My Super Sweet Sixteen, The Hills, Made in Chelsea… Will our fascination with the overindulged offspring of the filthy rich never end?
Apparently not, for beginning tonight on E4 at 9pm is a new six-part series, Rich Kids of Instagram, which promises to lure us into a world of bling, bubbly and monstrously large boats, and the hardworking teens and 20-somethings devoted to documenting such travails on social media.
The series launched from a Cutting Edge doc that aired last year, which whet voyeuristic viewers’ appetites for an insight into the jetsetting lifestyles of this pampered posse. For this crowd, an average day involves treating yourself to an impulse-buy Rolls-Royce, before throwing your six-figure pocket change on a spontaneous Dubai yacht party, and taking your English bulldog for a Swedish massage. It’s all terribly glamorous.
Except, surprise surprise, such an existence feels rather more seedy than seductive. Naturally, I too rolled into the office this morning after a wild weekend in an emirate, popping corks with reckless abandon and adorned in the finest silks money can buy – and paid for it all in solid gold bullion. But it is awfully gauche to brag about it, isn’t it?
That’s how this odious lot – and they come across, without exception, as pretty loathsome – make their “own” money. Through such visual bragging, and the promotion of lavish goods on their Instagram accounts, in attempts to encourage their tragic hordes of followers to copy them and spend 45 minutes perfectly positioning their own girlfriend’s backside on the bonnet of a Bentley, magnum of champagne pointed in a suggestive direction with a few Rolexes around the bottleneck for good measure…
Is this what’s cool for teenagers now? Coveting a life so totally lacking in taste or class? It’s a damning indictment of our younger generation if so.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was a teen myself, and can readily admit to lapping up the glitzy exclusivity of The OC and Gossip Girl, and even ‘The Real OC’, Laguna Beach. I even now, older and wiser at 25, rarely miss an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and indulge in an hour of Made in Chelsea from time to time – but these series, in all their trashiness, have a knowing twinkle in their eye. The subjects, at least one would hope, take part with tongues lodged firmly in cheek. Even if brainless and shallow, they are ready to lampoon themselves, and the result is silly, melodramatic, but at least entertaining.
Individually, the Rich Kids of Instagram themselves are beyond parody; much of the fun of this show is derived from choosing which one you dislike the most. I struggled to decide between Cheshire teenagers Adil and Jack, whose competitive car collections were difficult to stomach, and Spanish fashion designer Iman Lopez, who claims, impossibly, to be ‘besties’ with money itself, and that she is ‘the boss’ of gold-diggers. Lopez goes on what I might describe as a ‘mad one’ in tonight’s first episode, and the casual manner with which she acknowledges her hospitalisation while recovering from the hangover in a gilded hotel suite might just give her that repugnant edge, for me. But watch it yourself, and come to your own conclusions.
The Rich Kids of Instagram is certainly intriguing, but one finishes the episode with a sense of relief that their world is select – and feeling fiercely glad not to be part of it.
Rich Kids of Instagram is on Monday at 9pm on E4