In my recent video game addiction/obsession to Paper Mario, I failed to mention that yesterday I was very much anticipating the premiere of The City, which I can say, with certainty, has now supplanted The Hills as my favorite faux-reality show I love/hate. Yes, in one hour I turned off the television feeling perfectly satiated—Whitney Port’s New York Minute is going to be my guilty pleasure TV of 2009. Happy New Year!
My immediate love is, of course, no surprise at all—nor is the fact that faux-socialite Olivia Palermo is destined to be the next breakout villain star of this MTV collection—which is fabulous. Obvious villain or no, she is infinitely more likeable and interesting to watch than Speidi, particularly because she is so awkwardly snobby, and also because she is really NOT a socialite (Olivia, I had plenty of friends who were Debs, in fact my own mother was one—which I believe means I could have been—and they are all normal humble lovely ladies now, no reality show needed). Thanks to a delicious exposé in NY Mag last year, we know she'd be better categorized as a social climber. But for the sake of this faux-universe; who cares! She's divine.
Yes folks, The City delivered (and thankfully explained Ms. Port’s odd getup at The Hills finale last week—all DVF, flowery hippie headband included) and I am looking forward to spending the next few months living vicariously through Whitney Port as she wanders my short-lived NY stomping grounds (unlike LA, I see more restaurants and cityscapes I recognize already, probably because in NY, when living off my dad—does that make me a social, Olivia?—I was eating out a lot more, enjoy the fruits of others’ labor).
The two-episode premiere sure packed in a lot of drama (faux drama obv), in fact I think more happened in this episode than an entire season of The Hills, which isn’t saying much, but says something—The City is a refreshing spin-off. I’m tired of Lauren and Heidi’s incessant rivalry and rumor spreading, Audrina’s boring romance, and even the shenanigans of the once poorly coiffed/tanned She-Pratt, Stephanie. It’s all about Whitney, and NYC from here on out—and this fantastic downtown/uptown competition. It’s a battle between the preps of Gossip Girl and the faux-hipsters of my West Village neighborhood, and the best part is, they aren’t actually all that different from each other. They all have killer wardrobes, have jobs like buyer, publicist, editor, art gallery trainee, non-profit co-oordinator... and so forth (you get the point).
A premiere highlight was undoubtedly the dinner party, and the ridiculous assembly of Olivia’s friends, the best being her cousin, who uttered the ridiculous sentence “Even though my father is an art dealer I just have no interest in art, I am completely the opposite” as though it were perhaps the most novel idea he’d stumbled upon. Brilliant! These people lack self-awareness to the extreme, which makes interactions even better, especially watching poor Whitney, who genuinely seems to be herself on camera, attempt to navigate this new social dynamic. Sadly, I have a feeling our heroine will likely change immensely over her course of time in the city and on The City. Whether it’s for better or for worse, only time will tell. 12 episodes-worth, that is.