'The City' premiere: Hits and misses
As of last night, Whitney Port has officially flown the West Coast coop — better known as The Hills — for The Big Apple. I don’t know about you guys, but I found it refreshing to watch the two-episode premiere unfold without a clue as to what I should be expecting to see. Sure, there have been blog posts here and there with pictures of Whitney cavorting around NYC. And, of course, there have also been lots of rumors about how real the “storylines” are (just yesterday there were reports that she doesn’t even have a legit job with Diane Von Furstenberg). And while I can’t really say I don’t believe those rumors — MTV has a reputation for occasionally…well, stretching “reality” — I think it’s nice that we haven’t been so inundated with gossip about The City (not yet, at least, right?) that it spoils the fun of watching the show.
Here are a few of the hits from the spin-off’s debut episode that struck my fancy:
- Whitney’s surprisingly go-get-’em attitude about Jay (er, at least before the drama that later came into play). Following their date at Italian eatery Nero, Jay offered up his apartment as a crash pad to the apparently “homeless” Whitney. She immediately replied, “Let’s go.” It was short, sweet, and right to the point. Ladies, take note.
- Her (temporary?) roomie Erin. Okay, so I’m a little unclear as to why Whitney is merely crashing on Erin’s couch for the time being. I’d be willing to bet that Whitney actually lives somewhere else, but films the show at Erin’s place. I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to keep her so-called private life private because I’m sure no one on the island wants something like this to happen again. Anyway, I really like our new friend Erin. So far, she seems like a straight shooter who will be there for Whitney when she needs someone to laugh with (I loved when Erin said, “That guy called me a hooker…the guy with the bronzer”) or someone to cry with.
- Kelly Cutrone’s cameo! I think every episode of The City from now on should end with a one-on-one session with Whitney and Kelly. It would be sort of like how episodes of Felicity would end with voiceovers by Felicity’s french teacher, Sally, giving heartwarming doses of advice, only much, much funnier. Last night, the People’s Revolution head honcho took time away from fashion week (“It’s like animal mating,” Kelly noted of the hectic schedule) to catch up with her former employee. She was humorously — and somewhat genuinely — astounded to hear that The Olivia Palermo also got a job at DVF. “Shut. Up. She got a job?” Kelly asked. “That’s very unlike her. Why is she working?” Then she topped off that infamous Cutrone cocktail with a a thoughtful piece of advice on Whitney’s predicament with Alex. “Why would he want to make trouble with Jay if there wasn’t truth behind it?” Kelly asked. “Maybe you can’t trust both of them.” Oh, good ol’ sensible guidance, we’ve missed you so.
- There’s no Speidi!! Unless you think Jay’s roommate Adam and his gf Allie could potentially fill the notorious couple’s attention-hogging shoes. Nah, they’re both too pretty to look at, and while Adam does already have a little bit of a d-bag quality about him (after asking Jay if he’s going to stop seeing other people because he’d been spending so much time with Whit, Adam said, “I don’t think you should”), he is majorly lacking in the facial hair department.
And then there are the total misses (after the jump).
- Oliva, the self-proclaimed “Social.” Right now,Whitney’s co-worker is the girl we’re all supposed to love to hate. That could all change as the show goes on, but until then, I’m stickingto it. I live in NYC and still had no clue what made her so special, soI did a little diggingand found out how she supposedly climbed her way up the ladder into”high class” society. Basically, her daddy is a real estatedeveloper (read: she comes from $$$), and she’s made a name for herselfby attending lots of parties and charity events. Moral of the story: Get a good publicist and be seen everywhere, and you, too,could become a socialite. Not that you’d want to though, right? Wewere introduced to Olivia at DVF where she was overtly displeased aboutWhitney joining the team. Still, she tried to make an effort with Whitby inviting her to her exclusive rooftop dinner party. Olivia’s nicegesture, however, was overshadowed by her awkward and annoyingquestions about Jay’s whereabouts. Why does she care so much? Also, ifshe is such an It Girl, then why would she need to be on someone else’s reality show?
- The downtown vs. uptown class warfare. Whitney’s intro to the show describes her fellow cast members using these terms, and thenlaterwhen Olivia suggested letting Whitney into her “inner circle,” hercousin, Nevan replied, “Seriously, before she gets caught up in thatdowntown crap.” First of all, Olivia lives in Tribeca, which last timeI checked was downtown. Secondly, since when is Manhattan divided into only two discernible groups? True, Gossip Girl lendsa hand to this stereotype, but does MTV really have to take it on, too?I know the terms are not meant to be literal, but they just seem sodated. (Uh, this now concludes my lesson on NYC culture. Join us nexttime when we discuss proper subway etiquette).
- Jay’s Justin Bobby-ish behavior. “I always do what Iwant and that’s it, you know,” he said to Whitney after turning downher invitation to be her date for Olivia’s dinner party. I mean itdidn’t sound nearly as harsh when said with an Australian accent, butstill, it was a comment I could picture Justin Bobby saying to Audrinajust before, say, asking her to go topless in a swimming pool. Don’tget me wrong, I’m not against Jay or anything (especially because hestill showed up to the dinner party even after pouting about it), Ijust hope he doesn’t go down that same wishy-washy and non-committalroad that J. Bob took Audrina on.
- Whitney buys Manolos (and has them signed by the man himself).Ignoring the blatant attempt at comparing Whitney to Carrie Bradshaw(to me, it’s like apples to oranges anyway), I just want to gripe for asecond here about how we’re supposed to believe Whitney can afford suchexpensive footwear on a PR income (which is typically in the lowerdigits) and within her first few weeks in NYC. Oh, that’s right, she’sactually getting paid to have cameras follow her. Don’t we all wish wehad a disposable income!
- Alex. The male model, which we’ve previously seen on The Hills,needs to find somewhere else to focus his attention. It’s so obviousthat the producers wanted him back on the show to stir up drama betweenWhitney and Jay, so now that he has, he can go bye-bye.
So, what do you guys think of debut of The City? (If you haven’t already checked it out, click hereto learn more about what we can expect to see on the show from the starherself.) Do you think you’ll tune in to the rest of the season or areyou over everything and everyone relating to Lauren Conrad? Finally,did you find it to be a little eerie that Whitney and Olivia werewearing almost the same hairstyle when they met? It was as if they weredolls made from a DVF mold.