When I watched Made in Chelsea for the first time ever, with episode 1 of the 2020 series, I was left bewildered by both meeting the ‘characters’ and trying to figure out how the E4 series had been allowed to offend our screens for almost 10 years.
I was hoping that episode 2 would be more tolerable, thinking that knowing the characters would help me to engage further with their petty squabbles. Instead, my base knowledge has only served to make their nonsensical conversations and trivial tribulations more infuriating.
I’m not sure I can physically last another scene with Melissa Tattam.
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Olivia Bentley vs Melissa Tattam
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.
The saga that makes MIC 2020 unwatchable
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.
Harvey is one of television history’s most despicable villains, although Miles did try and leap into contention with that horrendous hat, which actually had his own initials etched into the side.
There is a point where Tristan Phipps, another woman and Miles are sat outside with a beer waiting for Habbs to arrive and they are building the meeting up as if it is the biggest diplomatic sit down since Yalta. The conclusion is that Habbs won’t stand in their way but would be disappointed, pointing out that the pair aren’t her property.
For some reason, perhaps because she is bored, perhaps because she is trying to goad Miles, Emily entertains and encourages Harvey’s advances but with all the romantic sincerity of petrol station flowers on Valentine’s Day.
At one point, she retches up that Harvey is ‘funny’. He is about as funny as Coronavirus. Harvey’s flirting is as subtle as an earthquake and is never the right side of sexual harassment.
‘Playfully’ saying you’d like to undress someone is what you say in a private corner of the club at the end of the night, after the pair of you have been flirting and kissing – not what you say at the start of the night in front of everybody. Harvey is actually unbearable.
Only Ollie Locke can save series 19
I found myself desperately waiting for the scenes involving Ollie Locke and/or Binky. They are presented as old, wisened Sloane Rangers who have gracefully accepted that their days of meaningless, performative, secondary school-styled arguments are behind them.
Their conversations are serene and relaxingly dull in comparison to the faux tension that binds the rest of the group. Ollie and Gareth talk to each other candidly about important things in life while Binky’s questions and interventions seem sincere and well placed.
I can only pray that society collapses under the weight of the virus and a mob pulls down our telecommunication masts, preventing the broadcast of episode 3.
Yours ungratefully, Brendan Hodrien.
- One final observation: why is it that every week, when they’re heading for their nightclub segment, they recreate the Layer Cake dancefloor scene and use the same cutaway of a G&T being poured? When I saw this in episode 1, I was taken aback by how weird it was, when they repeated it in this episode I nearly cancelled my TV license.