TV Reviews

10 Years of Made In Chelsea

When I moved to London in the fall of 2013, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to feel like a Londoner and be able to connect with my English colleagues and our clients. I have always been a big TV fan and I wanted to find a TV show that was the centre of the zeitgeist. The Brits around me gave two options: The Only Way is Essex or Made In Chelsea.

I went for Made In Chelsea.

Made In Chelsea (MIC) is a show about the rich kids in Chelsea – a very posh part of town. It is very similar to The Hills, but while Lauren Conrad was rich, the kids on this show are RICH. Let’s put it this way – on The Hills Brody Jenner was the main boy. Brody’s family was well known (his father is Caitlyn Jenner and thus connected to the whole Kardashian Klan, but as a teenager, his mom was married to David Foster so lots of Hollywood connections here). On MIC, the main boy we were introduced to in series one is Spencer Matthews. Spencer’s brother James is married to Pippa Middleton (sister to THAT Kate). So… these kids were on another level.

I loved it.

When I started, the show was on series six. I had to catch up. I caught up and stayed hooked. Over the years I’ve tapped in and out of the show but I’ve always returned to Chelsea. It’s been ten years since the show originally aired on May 9th 2011 and the show is still going strong. It’s not quite the same (very few of the OG cast are still on the show) but the show will always have a special place in my heart.

So for all my Canadian friends who haven’t seen this show I thought I’d try to pitch you why you need to watch this show (and what to expect) and for the Brits and those familiar with this show I’m going to do a round-up of some of my favourite moments.

For those who have never seen the show:

At this point, you’ve probably watched everything else so it’s time to look to England and tap into one of my favourite reality shows.

MIC is a show about a group of friends in Chelsea. When the show started, they all went to school together (boarding school or uni) and all had a tangled dating history. If The Hills was about Lauren Conrad, MIC was about 22-year-old Caggie Dunlop. The show follows her dating life, her friends, and a few other people in her orbit.

I loved Caggie but for any new fans, don’t get attached. She’s only around for the first three seasons (22 episodes) and will feel like a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of cast members (the top cast have 100+). She’ll leave the show to go pursue her music career.

The changing cast is actually what makes the show so addictive. You’ll constantly be meeting new cast members each season and you’ll constantly be pulled into the next person’s story. Plus the cast is massive. Over the past 10 years, they’ve had over 100 MAIN cast members (perhaps I should do another ranking ala Below Deck?). You’ll grow to care about each of these people (or at least have an opinion on them). The overlapping storylines will keep you hooked and the years-long drama is fantastic. I feel like I’m friends with some of the cast and have a strong loyalty to certain cast members. Plus there is someone for everyone to develop a Chelsea Crush on…

Andy, Stevie, and Francis are three of my *personal* Chelsea Crushes

It’s important to note that MIC is a structured reality show. So it’s a reality show, but they don’t shy away from the fact it’s *heavily* influenced by producers. In many ways, this makes the show better because you don’t need to take it seriously. You know certain scenes have been set up and that’s okay. It makes a *very* pretty show because producers can set up what scenes can look like. It can also make a HIGHLY dramatic show because they force situations.

I have to give the producers a LOT of credit. The casting is phenomenal, the situations are fun, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The locations are stunning. They film in parks, at landmarks, in restaurants and cafes, and in clubs. It’s always visually perfect. When I was watching the show while I lived in London it made me fall in love with my new city and now it makes me miss London.

The music in this show is fantastic. The music supervisors do a great job curating a specific sound for the show. Think about how great the music on The O.C. was – that’s the calibre of soundtrack we’re talking about. So many indy bands got their start on MIC. It made the show that much better. Unfortunately, for folks watching the show on Hayu (aka most Canadians) they’ve completely scrubbed the music and it’s terrible. It must have something to do with rights, but it’s a shame because this show is all about music. I’d highly recommend checking out the official MIC Spotify account to check out what you’re missing.

When I think about MIC, the show is in it’s prime from S2 (with the introduction of Jaime Laing) to S10. After S10, there are some great storylines but overall the show moves away from the core OG cast and it just loses some it’s charm. I’m still watching it because my favourites keep being brought back, but it was just announced that Jamie is done and perhaps the show should also be done…

So if you’re getting into this show, you’re in for a treat but you are under no obligation to keep watching past S10. My only recommendation would be to tap back in for S13 (there is a GREAT Binky storyline that just sums it all up nicely).

