When actors deliver lines in certain sitcoms, they leave pauses in which canned laughter is later placed. This signals to viewers that a joke has just been told. When blank-faced poshos hold stilted conversations in scripted reality programme Made in Chelsea, similar gaps in conversation are filled with spirited pop music which rises in volume as the characters look at one another intensely. This tells us that these are living, breathing beings with real emotions, not just rich goons who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
I think the makers of Made in Chelsea could take this hamfisted manipulation even further. When Caggie (a posh accent with a wig) and Spencer (a man-sized infant with a piglet's nose) have an awkward conversation about their horrible on-off relationship, it could benefit from the sound of disembodied sobbing off camera -- canned weeping. This would help us to know what to feel more accurately than vaguely emotive music coupled with their confused expressions.
As it is, their conversations are punctuated mainly by a cranky television reviewer muttering: "for the love of Jesus" (in this house anyway).
Made in Chelsea should be renamed First Against the Wall when the Revolution Comes. People with names like Empson, Proudlock, Gabilicious, Hugo and Binky pilot private planes, drive Union Jack-patterned sports cars, go on month-long holidays and talk endlessly about themselves in swanky bars.
These are goons of independent means. Even though Spencer appears to be jobless, I haven't seen him down the job centre. And although Hugo has his arm in a sling (a skiing accident) I suspect he's not "on the sick" or living on compo.
Spencer, incidentally, is yearning bromantically for Hugo, who has a new girlfriend and no longer hangs out with him as he honks like a sexist goose hopped up on cocktails. But they meet at the social event of the season when Gabilicious decides to celebrate a breast reduction with a guest-filled "Boob Party".
"Stop staring at my breasts!" she says to one chap, despite the fact she's in the middle of hosting A BOOB PARTY.
Basically, Made in Chelsea is a series that can only be satisfactorily concluded with a violent uprising. If it doesn't finish with a scruffy, pike-wielding oik wearing Spencer's decapitated head as a hat, I'll feel cheated.
I should probably stick to Game of Thrones, the newly returned televised fantasy spectacular in which characters' heads are always coming off (Sean Bean's popped off in the first series). The island of Westeros is now divided into warring kingdoms and the characters juggle hushed conspiracies, violent batt-el (how battle is pronounced in fantasy novels) and hilariously gratuitous sex scenes (Game of Thrones is also a bit of a "boob party").
The blonde girl with the pet dragons is still wandering in the desert, charismatic dwarf prince Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is trying to run a failing city state, Sansa is tormented by her father-murdering fiance King Joffrey (excellent young Irish actor Jack Gleeson), while up in the frozen north Jon Snow is investigating rumours of a gathering army (probably being organised by one of Jon Snow's traditional enemies -- Jeremy Paxman or Sir Trevor McDonald).
Game of Thrones is overcomplicated and a bit daft, but, thanks to high production values and quality actors playing it totally straight, Westeros feels significantly more believable than Chelsea.
Marrying Prince Harry was a charming, un-patronising documentary about likeable young women obsessed with "the most eligible bachelor in Britain". And why not? Harry seems like a pleasant enough potential monarch who, unlike King Joffrey, would never have his fiance's father violently murdered or perch on an austere throne made of melted swords ... as far as we know.
Made in Chelsea HHIII
Game of Thrones HHHII
Marrying Prince Harry HHHII