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Let’s admit it, Made in Chelsea is tiring to watch in the cost of living crisis

‘People can’t pay their gas bill or fill their car up’ 

Made in Chelsea has never claimed to be down to earth. Episode one opened with Caggie Dunlop and Millie Mackintosh gliding out of a Rolls-Royce and into a King’s Road nightclub with ease only money can muster. In season four, Francis Boulle wrote a book about his entrepreneurial success in the diamond industry – despite the fact his dad owns a diamond mine. At best they were aspirational. At worst, the butt of a joke.

But as the cost of living crisis has continued, bubbling up in late 2021 and worsening ever since, audiences’ relationship with Made in Chelsea has soured from laughter and adoration to dejection and resentment. Watching millionaires have brunch, while you toss up whether to treat yourself to putting the heating on or buying something other than own-brand butter, doesn’t sit right. It isn’t fun anymore.

In the first five minutes of the show’s 25th season, we heard how Willow had been doing Tai chi in the Caribbean because she needed to “get out of Chelsea”. Yas, Sam, and Inga had all enjoyed extended trips to Bali. Bottles of champagne were in the periphery of every shot. There were long takes of Ralph Lauren windows. Private viewings at the Saatchi Gallery. The whole thing was gauche. Tactless. Just a bit icky.

In one shot, halfway through the first episode, we plummeted back down to reality. The camera caught a normal person (non-cast member civilian) shuffling over a bridge towards Battersea with a tote bag and trackies, tower blocks in the background— the normal order of things without blow dries or gold bangles.

The contrast of the camera pointing the wrong way (lense away from Chelsea) was jarring. Plunging back into such blatant, unapologetic privilege felt odd. Issy’s conflict with Willow: Unentertaining. Yas’s reluctance to go to the football with her new Bali boyfriend: Tiring.

This boredom transfers to real life, too. When Georgia Toffolo won £37,500 at Cheltenham Races off of a £5,000 bet in March last year, few people felt happy for her until she announced she’d donate a “generous” amount the British Red Cross and The Disasters Emergency Committee.

Made in Chelsea has always sold us a sun-filtered, signet ring-heavy, dream. A life we’d knowingly never lead but had fun watching and imitating. But now MIC, astronomically at odds with everyday life, starkly positioned ahead of Channel 4’s 10 o’clock news, serves as nothing more of a reminder of how far the wealth divide has drifted. It’s hard to laugh at the ridiculousness of posh people when so many are suffering.

Now, it just feels sad.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Inside Issy from Made in Chelsea’s incredible £10million home with basement pool and cinema

From rockstar to businessman: How MIC Issy’s dad Marc Francis-Baum made his mega fortune