So, it's finally happened. MTV's consecutively-aired bubbles of a world far-removed from the way we sane, working-class, flat-footed (the extent to which these girls totter along in spiky weapons for shoes on an hourly basis really just makes you want to throw a pair of slippers at them and yell, "They're worth a try!") members of society live, have finished - for now. The Hills has long been past its prime, kind of like the expired milk you keep in your fridge just in case it hasn't actually gone bad yet and may or may not cause agonizing indigestion and immediate regret upon consumption. (It does.)
The City, though, was something different. It started out with similar roots of scripted meetings and impossibly vacuous expressions, and though the most recent season is in no way devoid of these (Whitney's facial structure was created for the very purpose of the latter, after all), the whole set-up somehow seemed a little... well, realer. Almost as if you could actually believe the girls' first-world angst of deciding who to trust, balancing work and play, realizing your dreams, and of course -- deciding what to wear. They are almost, really, not quite, but more so than their inarticulate Los Angeles counterparts, just like us! So while the show remains in limbo as the folks at MTV decide whether they want to give us more of this manufactured drama, we're hoping yes, since it's just starting to go from bearable to pretty damn good.
Quintessential nice girl Whitney Port has yet to bare her bitch fangs.
And we know she has them. Or if she really is the embodiment of all things naïve and starry-eyed, it's time to crawl out of her sheltered cocoon and emerge a badass butterfly already! To her credit, she has toughened up considerably since she made her tiny splash of an arrival in New York. Toward the end of Season Two, she got fairly feisty with her friend/roommate/business partner joined at their size 0 hips, Roxy Olin. On a fellow designer down in Miami, Whitney even used the (gasp!) b-word: "That bitch keeps stealing our models!" Of course, it still sounded more like sweet-tempered cooing than furious outburst, but hey, it's a start.
Boys! Sex! Scandal! As in, we need more.
Unlike the beginning of Season One, in which Whitney and her twiggy goonies did nothing but socialize, meet douchebags and complain about them afterwards, this season provided a welcome change of pace. Much more career-driven than before, a majority of the scenes took place in the office (characterized by all the insignificant worker bees you could see on screen trying not to betray their exasperation with the constant filming). Whitney went so far as to rebuff the advances of an extremely hot, extremely French photographer who was shooting her lookbook so as not to mix work and le plaisir. But now that they've all made the point that they, you know, have actual jobs, it's time for the lusting and longing to stage a comeback.
Two words: Kelly. Cutrone.
Chick is crazy, in the best, most complimentary way possible. A staunch believer in the power of black, Kelly has the most excellent manner of dismissing people from her office, with either a wave or a quite literal "shoo" motion toward the door. She is the life force of this show and dispenser of timeless sound bites. My favorites, as follows:
Referring to publicist Alison Brod in the last episode: "I don't need to defend my agency against a girl who wears pink!"
While instructing Whitney to grow a pair and stand up to Olivia: "You know where nice people end up? On welfare."
No background necessary: "A runway show's like a bad f*ck...Weeks and weeks of prepping, and then it's over."
Olivia must prove her worth.
Not sure when or if this day will ever come, but she has to be good for something other than walking away from confrontations and talking with an underbite. Now that Olivia Palermo has finally landed the gig of being The Face of Elle.com, whatever that means, will she start being professionally competent and actually showing up in search results for her name on their website in posts other than how to copy her super cute office look? Doubtful, but seeing the antagonist find redemption always makes for good entertainment, though we'll be sorry to deprive Erin Kaplan of the pleasure she gets in snidely smirking at the nonsensical and grammatically incorrect (re: monumental "pin us against each other" comment) retorts occasionally spewing from her coworker.
Cliffhangers need to be resolved.
Will Whitney hire Alison Brod as her new PR rep? Will Roxy find a new apartment? Will Joe Zee ever frown? So much left unanswered, so many ends untied. Except for the first one, which you can just Google.
All in all, I've somehow found myself emotionally invested in The City's coming-of-age-in-a-strange-new-place storyline and though there were some inevitable yawns and eye rolls along the way, these girls surprised me, made me laugh and even had me rooting for their success. I do hope Whitney will someday reach lofty designing heights and that Roxy will be her sassy little sidekick and supporter the whole way through. Are you there, MTV? It's me, a wary but loyal viewer. Pump out one more season, and send those little pink candies from Alison Brod's office in goody-bag form to your viewers. Hook, line and sinker, we'll watch every episode.
Read our weecap of The Hills finale, and let us know what you think of The City in the comments below.
Where did the cast of The Hills come from, and what fate will they suffer when they turn 50? Get Vulture's spin on what the future holds for LC, Speidi and Audrina.
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