BETSY ON TV: Made in Chelsea

BETSY ON TV: Made in Chelsea


I think we need to discuss Made in Chelsea. And not in a depressingly eager, ‘fangirl’ way either.In bringing this up, I hope to be somewhat philosophical in my analysis. Ironic even.


Maybe I feel like the group of undergraduate, supra-wealthy, fascinatingly middle-class students that I so hesitantly stepped into on my attending a ‘top’ University, are a similar representation. Maybe I feel like people misunderstand them. Or maybe I feel like people are more than correct in their stereotypes, and sneering assumptions. Made in Chelsea is definitely an interesting case in regards to television, in more ways than one.

Falling under the questionable category of ‘reality TV’, this certainly doesn’t parallel with TOWIE or The Hills. The characters – it seems strange to refer to them as real people – are more storybook, and at the same time, more realistic, than anything else I’ve seen before. They have backgrounds. They have skeletons. They have secrets.

And of course, they have drama. If you haven’t been lucky enough to witness this oddity of a show, broadcast to wannabes and teen-enthsiasts everywhere, on E4 on Monday nights – please indulge. If even for the sheer unbelievable quality that these people have, in acting like they own the world.

And who are these ‘people’, I hear you cry? Well, where to begin? Made-up of a cast of post-Eton, post-inheritance ‘lads’, with high-flying jobs in business and banking (retch); and pre-rehab, pre-any-kind-of-education ‘hotties’ with standard posh-girl hair and designer rags (kill me); there’s certainly plenty to ogle at. All friends, allegedly, through a connection or two; the girls and guys get up to all sorts of antics in and around the borough of Chelsea. Surprise, surprise.

The show mainly follows a string of inter-connecting love triangles and exclusive events, which are rather difficult, even as a regular-viewer, to distinguish. To summarise: Spencer, the arrogant playboy with a super-soft centre, is in love with his long-time friend Caggie (is that even a name?), who advertises herself as a musician cum ‘cool-kid’. We are also joined by their friends Millie and Hugo, who also date, and break-up, and throw drinks at each other etc.etc. As for personalities, there is not much to be desired for.

The best you’re going to get, is probably in the form of geek-glasses-wearing, petite t-shirt designer and artist: Proudlock; and surprisingly down-to-earth, if not incredibly stupid, to match her equally stupid name: Binky.

The plotlines are far too difficult to describe if you have no former knowledge of the show; but they offer an interesting opportunity to see how ‘the other half live’. The events are glamorous, of course, and the parties have the wow-factor that I suppose a regular viewer looks for in this kind of show.

But with all my ranting about Made in Chelsea, I do have to admit, that I have watched it, without force, every week for three series. It’s worth it. It’s entertaining. But it is worrying. Psychologically, I find the show to be almost sinister – there seems to be a lot more that goes on inside the heads of the zoo-animal-esque characters, caged inside our televisions. I’d be extremely interested to read a therapist report for any one of them. Especially Jamie. You Made-in-Chelsea-ers will know what I mean.

Yes, critically, Made in Chelsea is quite diabolical. It isn’t the best TV, and it certainly won’t be winning any awards anytime soon, but it has character. Feeling. Emotion. Despite my hideous under-representation, I do recommend it. I’m allowed to judge – I’m a regular (Oh God.)

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.