Blood Sweat and Luxuries Review: A Gem

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


I’m almost positive TV is born out of a very simple system. Five TV chiefs sitting round a table with a bucket full of pieces of card with words on. They all reach their hand in. Having each selected three words – a title is found – and the content of a programme is created and refined.

‘What did you get Brian?’
‘Erm…Cooking, Clothes and Dogs’
‘Ok…How about you Scott?’
‘Young, Absurd and Blonde’
‘Hm…And you Tracy?’
‘I got Blood, Sweat and Luxuries’

And so we come to another sensationalist titled programme, sure to rake in the casual television viewers. And why not? Here, we have 6 luxury-reliant youfs who are sent to various places in the world to learn exactly how much effort is put into the stuff they buy in their hometowns to justify their existence. This week: sapphire mines in Africa.

Typical to this type of show, we have to be introduced to our characters, all of whom must fit a careful consumer-obsessed profile and have cretinous epithets to precede their name like ‘Sussex lad’ or ‘rich kid’. The worst of them all, and just the kind of gorgeously naive arrogant public school cub that Blood Sweat and Luxuries needs to highlight its point, is ’20 year old free-spirit Oscar’. He lives on a yacht. “I hope Africa doesn’t get onto this whole ‘Economic Mayhem’…If the whole world was like that it would be an absolute NIGHTMARE?. Oscar’s managed to rebrand the recession. He’s like a mix between Nathan Barley and David Cameron.

Being forced to work on an open sapphire mine in 40 degree heat you get a sense of the situation early on. The work is tough for the spoilt youths, and it’s all for 12.5 pence an hour. As they visit a polisher at the end of their trip, you also realise the frightening discrepancy in the whole system as a quick shape and buff boosts the profit from an £8 bit of rock to about £300. The miner’s lose out massively.

To see what goes into the little shiny things that girlfriends expect the world over is eye-opening. Unsurprisingly, our six youngsters learn very quickly during their trip, and go through that learning arc extremely typical of these types of shows – arrival, shock at the size of your new room, getting stuck in, giving up, crying/silence and a realisation that you’re a horrible/shallow person.

The fact that it’s predictable doesn’t mean it’s poor viewing; Blood Sweat and Luxuries is in fact great to watch. Sam, a Geordie girl, is a particular highlight – getting properly involved in the work, and shouting at Oscar for one of his more insensitive comments. Indeed, make sure you tune-in for an excellent balance of trash and interesting revelations.

Anna says:

I think it was a great show. Oscar has to be one of the most annoying people I have ever watched.

The height of his stupidity and ignorance was only eclipsed by how obviously rich his parents are… which, combined with a lot of the common sense and intelligence of some of the world’s dirt poor we encounter… makes for a miserable world view.

I didn’t really care to see the spoilt UK kids – I wished the show would focus a little bit more on the poverty side of things – but I guess it was designed to pull in the “youf” demongraphic, which, like these kids – can’t see beyond themselves.

Great show!

dean says:

“didn’t like what was happening though all those people working so hard 4 nothing that is stupid. sorry but that what i think”. I think you’ll find they don’t have a choice if they want to eat.

Angel says:

What a wonderful show & I really enjoyed it. I didn’t like what was happening though all those people working so hard 4 nothing that is stupid. sorry but that what i think.1 question why send rich Kids why not send some celeb. come on has the word gone crazy. they always send rich kids to different countries which is very high in poverty i really don’t understand it, the kids learn there lesson and what happens next tell? u just waste films 4 that.