After a bleak winter with no escape from life outside the pearly gates of SW3, Made in Chelsea is finally back. I watch Monday’s episode wrapped in a sleeping bag, drinking Sainsbury’s Basics apple juice concentrate from a plastic beaker, so you know I’m serious about setting the right mood.
Too many newbies
First impressions? Despite an injection of new characters and a trip to Barbados, the new series seems to be no exception. There are too many new people, each one more shredded and sparkly-toothed than the last. For the first time since Series 3, the relentless white-lettered reminders of the names of people whom we really should already know, are actually useful. They still do it for season 1 stalwarts though, like Binky and Spencer. Yawn.
One of these newbies is called JP, who Channel 4 aficionados will remember shares his name with the literal posho parody from student drama Fresh Meat, the hilarity being that, in MIC, we are supposed to believe JP is a real and legitimate person. JP (if that is his real name) actually looks like a real life caricature of a posh person, like Prince William/Miliband/Cameron cross, which would obviously be a very expensive breed. JP’s only job is to say the classic MIC plot accelerator line: ‘So… why don’t we leave you two to talk?” which is totes awks, as per.
Other newbies Nicola and Jess are ‘totes honest with each other babes’ about how Jess has no feelings for ex-boyfriend Alex, and that new girlfriend Nicola is “totally fine” with the fact that they’re all on holiday in Barbados, perpetually semi-naked. The exposition fairies have been liberal with their sprinkling of Jess-is-for-deffs-gonna-get-with-Alex dust.
Back in Chelsea
Josh and Steph have moved in together. He says he’s “not under the thumb,” followed by a lingering close-up of his expressionless face. Which means he is, actually (spoiler alert), under the thumb. Gasp!
The veneer is cracking. Is it because, after 8 series, the bodies have become just that little too toned, too tanned, too hairless; the lifestyles just too flamboyant; the privilege just too blatant, for the show to be taken seriously? At one point, Spencer actually says “These are real problems that I’m living!” in reference to his girlfriend accusing him of borrowing her tinted moisturiser. Or, is it because I’ve changed as a person? At this point in the series, (or in my life, who knows?) there are only so many interchangeably slim, toned, white, young bodies that I can (washboard) stomach before I feel physically ill and my brain malfunctions, and I wind up incapable of saying anything but “Yah” for the rest of my miserable, lower middle-class life.
The next episode promises drama between Binky and Nicola as they meet for the first time, things are looking rocky for Spencer and Lauren and Josh and Steph as coupledom proves a little less glamorous than they’d hoped. Will they split? Will Andy see Jess again? Does any of it even matter?
It’s tired, it’s predictable. The people are ridiculous. But, let’s face it, I’m not going to stop watching. And neither are you.
Made in Chelsea airs Monday at 9pm. Are you a fan? Have your say in the comments section below.