A group of almost-hot twenty-somethings with more money than sex -- what’s not to like?
Well, now you mention it, quite a lot. There’s Gabrielle, who dresses like she’s made for Take Me Out rather than Made in Chelsea. Binky, who thought Charles Dickens wrote Winnie the Pooh (please). And then Francis, who says things like: “Business is a jungle – but I love animals.” Apparently, this is what Chelsea makes of people.
Millie is of Quality Street lineage and Jamie is the heir of the McVitie’s empire, making the frivolity of the cast’s lifestyles quite unsurprising. However, when our Friends were sitting on sofas in Central Perk contemplating their navels (albeit with canny, self-deprecating wit) at three o’clock on a weekday afternoon, it proved endearing. In MIC there is no sharp drollery to distract from vacant existences and the choice of expensive, exclusive bars and holiday destinations provokes further judgement.
But then that is the point, isn’t it? The foremost motive for tuning in to MIC is undoubtedly to tut at the characters. However, here -- in providing privileged fodder for the catty -- the show again proves disappointing. Scrolling over that bikini Caggie wore in St. Tropez on ASOS is like realising that MTV fed you your neighbour’s two-up-two-down semi on Cribs. Reading that Millie rented “that” Missoni maxi from girlmeetsdress.com especially for their Morocco trip is like seeing an M&S Dine in For Two wrapper in the Masterchef kitchen bin. Everything comes crashing down to reality as even these personifications of glut fall to not-different-enough-from-the-rest-of-us-to-demand-rebuke status.
Now, as I endeavour to play Reviewer, I feel obliged to provide a little run-through of what’s happened on the show so far. However, I think it might be somewhat pointless given that any attempt at summarising what has happened amongst this West London set sounds like a tweenager reciting her school day drama – that high-pitched narration of convoluted events that fails to be significant enough for the listener not to lose track of the names of the protagonists, whilst the narrator seems to be so sincere that you come to assume irony into their tone. The sort of thing where, whilst reading it, despite believing yourself neither misogynistic nor bigoted, you can’t help but give the raconteuse a female, American voice.
My other fear is that the MIC scriptwriters (despite having spent my teenage years in a hormone-fuelled London girls’ school and my post-teens in a university town minuscule enough to function as a gossip incubator, I am yet to witness lines and storylines such as these delivered organically) have broken the cardinal rule of romance in the arts. Elizabeth and Darcy don’t get engaged until the closing pages. Ross and Rachel didn’t get together until the last episodes. Only in the Dick-and-Nicole, Catherine-and-Heathcliff breed of romance does an affair reach its zenith in the first moments. And this latter breed is more commonly known as “tragedy”. So, will the Spaggie storyline end in doom? Well, either that or happily-ever-after nesting. And for the sake of dinnertime conversation (and the career of the Daily Mail’s celeb columnists), I’d rather introduce some romantic tragedy to my Monday nights.
The Harker provides a platform for young (unpaid) writing talent.
Made in Chelsea Series 2 Trailer