So I finally watched my first episode of Made in Chelsea ever, and it was a total blast. I had never seen the show before because I wanted to be fresh on camera. My character didn't make it into the first episode, but I saw myself in the "on the next episode" scenes. I am excited and nervous, all wrapped into one frubbly package! Even though I didn't know anything about the plot's backstory (the show has had seven seasons prior to NYC), I knew who all of these people were from meeting them in real life, so I was immediately engaged by everything they discussed.
So what is the point of Made in Chelsea based on my observation of one episode?
It seems to be about conveying "the dream," the ideal life chock-full of parties, shopping, good food, and almost unlimited freedom. It's about escapism for its audience, to get a peek into a life removed from problems. But there is no true utopia, so what problems ail these blessed Londonites? On the surface their problems and concerns seem limited exclusively to personal social drama. They don't discuss philosophy, world problems, or current events– they don't seem heavily invested in the marketplace of ideas, and I think that is symptomatic of cultural superficiality.
The cast of Made in Chelsea is comprised of role models for its young and impressionable audience, and it is not the casts' fault that they are edited to seem more superficial than they otherwise might be. They might be capable of stimulating and deep intellectual discussion if given the chance. It might depend on what the audience wants to see.
My favorite part of the episode was obviously watching my friend Alik throw fastballs from the pitcher's mound. He seemed like a dominant force who really inserted himself into the in crowd. I also loved his scene when he asked Louise on a date! Let's see if I can live up to the strong precedent he set. (*Jules puffs feathers, flexes muscles*)
I was fascinated by watching the petty drama between the characters. Lucy Watson said something very interesting to Rosie in what I believe was an unneccessary quarrel. She said something along the lines of "that's just the way I am" and "that's just the way you are." Language is a window into human thought, and this little phrase gave me insight into how Lucy considers identity and the "self." Lucy believes people are fixed– they are born a certain way independent of any thought program. However, recent discoveries in neuroscience are reshaping our understanding of life (and culture) and show that is not true. Identity is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself. You are what you think. You are the story you tell yourself.
I consider identity and people (including myself) as more plastic, so whenever I have conflict I focus on conflict resolution. This does require some degree of emotional intelligence which I've had to work on and practice over time. I've noticed sometimes when others have conflict, they focus on feeling (or just appearing) superior. This means they become rigid– and listen more to respond, and less to understand. I believe the more close minded one is, the harder it is to establish meaningful connections and find happiness.
I wonder why it seems everyone on the show is constantly breaking up, cheating, and fighting. Maybe it's impossible to find true happiness, love, and compassion. Maybe it's all about how you think.