The global health crisis has turned our world upside down. As a full-time football journalist covering Liverpool FC, I have been left twiddling my thumbs and looking for odd jobs in order to prevent a full The Shining style breakdown. Reality Titbit editor, Liam, had what he called a “great” idea to distract me with. He suggested I fill the Monday Night Football void with Made in Chelsea 2020.
As a local Liverpool fan with no interest in reality TV, his suggestion piqued a morbid curiosity. Will this experiment make me despise the SW3 postcode a little less? Will I even make it to the end? Will I know what on earth is going on?
Here is a review of series 19 from episode 1 to 12, yours ungratefully, Brendan Hodrien.
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Meet the Made in Chelsea 2020 cast – according to Brendan
I watched the ‘previously’ segment intently, desperately trying to find some footing to ground myself with for the 60 minutes ahead. I don’t know why I bothered. At one point, one Haircut Guy (Miles Nazaire) said to a Giggle Girl (Emily Blackwell) that he would teach her how to squat. At the start of a new series, how is gym technique a plot point worth revisiting?
NEWSFLASH: One of them is called Binky – and no more than a few minutes into the show and I was already questioning just how real this all was.
One of the first characters I was introduced to was Jamie. I’m well aware that one of these people owns a cat-shaped sweets brand and I asumed that Jamie is the Candyman due to his Iced Gem head. He’ll be referred to as the Candyman from here on out.
I’m not entirely convinced that they didn’t splash the entire budget on getting Adrien Brody to play Smarmite Harry (Harry Barron); this would make sense as, for very wealthy people, there were only a handful of outfits that weren’t atrociously put together. Literally, most of the cast were dressed like they’d been dragged through Reiss three years ago and then vowed never to mix with commoners again.
- Giggle Girl (Emily Blackwell)
- Candyman (Jamie Laing)
- Haircut Guy (Miles Nazaire)
- Binky (Name stupid enough as it is)
- Knitted Jumper Guy (Sam Thompson)
- Smarmite Harry (Harry Barron)
- X Factor Zara (Zara McDermott)
- Tight-Tee Guy (Harvey)
Made in Chelsea 2020 episode 1 review | Real or scripted?
It is quite hard to unpick this drawl because it feels as if they were all having the same conversation for an hour but in different formations of the same social circle. Occasionally, these small groups would break off into smaller, even less consequential squabbles.
Here’s how communication in Made in Chelsea works:
Person A is upset with person B, so person A explains this to person C, who in turn tells person B, person B then approaches person A for peace talks which seem to resolve either in catastrophic sexual tension or unconvincing reconciliations and vacant stares.
Throughout episode 1, I found myself audibly gasping at some of the things I was confronted with. One of the Knitted Jumper Guys (Sam Thompson) said he wanted to name his dog ‘something bitey’ like ‘Jamaal’. Do I really need to explain why a trust fund baby from West London shouldn’t be naming his dog Jamaal because it’s ‘bitey’?
The women only seem engaged with what somebody has to say if they’re lapping up gossip about their ‘friends’ and the men only seem to be good at flirting with each other – nothing wrong with that, in fact, this show would be a lot more interesting if the dudes all just dropped the charade and reverted back to their public school showers days instead of treating the women like playthings.
Towards the end, Tight-Tee Guy (Harvey) actually made a point of announcing to one of the girls that he couldn’t select her because he had been denied permission by her freaking housemate. All I heard was ‘I was going to have sex with you, you would have been over the moon but alas I must break your teeny tiny heart as I cannot select you’. Who does this guy think he is?
Made in Chelsea 2020 episode 2 review | Who the hell is Reza?
We’re now two episodes in and Reza still has absolutely nothing to say for or about himself. He appears on the screen occasionally as a prop, sometimes elevated to the level of catalyst, for instance when he brings Olivia Bentley to the bar for her 12-round bout with Melissa Tattam.
The showdown between Olivia and Melissa reached Twin Peaks level of surreal in series 19 episode 2. It’s as if the scene was trying that hard to be intense and dramatic that they thought we wouldn’t realise that the dialogue verged on gibberish for the most part. It literally felt like half an hour of the two women calling each other “knobs”.
As if this wasn’t bizarre enough, the entire gang showed up in all black? My initial thought was that this was the cast crying for help, taking inspiration from the jury in the OJ Simpson trial.
There are a few characters in the show that just don’t fit in. Everybody talks to Verity Bowditch as if she is 11-years-old, although that makes sense as it does feel as if Verity is only on the show because she didn’t land the gig of Ditsy Pixie Girl with a Dark Backstory in Skins.
Beth is plainly in the mix to operate as the fulcrum for the inevitable ‘I always loved you’ moment between Miles Nazaire and Emily Blackwell. And, of course, this will only come after Harvey has finally worn her down.
Made in Chelsea 2020 episode 3 review |