Girls is about a bunch of Buffybots coming over here to judge our women and teach them how to be better pod people – sorry, sisters – to each other.

The young Stepford Wives kick off this week by blindfolding the girls, leading them into a disused aircraft hangar and torturing them with ice sculptures, before sending them off on a confused orienteering challenge.

The upshot of this is that one group gets to go to a gym and harass sweaty “McFitties” for a date, while the others are sent out on to the streets in short dresses and too much make-up, and given just 20 minutes to find themselves a man (I believe some people make a profession of this). Presumably, they are armed with two questions: “Would you like to go on a date with me, total stranger?” and “Are you a murderer and/or rapist?”

Take note, lonely, desperate girls, for this romantic practice – known as “grab-a-date” by the sorority sisters – is guaranteed to snare you “someone you’ll have a good time with but who will also respect you and respect everyone at the party.” Direct all expenses claims, legal action and paternity suits to the Sigma Gamma sorority, c/o some US college campus somewhere.

But the man-grabbling is only a prelude to this week’s main event, the Present Ceremony (which will never catch on here because it has to be pronounced Pree-zent, otherwise it just sounds like formal gift giving).

This is where the human British girls take their first steps towards becoming fully fledged members of this alien cult – gah, sorry, sorority.

“You will see your friends transform from a caterpillar to a beautiful Sigma Gamma butterfly,” the girls and their assembled families, including some boyfriends, are told. They could potentially resent parts of that statement, but I’m sure it’s meant kindly. After all, caterpillars are cute and furry and cuddly. It’s just that butterflies are, like, the really popular cheerleaders of the insect world?

Maybe bees would make a better analogy, though, because judging by the pledge the girls have to recite, we’re dealing with some kind of hive mind here.

“I am no longer Katie, I am sister Katie.” If you like… 

“I am not one person but a collection of amazing women members of Sigma Gamma.” Could be a bit more modest, but OK, fine. 

“From this moment forward, I sever all ties to my old self.” Er… 

“I am first and foremost a sorority girl. I pledge all of my love and devotion to my new sisters.” Somebody call the de-programmers!

Luckily, our girls have not actually been brainwashed and understand that this is all a bit bizarre. “My boyfriend’s in the front row and I’m walking up the aisle in a white dress with a guy I just found in a skate park,” complains one.

After the Pree-zent, it’s time for the Delta Kappa Beta Gamma Pi members (who would all be dead by now if this was a horror film) to encourage our girls to bitch about each other like sorority sisters so they can decide who gets kicked out.

Unfortunately, our girls close ranks like actual sisters, or friends, might. In the end, the Americans are forced to give one of them the boot on the basis that she made snarky comments about their fake nails during the how-to-do-your-make-up-like-a-robot-bitch-queen session.

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The moral of this story? Sorority Girls is brilliant TV and you should all watch it.