Product Type: other magazines & newspapers
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Don't Bother Coming Any Closer...
Member Name: chrisandmark
Date: 22/02/08, updated on 22/02/08 (269 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight and mostly entertaining, celeb news, fairly up-to-date
Disadvantages: Blantant in-yer-face bias, nothing in the mag I can't find within minutes online, cost adds up!
I realised that the celeb magazines I spend a small fortune on each week are a total rip off.
There, I've said it. "My name is Chris, and I'm a trashy celeb magazine addict." I've bought every single issue of Closer since the very first edition, haven't missed one. So, imagine how shocked *I* was when flicking through this weeks issue today I suddenly realised what a load of crud I was spending my (well, Marks...) hard earned cash on.
Closer, for those of you not in the know, is a glossy-ish tabloid magazine. It's mainly celebrity oriented but with a couple of heart warming or tear inducing 'real life' stories; as a rule of thumb if you're interested in Jordan, Victoria Beckham, Amy Winehouse et al then you'll probably like this magazine.
Let me give you a flavour of Closer from this weeks issue. This weeks, last years, all that really changes is the celeb of the moment!
The cover is worth a mention, it's like The Daily Star in handy magazine format. Talk about sensationalism - 'Sad Cheryl Starves' (the very think Girls Aloud *ahem* star who has been pictured looking as thin as usual in a bikini), 'Jordan's Suicide Agony' (she has a new book out so wants a bit of attention) and the one which made me giggle the most this week: 'The Osbournes Are Helping Amy Battle Drugs', presumably they've given her the number of a more reliable dealer...? It's a good cover, it really draws you in and makes you want to buy the mag.
I enjoy reading about the ups and downs of celebrities, but unfortunately Closer likes to focus on the bad side of life. It fits in perfectly with the UK's love of building a celeb up and then tearing them straight back down again. The articles are actually very nicely written; most are two pages and make for an entertaining light read. They seem to have an immense dislike for Jordan at the moment and in this weeks issue have managed the difficult task of combining sympathy of her current situation with complete contempt. Britney Spears regularly gets the same treatment, as does the awful Charlotte Church. I like the bitching aspect of Closer; if you happen to be a celeb be nice to Closer as if you're not you won't be able to have a cold sore without being accused of being a glue sniffer on the cover.
The real life stories in this issue are bizarre. A nutcase in America (where else???) whos baby died because she went to work for SEVEN HOURS and forgot he was sweltering in the car. A single page article about the worlds strongest dwarf. Hmmm... They've been reporting fairly regularly about the yob culture in the UK and have featured a story this week about a good samaritan who was killed by hoodies, these stories in particular are always handled with a sensitivity and respect which isn't seen in the rest of the mag.
Mr Showbiz is one of the worst parts of this mag. A scruffy looking bloke name dropping like crazy and muscling into photographs of minor celebrity. He writes like he's a friend to the stars, well I suppose he might be but oh.my.god. He's like the Paul Burrell of the Z-list, Mr Showbiz makes out he's confidant to the stars and comes across as smarmy and really unpleasant.
Coleen (Rooney's irritating Liverpudlian girlfriend) has a column in Closer. Well, she might as well as she's everywhere else at the moment. This is the dullest page of the magazine; she puts together a few random thoughts on handbags, 'scarfs from Louis Vuitton' and Wayne and signs off with a big kiss. I don't usually read the column if I'm honest as it makes me want to go and hit the nearest person I can find, with the obvious image of Coleen's smug grin in my mind.
Closer also has a fashion and beauty section which is surprisingly good. They'll pick out a nice selection of High Street and designer labels which are usually based on a particular celebs look of the moment. The clothes ideas are all up-to-date and more wearable than the fashions in other magazines such as Heat. I like the 'Beauty Insider' section of Closer which showcases new make-up, skincare and perfumes - many times I've read about a new product in Closer and headed straight to Boots to buy it. The advice given here is, I think, accurate and straightforward; I enjoy Beauty Heroes each week where a beauty expert answers a few short questions and recommends their favourite product for specific occasions.
There are a few pages dedicated to diet advice which are fairly boring and don't hold my interest at all, I think they're basically included in the magazine to advertise closerdiets.com. While they do contain some weight loss advice, I doubt that many people need advising to swap your daily chocolate muffin and latte for a WeightWatchers lemon slice and bottle of Diet Coke...
Closer also have a selection of puzzles, which I think are ridiculously easy (apart from Sudoku!) and a waste of pages really. I've yet to meet anyone other than my Mother-in-Law who actually does the puzzles in Closer! The TV pages are good. An at-a-glance list of what's on each channel in a daily format, Closer then picks the best three or four programmes of the day and awards them a short and enthusiastic write up to convince it's readers to watch.
There seem to be more and more adverts in Closer just lately, and I find it as irritating as hell. I used to buy Cosmo but got sick of paying to have perfume and expensive cosmetics ads shoved down my throat, with Closer I'm sick of paying for Ready Brek and Finish full page adverts. Not even classy ads! And pregnancy rumours. Sick to death of those. For the past three years Closer has been finding photos of Nicole Kidman and J-Lo then proudly claiming an exclusive baby scoop just because they're sitting a certain way and have a barely visible tummy. Now the pair actually ARE expecting Closer are claiming a victory - come on, the two women in Hollywood who have always said they'd love kids and are getting on for forty... Say they're preggie regularly enough and eventually, probably, you'll be right!
So there you have it. Closer in a nutshell, a rather lengthy nutshell but there you go. It's not so bad really, like all other magazines it has its good points and its bad points. The thing is today I realised I'm paying for something which has lost its edge; in the beginning Closer was truly the best celeb magazine available, it was unbiased and upbeat. Either me or Closer have gotten cynical, probably both of us. I can think of any number of websites where I can get more current showbiz news, if I want fashion ideas I can head to the shops, nutrition advice from any one of the umpteen fatbusters-style programmes on Channel 4.
Closer is published weekly and costs £1.20 which is on a par with the rest of these mags. I feel disloyal writing this review, despite the negative tone here I'll always think of Closer in a squidgy warm kinda way - like an old friend who I've drifted away from. I can't see me buying it again in the near future as I feel I'm in celeb overload and am at a point in my life where I don't, quite honestly, give a stuff about what Nikki from Big Brother has in her fridge. A very short article that was.
Summary: THE magazine for when you feel like kicking a celeb when he's down...