For the fans:

If are you haven’t seen the show and don’t want spoilers I’m going to warn you I’m going to be talking about my top 10 MIC moments so after this photo there will be spoilers.

Again – I’m a fan of the first 10 seasons so these are going to be OG iconic moments. Yes there has been drama with the recent ones but the OG drama is just so good.

10. Victoria calling Cheska a turkey…
Or really what she said was “Don’t fucking open your fucking fat fucking mouth you fucking fat turkey”. It was AWFUL. Victoria is such a unique villain on this show. She’s the mean girl but we keep her around because she’s Mark-Francis’s main minion. This scene was wild. It was at a dinner party, near the end of Cheska’s time on the show and this was the beginning of the end for her. Of course, Cheska would leave after this. Who wants this verbal abuse? Then in season seven when she stopped being friends with Binky… poor Cheska.

9. Louise cheating on Andy with Niall Horan.
I love Andy. #TeamAndy 4eva. However, if I was Louise and a certain member of One Direction was around… I get it. This was MAJOR drama because Andy was so upset and everyone knew who the mystery guy she cheated with was even though it was never confirmed on the show. It was an overall dramatic collapse of the relationship but then she went on to date American Alik Alfus and that was fun. So everything happens for a reason right?

8. Stephanie Pratt
I keep talking about how MIC reminds me of The Hills so when Stephanie Pratt showed up as Spencer’s gf in series six… it was the crossover event we all wanted. Like I really can’t comprehend that three degrees of separation between the royal family and Speidi.

Spencer Pratt’s sister Stephanie dated Spencer Matthews. Spencer’s brother is married to Pippa Middleton aka Kate’s sister. Spencer, Harry and Wills all hung out at the wedding.

7. Millie’s Slap
Millie likes a dramatic moment. She’s thrown drinks, she’s made speeches, but the time she slapped Spencer… *chefs kiss* was gold! He deserved it and she is a Queen.

6. The Lost Boys Painting
The three bois – Proudlock, Jamie, and Francis will forever be a dream team. Anytime they are together on screen it’s such a joy. The painting of them is iconic. When they re-united in S12 it was so great. I just love them so so much.

5. “Why is everyone getting up in my grill?” Lucy Watson.
AN ICON. Lucy Watson is one of those girls who you *never* want to be on her bad side. Thankfully as viewers we don’t have to worry about that and just get to enjoy her wrath. This particular moment was just a taste of what was to come. Lucy is *never* wrong and that stubbornness has lead to some particular situations. This scene was so much fun to watch. The build-up to the ultimate “Why is everyone getting up in my grill” is so worth it.

4. Binky vs Mytton
How could you cheat on Binky?! An Orgy with Spencer? This was truly awful. Mytton royally messed up this time and it took Binky a long time to recover.

3. Spencer cheating on Louise… Lucy… everyone…
Spencer cannot not cheat. It’s just who he is on this show. When he said, “How can I respect you when you let me cheat on you?” I think we all gasped. I equally hate him… and love him. He’s such great TV.

2. Bubbas’ Baby
We truly watched Binky grow up over the last 10 years and when she announced her pregnancy in series 13 it was an incredible end to her original story. She truly went from the side character to the main character over the years. We watched her fall in love, get her heartbroken, find JP, their ups and downs, and then when they announced she was having a baby it was this huge moment.

1. Mark Francis’s Life Tips
Mark Francis is such a character. His little one-offs about what is proper fill me with such joy. I don’t care if he’s really like this or if this is a character they’ve developed but I’m obsessed with it. Top quotes include:

  • “I once knew someone who had a sleeping bag and the moment I found out, that friendship was over.”
  • “I thought Nando’s was a wine bar.”
  • “Unless one knows how to foxtrot one simply doesn’t know how to do anything in life.”
  • “Do you know what I find truly ghastly? People who jog in public. You don’t jog down the Kings Road.”
  • “There’s nothing more depressing than going to a dinner party where there are no flowers. Doesn’t it just kill you? ”
  • “Your early twenties really are the best time to get your first bronze bust.

What are your favourite moments from the show? I’d love to hear from you!

You can watch Made in Chelsea on Hayu in Canada or on Channel 4 in the UK.

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