Popcorn rating: Suits you sister
In a nutshell:3.5/5
Right, listen up all you perky young things. How many times do you have to be told by the funky-haired television types before it finally absorbs through your taut, peachy cheeks that 40-something females don’t need to dress like whores to feel young and sexy, hmm? So, like, get over it Barbie face.
What, you don’t believe me? Then you better watch Mary Queen of Frocks, because Mary Portas (the eponymous queeny) knows what women want. Don’t ask me how she knows, alright, she just does. And she tells us she does. Over and over again. With a murderous stare. That’s why she’s risking everything to open her very own outlet, showing all the senior sisters out there how to do it for themselves.
What she’s after opening is a sort of Fountain of Youth for the high street, or as she puts it, a “wonderful, spiritual home for women”. Ooh, get her. In her Shangri-La of chic, Buddha takes the form of a mannequin dressed in a ginger wig with chiffon culottes; scripture is a size-guide. It’s going to be the perfect retail refuge for all those misguided middle-aged frumps, dahling.
But the path to shopping enlightenment is not an easy one for Guru Portas. Like all struggling independent retailers, she’s had to fight to get what she wants. For instance, she had to make one phone call and stamp her feet a little before being given 2,000sq-ft of prime retail space in one of London’s busiest department stores – phew! Entrepreneurs could really learn a thing or two.
And it only gets tougher. She now has to recruit her own team of fashion disciples. From the looks of it, the person specification listed ‘anti-fat’ and ‘lack of opinion’ as essential criteria. In the end, hardly anyone bothers applying, probably because Portas can’t hold a conversation with another human being without looking as though she’s about to bite off their nose.
That’s what makes this show such fun to watch; the sinister and very real feeling that someone is about to get their neck snapped if they dare stand in the way of Portas’ retail regime of saving women from themselves. So, I think it’ll all turn out nice for her. Don’t ask me why. I just do, alright? Portas tells us it will. And if you want your nose to stay on your face, you’ll think it too.