I am a regrettable advocate of trash TV; I have been known to get hooked on all things ‘reality’ (particular favourites include The Hills, Laguna Beach – basically the same thing – and Chasing the Saturdays), essentially because it’s like being friends with really cool, pretty, rich and dramatic people, but with none of the negatives. Such downsides as having to spend a fortune to keep up with their overblown lifestyles, engaging in shouting matches in some club or other, and having to wear make-up every day are taken out of the equation. Me and my box set are just curious socio-spectators egging on our two-dimensional champions in the battle of Real Life.
I have deduced that in amongst the back-stabbing, bitching, almighty rows and amazing apartments, there is a key ingredient in these, to use the technical term, ‘scripted reality’ shows that we, as viewers, need: jealousy. This is why I’m not a watcher of TOWIE – I have next to no desire to be them, to share in their lives, and I sure as hell don’t want their wardrobes. I might casually watch if I can’t find the remote, but I can’t root for them. They’re just too much.
Arguably, MIC (yes I use the acronyms, for I am a superfan) could face the same criticism. Like TOWIE, it falls under the category of social caricaturing and thus my parents and other sane human beings find it physically repulsive, especially the endless endless awkward pauses between dialogues. Except – and answer this honestly – who doesn’t want a Chelsea life?
Multi-million pound houses, fast cars, parties, endless dinners and drinks and designer wardrobes with that sense of wealth that you can’t buy; this is the life that produced Cara Delevingne! (She grew up in Belgravia). Call me shallow, but if that was my life, I’d assume I’d Made It. Unfortunately, tuning in to Made in Chelsea once a week is probably the closest I’ll ever get – and that’s why I love it so much.
It partly has to do with my embarrassingly rose-tinted view of London – a view which apparently the camera man of MIC shares, because it is always sunny – as a city paved with success and youthful optimism. Kinda like how Alicia Keys feels/yells about New York, I guess. In the same way I’ll browse photos of A-listers in Cannes or at NYFW with the almost melancholy sense that this is a life I’ll never have, Made in Chelsea provides me with three important things – a weekly fix of new iTunes purchases, a hankering for a fur gilet and most importantly, a good hard dose of London ambition.