Four months have passed since our last Chelsea instalment and with all the excitement of Christmas well and truly gone, it was with glee (the feeling not the programme) that I tuned into the opening episode of series three.
My initial excitement at seeing the familiar faces, places and titles quickly dwindled as the episode progressed. It was what could only be described as lack lustre, with no real thrills or drama filled moments to peak interest.
So what has the new year bought my favourite Chelsea residents?
Let’s start with Hugo Taylor, whose love of multiple ladies almost split the cast apart at the end of last season; he entered the frame with a new belle in tow.
Whilst this has drama potential written all over it, with Millie happily dating the Professor, this causes no hilariously awkward moments or tears but makes for rather boring viewing as Hugo spends all his screen time attached by hand, lip or hip to the petite blonde. In fact, the most interesting thing about him this episode is his story of how he ended up with his arm in a sling.
Generally new relationships make for interesting viewing but in the case of Hugo and Natalie, the addition of romantic bliss leaves the former an empty shell of his laddish self.
The lack of the tall bearded one amongst the boys is a point of focus over the episode, with lads and ladies alike discussing his absence at various points with varying views.
One of those views, possibly the most important, is that of Spencer Matthews whose bromance was snuffed out of existence by Natalie’s appearance.
Throughout the show, we view him pining for his bestie whilst trying to play it cool and nonchalant, much like he did with his love of Caggie Dunlop.
Whilst it’s easy to see through his fronting, it’s also easy to empathise with him; who amongst us hasn’t lost a friend to their shiny new toy?
And that wasn’t the only blow to poor Spencer’s feelings. At the beginning of the show we witness the somewhat awkward meeting of cock-tease Caggie and Matthews at the side of an airfield. It’s revealed that after their romantic night (for ‘their romantic night’ see ‘Caggie’s drunken mistake’) in Finland, which finally saw the love sick Spencer hit a home run with the pouty blonde, Caggie’s Christmas/New year present was to completely ignore the poor bloke for a whole month whilst she hooked up with a random Aussie, and then for a further fortnight on her return to London, leaving it to mutual friend Proudlock to inform him of her dalliance (and the life long reminder of it, and her own stupidity, permanently inked on her forearm).
Though clearly heartbroken from the double whammy of (b)romantic death, Spence makes the best of his time on the show, keeping strong bonds with the Brotherhood and even planning to move in with eternal party boy Jamie Laing (much to Spencer’s apparent sadness.)
The following scene, concerning both Jamie and Proudlock, bizarrely had them meeting at a church and discussing Proudlock’s position as a born again Christian with intentions to attend a service. Whilst some may see this as an attempt to add depth to the shallow Proudlock, it soon showed itself simply to be a means to adding new cast member Kimberly, who shockingly attends the same church as him, or at least did in this episode.
Now I haven’t been to church in a long time myself, but I can tell you now, if I attempted to go there in leggings that showed the congregation exactly how God sculpted my rear like she did, I would not be met with a warm welcome. However, in the Church of Chelsea members, this is a feat to be congratulated on, which Jamie sees to right away, telling the blonde how ‘sexy’ she dressed for the occasion, which leads to questions of the state of his and Louise’s budding Christmas romance.
It’s revealed later, as the boys meet for a drink, that Jamie hasn’t seen Louise at all since their romantic pre-Christmas hook up. Despite the fact they both seemed really involved in the progression of the relationship, it seems no effort was made by either party to continue the romance. Whilst Jamie simply states he’s ‘still into her’ but also single, Louise tells the girls that ‘absolutely nothing’ is happening between her and Laing, and that maybe it’s for the best as she didn’t want to come between Jamie and Spencer, however, the disappointment is evident.
Someone short of disappointment is Millie Mackintosh who starts this season on a high: not only is she dating UK rap-star Professor Green, but she’s also bagged an internship at Glamour Magazine, which was revealed in an MIC standard clothes shopping scene, featuring friend Louise Thompson. Clearly in need of more businesslike attire, Millie tries on outfits to impress her new co-workers but falls short when she actually arrives at the office on her first day. It’s not her appearance, or indeed her work that pulls the glare of many a Glamour employee, but the appearance of best friend Caggie, who turns up as a surprise with a bottle of champers and proceeds to perch on Millie’s desk and gossip. Clearly unaware of how a real job works, Cags tries to convince Millie to up and leave for lunch whilst annoying all her co-workers and setting her firmly in a bad position for her internship.
