When I switched on to watch the first episode of the four-part documentary Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags, I thought I switched on a teenage drama, taking place on Mars, by mistake. Frankly, teenage drama is what I have always avoided in my life, both watching and living. That explains my sheer boredom and irritation during the hair-pulling, painfully slow 49-minute show.
In that 49 minutes, which I will never get back, Lily Allen first excited audiences with her determination to change her lifestyle as the “British pop-queen” to a normal retail businesswoman, or so she claimed. But do not expect The Apprentice because all you would get is endless amounts of sisterly drama, tears, daunting recollections of childhood memories and a lot of expensive clothes and make-up.
The title of the documentary is guiltily misguiding – the show wasn’t about how Lily Allen returned to normal life by living modestly. It was about how she splashed cash that “she worked so hard to earn” and created tension with her “flaky” sister, amidst many drowning scenes of alcohol, cigarettes, counselling-like business meetings and unbearable giggling.
I was sincerely praying that Lord Sugar would appear and teach these apprentices a lesson
After three-quarters of the episode, Lily and sister Sarah, with whom she used to “pull […] hair out”, were still spending half a million pounds shopping for clothes. Having no experience and knowledge of what “normal girls” between the age of 20 and 30 can afford, Lily and Sarah had a big dream where everything was flowery, fluffy and ferociously affordable. They envisioned a world where everyone would be able to pay 300 pounds to rent pop-star style vintage clothes. The preparation of their project “Lucy in Disguise” was the longest real life demonstration of unrealistic “business planning and strategy” I have ever experienced. They had no target groups, no physical sites for a shop and no strategies. Retail guru, Mary Porters, who agreed to become their consultant, called it “cute and fabulous, but not business”. She was obviously trying very hard to be nice.
I was sincerely praying that Lord Sugar would appear and teach these apprentices a lesson; they urgently needed an awakening to reality. Nobody, including the Allen sisters, had any idea where their lives and, more importantly, the show were heading.
The first episode finally ended with Lily Allen storming out of the room after hearing honest opinions from girls, who were invited to give their impression of the clothes and pricing.
If you are looking for fashion tips, business strategies or common sense, look elsewhere. But if all you want is drama and giggling, dive into your Gilmore Girls DVD collections instead.