Made in Chelsea
When I first saw the trailer for season one of the reality TV show, which follows the lives of a group of twenty-somethings from Chelsea, earlier this year I wasn't exactly sold. I did not have an 'OMG I NEED to watch that!' feeling, if anything I just thought the show was E4's answer to ITV's successful reality show 'The Only Way is Essex'.
Over the last two years, semi-reality TV shows have taken over the screen with Geordie Shore, the UK version of American show Jersey Shore and the new, hopeful reality fix of E4 'Desperate Scousewives'. To be honest, when these shows first aired I refused to even consider watching them and I still to this day vouch never to watch Jersey of Geordie Shore, experiencing a mere 5 minutes of each show when channel flicking is enough to last me a life time.
There was one reality show that won me over and has ever since has made me sucker for a weekly, mind numbing reality TV fix and that was TOWIE, the reality TV hit of 2010. As soon as I accidentally landed upon it whilst channel flicking, I was hooked. The show appealed to me in a way I thought it wouldn't. Instead of taking an avid interest in the lives of those in the cast, I instead was amazed at just how stupid they all were. I watched, hanging on every word waiting for Harry, Amy or Joey to come out with the next ridiculously stupid statement, such as 'What is the capital of India, is it Pakistan?'
Despite my reservations about the MIC trailer, I somehow ended up watching the first episode and to my surprise the show did have it's funny moments and, though I wasn't overly impressed, I was willing to give it a second chance.
Three weeks in and three episodes later I was in my chair ready at 10pm, despite the fact that some of the show was clearly overacted and staged I had began to take a genuine interest in the lives of those on screen. I could not wait to see if Mark Francis could top his snobbish comment of 'Topshop is a definite turn off' or if Ollie and Gabriella were going to make up or break up and of course the one question that kept viewers across the country interested, would Caggie and Spencer EVENTUALLY get together?
The first season ended on a rather staged but equally frustrating cliff-hanger, with Spencer racing to the airport to confess his love for lead female Caggie, who was leaving for New York. The only redeeming aspect to the season one finale of the semi-reality show was that by the time Spencer got to the airport Caggie had left. In spite of the cliché ending, I was excited for season 2. I felt as if I had visited the lives of those on the cast like you would a new culture or country on holiday, and after having a sneak preview I could not wait to return to Chelsea and the lives of Millie, Hugo, Caggie and Spencer. The only thing holding me back was the nagging doubt that the second season would not live up to the first but oh, how wrong I was.
Not only did the second season provide the viewers with the revelation of the scandalous relationship between Hugo and Millie, which climaxed when it was uncovered that Hugo had cheated on Millie with her best friend Rosie but, alongside this semi reality 'Gossip Girl' style ending, the unsolved 'Rachel and Ross' relationship between Caggie and Spencer was still left hanging.
However, the one aspect that I think really set the second series apart from the first, for me, was that it also included some of the humour I love in TOWIE. It was refreshing to see that having indispensable finances does not make the cast any smarter than us average Joes. This was shown by the lovable, if slightly dim, character of Binky, the girl who thought that Africa was a country, not a continent and that it's capital was South Africa.
I know that the idea of spending time watching the lives of others is a bit wasteful and, believe me, I have tried to stay away from programmes like this and here I am, addicted! It is a guilty pleasure but why should it be, is it not a natural part of human nature to be curious about the lives of others, especially when their lives are as extravagant and dramatic as this. Whether you like it or not, you where I'll be on a Monday night when series 3 airs: on the sofa, glass of champers in hand ready to drink to another year or should I say 'yah' of Made in Chelsea.