Fellow fake tan addict Ollie Locke is always one for stealing the show and his entrance did just that. Although he was relatively calm when meeting best friend, and now house mate, Cheska, his entrance was drenched in fabulousness as he pulled up in his new Union Jack car with self made millionaire, not to mention single, friend, and likely new cast member Richard. Nothing is said of how previous perma-singlton Cheska managed to loose douchily named Rich. E in the months preceding Christmas, however the fact is immediately highlight by Ollie as he introduces her as ‘newly single’, showing from the off that their moments of the episode will be a hideously awkward attempt to set up the two.
In scenes with each friend, Ollie not so subtly probes the singletons to confirm their interest and exercise his master plan.
Speaking of: on an exercise date with fellow friend Binky Felstead, Cheska describes herself as a ‘Bridget Jones spinster in Chelsea’ and states she’ll never find a guy if she’s always with Ollie, a fact that rings with meaning later in the episode.
Later comes in the form of the first party of season three; dubbed ‘Gabrielle’s boob party’ by the ever articulate Proudlock, it is in fact a party celebrating little viewed cast member Gabilicious’ breast reduction surgery.
Only ever appearing when Mark Francis is around, she was seen last season as somewhat of his side kick, there to dance with him at the parties and drink champagne with him whilst he lounged in his beautiful home.
Though I never noticed the size of Gabilicious’s breasts, a point mirrored by cast member Spencer during the party, you’ve got to tip your hat to a girl who suffers silently and celebrates the end of it by throwing a massive jelly filled party for all her friends.
Sadly, her bestie Marc Francis was too busy opening a shop in Paris to attend, but as they say – the party must go on.
In Paris herself, Café de Paris that is, Gabilicious throws a big party, with all aforementioned cast members in attendance. The grand reveal was widely applauded, with Gabs having her newly sculpted assets on show for the first time in a low cut dress and telling the party goers, “In the words of Jamie Laing – ‘Let’s party with a d’”
At this point my interest was once again peaked, excitement began to creep up on me: with everyone there, and alcohol free flowing, as always for the MIC lot, it seemed impossible that there wouldn’t be some drama; a drink thrown in someone’s face, a dodgy hook up, a massive announcement to rock the friendship of all; anything to bring some real life into this episode.
Made in Chelsea; making the impossible possible. The party mostly consisted of random awkward moments, the best of course being a result of Mr Ollie Locke himself.
Yes, as I mentioned above, Ollie made words come to life during the party. With Richard in tow, Cheska looking her best, and Binky and Gabrielle Ellis laughing at the fact they both managed to bed the millionaire in the past, Ols stated, with the air of someone mentioning the weather in passing, “It’s always been Cheska’s ultimate fear to be the next Bridget Jones, it’s always scared us.”
Whilst Richard did the chivalrous thing and claimed he was sure that wouldn’t be the case, with those words it just might be. What followed was ten solid seconds of awkward silence before Richard excused himself.
Another, almost as awkward moment, came when Empson, apparent friend of Laing’s and possessor of eyebrows that each deserve their own face, cornered Louise at the bar and made a play for her. And by a play, I mean that he asked about her and Jamie and then proceeded to ask if she’s single. As if this wasn’t bad enough, ol’ Brows is then joined by Jamie who clearly spotted the predator and came over to make sure nothing happened between the two.
This wasn’t necessary however as Empson killed any potential vibes himself by asking Louise who she thinks is better looking. Clearly caught off guard Lou did a good job of answering without giving an answer which led to banter between her and former beau Jamie.
This was abruptly ended by what can only be named conversational dick swinging and ever the clever girl, Louise made a quick escape leaving the boys to scratch their heads.
There was however one part of the show that satisfied my need for excitement. That was of course the too small appearance of Francis Boulle, the flame haired awkward business man, who spent his few grasped minutes on camera unable to stop himself from staring directly at Gabilicious’s new boobs. Poor Francis might not have been able to tear his eyes away but at least he tried, bless him.
Following this, he made a play for new Chelsea member Kimberly, laying his awkward charm on her thick and not quite managing to score a date but not humiliating himself either.
Although this opener wasn’t much to write home about (although I strangely managed nearly 2000 words), next week’s episode looks set to bring drama, with the girls getting bitchy and the boys arguing over the fresh meat. Although I said at the beginning it was lack lustre, as a true Made In Chelsea fan, even if the next episode was just an hour of Hugo gushing about Natalie, I’d still be glued to my screen. Reality TV is addictive, and I’m looking forward to my weekly fix of this deliciously decadent show.