Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Made In Chelsea: Episode 6 - 'Interesting use of the carrots - and the bananas'

"Stick your bum out a bit. Perk it, perk it! Now, spread them apart."

Depending on how you look at it, watching a nearly-naked young man fondle the bark of a tree in a windy park as he poses with bananas and carrots as props, for photos which he hopes will land him work as a model, is either the zenith or the nadir of this new 'structured-reality' tv genre everyone's parping on about.

The people are real, and there's no acting as such, but the situations are set up, and the participants are directed as to what they should talk about.

Hence the semi-nude photo session.

The fella in question is inexplicable show-off and cartwheeling loon* Ollie Locke, quickly becoming the star and bonkers-beating-heart of the show that is basically sort-of-posh twenty-somethings gliding around a semi-fictionalised London, and known as Made in Chelsea.

"Looking good," says Ollie's pal Cheska, who is trying to not look cold as Ollie works a pineapple.

"Growl at me," invites Binky, with the camera, "like a grizzly bear! Like a tiger!"

Ollie Locke, Made in Chelsea: carrots and bananas not shown;
feather model's own (Pic: Channel 4)
Then Funda, the recently dumped girlfriend of would-be cad (but actually just totally useless) Spencer, happens to rolls up.

And, quite by chance, she soon receives a text telling her that Spencer's gone to Cannes with Caggie, his long-time friend and the distraction that made the wedge that drove Spencer and Funda apart.

The result is drama that, if you overlook the occasionally awkward or self-conscious delivery and the fact that it's all so set-up, can be as slick and structured as the best soap, and it all builds to a relatively edge-of-seat scene at something called 'a garden party'.

Caggie's song performance is ruined when Funda arrives, and, spurred on by Ollie, Binky and Cheska, Funda confronts Spencer, and then Caggie, about the trip to Cannes and why it was so soon after Spencer ending his relationship with Funda.

But we do not question, we do not probe. We do not even ask why.

Hypnotised, we kneel at the altar of its glossy sheen and lap it up like a cat laps up a saucer of milk or something else that is enthusiastically lapped up.

'Interesting use of the carrots - and the bananas'

And how did Ollie fair with his meeting at the model agency?

"Interesting use of the carrots - and the bananas," says Charlie from the agency as he looks at the photos.

Ollie looks worried: "Do you think that's the wrong way to go?"

"I think so."

And as previously discussed, Ollie, like many of the cast, has long, flowing and incredibly well-kept hair - but a reluctance to get it cut could well curtail his modelling career before it even begins.

"I don't think I'm attractive with short hair because I've got quite big ears," Ollie explains.

"You can have an ear reduction," deadpans Charlie.

Six weeks in to its first series, Made in Chelsea is continuing to irritate, amuse and entertain in equal measure - a sure sign that the producers are getting it right.

So zenith or nadir? It's probably both. Simultaneously. And without any haircuts, ever.

*there is, as yet, no evidence Ollie is a cartwheeling loon

Related stories:
Made in Chelsea series 3 official trailer: But what does it all MEAN? And where is Binky?
Made in Chelsea: Series 1 - a verdict *awkward pause, hair toss, pouty look*
Made in Chelsea: Episode 1 - 'a winner on the lustrous hair front'

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