What is Made In Chelsea? Hmm – maybe the clue is in the name. The ‘real-life’ cast of this made-for-TV 'scripted' reality show has been made, not born then, and as Bones famously said to Captain Kirk, ‘It's life Jim, but not as we know it.’ Despite back stories that pile on the posh, and the privilege – public schools, family fortunes, diamond and retail dynasties striding unashamed across centuries and social boundaries – these sparkly young things, these dullard scions of the nouveau riche, have apparently been found wanting. Simply not very interesting unadorned and in their natural state, they have nevertheless been commissioned for fame. Placed in a TV production Petri dish, dunked in emotion-based intrigue, buffed up, and made to be entertaining. What is a ‘scripted’ reality show? It can only be a shameless oxymoron. Does anyone care? Well, no. Though I can’t be the only one who is confused, surely? Is it made up, or not? Are they who they say they are, or are they not? And if they’re not, then erm…why not?
This is what happens when your ancestors have launched McVities biscuits or Quality Street sweeties into the world. You are young, you are rich, you live in Chelsea, the dazzling epicentre of London society, ergo you cannot possibly be a bore, dahling. How much of what is screened reflects the actual lives, attitudes, feelings even – and believe me, this show is big on feelings – of this lot is unclear. Made In Chelsea is not merely a televisual Junior 'Who’s Who', but more ‘Why Who is doing what with Who, and Who wants to be doing it with Someone Else.’ Oh and definitely not ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ because they already are. Or Daddy is. Or so it seems, but then in this world of smoke and luxe gilt mirrors, who knows?
I’d tell you all their names but then, why bother? Generally ending in ‘ie’ or ‘ey’, along the lines of Binkey, Millie, Ollie, Caggie, Hughie….da da, dee dee da diddledy dee, why take any of it seriously? Who could be bothered getting annoyed with this silly lot, perpetually onstage and mindlessly plotting to just be richer, and even more pointless? To get together in myriad permutations, to eventually breed and manifest yet more sweetie cultivating generations of rich and purposeless people, Made In Chelsea, made to be ignorant and dull, mindlessly blessed with supreme self satisfaction.
So where’s the telly attraction? Is this the compulsive ‘if only’ of ‘How the Other Half Lives?’ The idle rich glammed up and magnified, a cultural cold carrot prepared to motivate the lower orders into sitting pretty. Pretty soap bubbles in the air, then, shimmering, shining. (Blatantly cultivated), TV culture going Pop!
Eileen watched Made In Chelsea on E4 Brit TV