Tinsley Mortimer is a socialite in transition. Newly single for the first time, she’s moving out of her perfect Upper East Side apartment she shared with husband Topper (great-grandson of the president of Standard Oil), to – gasp – MIDTOWN! In the words of her mother Dale, Tinsley is risking everything. (by getting divorced? by moving? by being independent?) According to Dale, the estranged couple should just stay together because, “their initials are even the same, Topper and Tinsley. It’s just like it was meant to be!”
But Tinsley wants more from life than just a family with euphonious names – she wants to design handbags (she has a line for Samantha Thavasa), and she wants to be photographed without feeling bad about it. Topper’s family is of the old school belief that one should only be photographed three times in life: when you’re born, when you get married, and when you die. Of course this philosophy just would not do for Tins. Plus, she can’t help that people like taking pictures of her! (Have you Googled her recently?) While she may come off as self-absorbed, I give her credit for having the courage to leave an unhappy marriage, even if it means moving to the dregs of Midtown (into a loft that could probably fit our whole office). While there were way too many “woe is me” shots of her crying into her expensive pillows (Blair Waldorf would never approve of such self-indulgence), at least she has not bought into the idea that she is now a “ruined woman” (perpetuated by her mother and most of those around her) with no hope of ever again achieving Park Avenue perfection.
To adjust to her new lifestyle, Tinsley began going out downtown with some of her fabulous friends. At an event, she was surrounded by people who would not-so-softly whisper “she’s flying solo!” at the sight of Tins san Top. It’s not 1950! Luckily, her friends promised to be there for her during this tough time. “Tinsley’s older…and divorced, and dressing like a teenager!” explained the supportive Jules (more on her later). Poor Tins just can’t catch a break.
Her newfound independence is empowering but a tad boring, which is probably why she is surrounded by a bunch of crazies, most notably Jules Kirby and Paul Johnson-Calderon.
Jules, otherwise known as the “trust fund partier,” is the show’s resident pot stirrer. Before the premiere, Kirby was reportedly upset with the way the show portrayed her (as someone who doesn’t associate with homosexuals, fatties, Jewish people, or black guys, and thinks that casual use of the N-word is okay). Come on CW, Jules’ life is hard! She’s in-between apartments and living in the Empire Hotel (shout out to Chuck Bass!) and she wants to work at the UN (seriously?!), where she’ll be challenged each and every day, forced to work with loads of diversity. How will she ever handle it?
Paul Johnson-Calderon a.k.a “PJC,” a.k.a “Page Six scandal boy” a.k.a “king of the bow ties” has completed two stints of rehab (with no signs of sobriety) and a recent Winona Ryder-type scandal. Now he’s ready to move out on his own, so he can start his life. “My goal in life other than to be popular and cool is to have a family, children, a husband, a home,” he explained. PJC announced to his mother (over high tea) that he would like $50,000. Of course she’s proud of his progress but just wants him to find a nice boy, like Anderson Cooper! Standing her ground (like Mussolini, as he called her), she agreed to only give him $25,000…to which he began putting towards his new apartment RIGHT away. (Right after he ordered an entire clothing line, a room service bubble bath, and hosted his own after-party.)
Now we’re talking! Besides Tinsley’s struggle to accept her apparent lot in life as an unworthy cat lady, the real source of drama will be between these ex-friends, Jules and PJC. Both had pleasant things to say about one another:
Jules on PJC: “I think Paul’s a disgusting, vile human being, I think he’s delusional”
Harsh, but I’m on Team PJC with this zinger: “People need to know that you were arrested in the Hamptons, you burned your parents’ house down, and you pretended to have cancer!” and: ” I wouldn’t s— on her corpse if she was burning to death.”
Now, while High Society may seem like your ordinary name-dropping (Georgina Chapman! Harvey Weinstein! Russell Simmons!), shameless act of self-promotion intended to make its star a household name…it’s basically just that, with major name-calling, drink-throwing, and overall ridiculousness mixed in for good measure. What do you think PopWatchers? Does High Society compare to Gossip Girl? What do you think of Tinsley’s decision to move out on her own? Will you watch next week?