Once the refuge from a hard week, a celebratory post-tute comfort blanket, or simply a window into the life of the other half, MiC has hit some hard times. I’ll admit to being a pretty hardcore fan, I was on edge for the new series, ready for a pseudo religious experience. I’ve been let down. MiC has hit Glee Season 3 territory: all possible couples have happened, and we are reduced to watching Jamie and Binky being forced together by a production team desperate to see Binkscuits become a hashtag. I love MiC, from the homage to The Wire opening quote to the need to state the name of every character almost every time they appear on screen. The show seems to be desperate to relive former glories, but has lost the gumption to attempt any new ones.
One of the the only major progressions from the previous series has been a change of hairstyle by Ollie, everyone’s favourite walking identity crisis. I spent the last episode trying quite desperately to feign interest in how hungry Cheska is. If the producers insist on showing Cheska so much, give her something to do. By taking Hugo out of the firing line, the show has lost 90% of its appeal. Cheska has somehow become the leading woman, along with Binky and the deluded Louise, yet has the looks and acting chops of Sarah Jessica Parker.
The principal success of the show in the past has been in the ability of the team to introduce new characters fairly seamlessly. Proudlock and Jamie, for example, have become two thirds of the greatest male trio regularly appearing on British screens. Without these two, the show would have descended into a tailspin of romantic entanglements with only the acerbic witticisms and debonair glances of Hugo Taylor to save it. But the new additions are pointlessly generic. The three who go to Brighton to play volleyball manage to be nondescript while also being incredibly annoying. Looking like backing members of a boyband, the three have managed the not inconsiderable achievement of making Spencer look like a pretty likeable bloke. To be fair, Spencer was pretty likeable before the Jamie/Louise débâcle sapped his appeal.
I could happily watch a series charting the adventures of the three lost boys. I’ll admit to considering a Proudlock earring during a particularly low moment in the summer. I spent most of 9th Week alternating between Community and the Best Is Yet To Come on youtube. But even the infectious puerile enthusiasm has become stale. Candy Kittens (a business I still have trouble seeing revenue streams for) should be either a part of the show continuously or it shouldn’t feature as much as it does. It has both lost novelty and still jars with the feel of the show.
As a minor quibble, the expeditions of the gang have become more and more pedestrian. While once we could bask in the reflected sun from the Cote D’Azur, now we are treated to Brighton. Has the recession finally hit home in Kensington and Chelsea or the production studios? MiC’s appeal is in the glossy locations and impeccably bred cast, in guessing who is heir to which fortune. Instead, by focusing on the romance of a fundamentally boring couple, it is losing appeal. Bring back Millie Mackintosh as a pillar of the show, bring back Hugo Taylor.