Love it or hate it, the fact that Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea is still soldiering on into its 14th series is pretty impressive. This season so far has seen all the usual drama (gossiping, backstabbing and break ups) from our favourite socialites. Looking back, I realise I’ve spent an embarrassing number of Monday nights watching the lives of the wannabe famous, dirty-rich Londoners.
There is something strangely interesting about this supposed ‘fly on the wall’ drama. Maybe it’s the exaggerated notion of stereotypical glamour that makes MIC so entertaining (do they really need to go shooting every season without fail?!). It certainly provides some light relief from the sorry state of my student finances. Maybe it’s the airhead conversations that makes me feel better about my own mundane and frivolous chats with friends. Or, perhaps, as the recent success of ITV’s Love Island might suggest, it’s just interesting to watch people go about their daily lives.
I am a self-confessed tragic fan-girl. Having actually spotted Alex Mytton in Fulham’s Tesco (claim to fame I know), I’m sad to say that I did attempt a subtle picture from afar instead of acting like a cool and normal human being. My evident investment in MIC makes me genuinely happy that Sam and Tiff have broken up (sorry but he can do so much better), and that Liv Bentley has finally found someone as perfect as Digby. Despite my disinterest in Alik, the ridiculous Ryan and age-old-Jamie-and-Frankie drama, I will never stop watching this show.
I do admit that Made in Chelsea stretches the concept of ‘reality TV’. If you don’t question the convenience of the haphazard-frenemy-run-ins at least once an episode, do you even watch the show? Once you embrace the fact that the show is all scripted, however, you get over it and are soon sucked into the vortex.
The same mundane pattern of the whole cast either going abroad or having a big party after the third advert break (EVERY week) does also get a little dull. Perhaps you could say that the show is past its prime; I can’t say I miss the days of Cheska, but Spencer, Olly and Binky do seem to have left a slight void.
Reality TV stars get a lot of grief for not being good role models and the Made in Chelsea stars are as bad as any. Whether it’s Ryan pushing Alik on Monday (so dramatic), the excessive drinking and partying of most of the cast, or their general meanness to each other, they do not represent people we aspire to be like. However, I respect the fact that, just by going on the show, they acknowledge and admit the fact that they are only wealthy because of their parents and portray ultimately shallow and unfulfilled lives to the viewers. My favourite character has to be Victoria, for her unashamed arrogance and honesty; she doesn’t pretend to be inspirational and, therefore, I don’t really mind that she is a bad ‘role model’.
The show has become a vehicle for greater fame. Spin-offs such as Born in Chelsea and Educating Binky are one thing, but seeing the stars pop up on Big Brother, Celebs go Dating, Love Island and I’m a Celebrity is testament to MIC’s façade of relevance.
But, to all the secret MIC fans out there, this may be a guilty pleasure and it may be rubbish TV, but I will not be turning my back on this show yet and neither should you – there will be plenty more drama to come I’m sure.