It was a big premiere night for MTV last night as both The City and The Hills kicked off their respective seasons in a one hour block of furtive glares and pretty, petty drama. I suppose it’s The Hills that’s garnered all the hype with the arrival of Kristin Cavallari, but honestly, after watching both, it’s The City that truly shines as worthwhile TV. Don’t worry — there’ll be a Hills photocap, but I figure why not start with the superior show?
The problem with The Hills is that the overall cast has become sort of… awful. I love Kristin Cavallari as much as anyone else, but the vapidity of the entire crew has become impossible to ignore. Lauren Conrad’s departure has meant a greater emphasis on the likes of Brody, Frankie, and Justin Bobby – three gentlemen who bring nothing but douchiness and a faint trace of body odor to the table. These people don’t DO anything, which isn’t a problem in and of itself, but unfortunately, they also don’t bring anything interesting to the table. Instead they just bounce from one Hollywood hotspot to another, chronically underdressed and reeking from a sense of entitlement (and the aforementioned body odor). Of course, slobs and privilege do not a bad show make… but in this case it does. It’s evident that the group has become self-aware of their MTV fame – the girls are all shinier and augmented (nice new lips and nose, Stephanie “Mrs. Potatohead” Pratt), and the guys are all deliberately unkempt. We’ve created monsters, and while it’s still amusing to follow their awful antics, one can’t help but wonder when any of them will do something noteworthy with their lives.
This feels especially true after watching the season premiere of The City, which has smartly refocused away from the tiresome love-life of Whitney and onto the career ambitions of her and her pals. And by pals, I mean the treacherous she-dragons she surrounds herself with. Gone are the ever annoying Jay and Adam and Erin. In their place is a brazen troublemaker named Roxy, who already has shown more personality than any of the axed cast members combined. While the scenarios and situations of The City are just as contrived as those on The Hills, at least there seems to be a certain element of realism involved. These cast members actually interface with “adults” and real working professionals, rather than existing in some strange bubble of Los Angeles awfulness. Unlike Brody, Stephanie, Kristin, Spencer, and Audrina, who all maintain some sort of illusion that they run Hollywood, the girls of The City – even Olivia — are at least somewhat aware that they’re just cogs in the massive machine that is New York. And that socially aspirant element (mixed with the presence of more than a handful of brain cells) is simply way more entertaining to watch.

Of course one of the main reasons why The City is also infinitely more enjoyable than The Hills is that the producers have made it a less Whitney-centric show. Sure enough, the cold open focused squarely on Roxy, a friend from Whitney’s high school who has conveniently arrived in NYC to interview with Kelly Cutrone – whom Whitney is now working for again after Diane von Fursterberg proved to be too much of a blah experience. From the get-go, we learned that Roxy is direct, kind of bitchy, and thinks Whit-Whit is a bit plain and annoying with all her smiles and yellow. Also, she used to work for Rachel Zoe – as evidenced by Roxy dropping an emphatic “LITERALLY” in the middle of the interview. Basically, we knew she’d be trouble, but more like the Machiavellian trouble, not the Olivia Palermo trouble, which isn’t really trouble – just spoiled prissiness (the best kind, if you ask me). Nevertheless, after making a few passive-aggressive comments to Kelly about Whitney, Roxy then was all smiles as she met her former classmate at a café for drinks. The two giggled and smiled and seemed like the best of chums, and after a few not-so-subtle hints, Roxy managed to corner Whitney into letting her crash on her couch for a few days (a.k.a. the whole season, I imagine).
I should mention that Whitney has moved out of her fake high-rise apartment in Tribeca to a fake apartment in the West Village (HaaaaaayyyyyY!!!). The new digs look significantly more Whitney-ish though. Whereas the old place was large and sterile and vaguely Australian, the new apartment is cozy and cute – belt-wrapped lamps be damned. Anyway, Roxy made herself comfortable in her temporary lodgings – and by comfortable, I mean snickering at Whitney’s design aesthetic (again, the aforementioned belt-wrapped lamp) and then throwing an out of control party that ultimately the police busted. When Whit-Whit asked her roomie how many people she had invited, Roxy shrugged and said only about five, and they’d all brought people, but that was a lie. A LIE, I TELL YOU! Even worse, she then said it’s not like she had sent a mass text or anything — despite the fact that we’d seen her SEND A MASS TEXT only minutes prior. Oh, the duplicity! And in such a quaint neighborhood! For shame! FOR SHAME!!!
Meanwhile, the true queen B of the show, Olivia, spent this premiere episode getting acquainted at Elle magazine. One might remember that towards the end of last season, Whitney styled a Jessica Alba covers shoot, and Olivia then took all the credit, thus endearing her to Elle’s creative director, Joe Zee. The affable bigwig seemed to take a shine to Olivia this episode, gladly inviting her to take a position in the accessories department of the magazine. Do I think this would have happened normally? Of course not. But Elle has not been above whoring itself out for reality TV in the past (Project Runway, Stylista, America’s Next Top Model). And so Joe Zee brought Olivia on board and announced that she’d be reporting to publicity maven Erin Kaplan, a blonde twentysomething with a most feline face. We immediately liked her as she revealed her intentions to break Olivia in. This, of course, stemmed from her innate and instant hatred of Ms. Palermo, and while I’m a huge Olivia fan, I’m an even bigger fan of anyone who antagonizes her.
Well, Erin didn’t so much antagonize Olivia as much as she gave her a very simple assignment. She told her to pull two outfits that could be displayed on the Today show and would only cost the consumer a minimal amount of money. And so off Erin went with poor fashion intern Brynn to find some clothes that would fit the bill. As you can imagine, this resulted in disaster. Olivia only fetched one size — in gray only – and presented it to Erin, who was significantly disappointed. When she voiced her concerns, Olivia flipped out and suggested that she had spent a lot of time finding these looks and that really, if Erin had a problem with it, maybe ERIN should be the one hunting down the clothes. This, as you can imagine, did NOT go over well. I’m shocked Olivia wasn’t fired right then and there. But then I remember this was The City and not real life and smiled broadly knowing these two would be going at it all season. Meanwhile, poor Brynn the intern was caught in the middle of this catfight, left to do nothing but wince and perhaps secretly cry out for mommy. It was fantastic. And so was the whole premiere. This new streamlined version of the show is even better than before. My only hope is that we get to see more of Olivia’s bum of a cousin, Nevin. Crossing my fingers…

“You will give me job or else Russian Mafia will destroy all your black clothes. Da?”

“We here at Elle look for inexperience and entitlement on our job force; so really, you’d be perfect for us Olivia!”

“I know.”

“Bitch gone get suuuurrrrved, y’hear.”

“Soooo…. I was thinking that I need someplace to crash while I’m here. You don’t know of anyone who has an apartment, do you? Maybe one with a couch? A couch that’s owned by someone that looks exactly like you? Perhaps in your neighborhood? At your address?”

“Well, you could stay with me?”

“Oh really? I wasn’t even trying to pressure you!”

“Did you just throw a paperclip at me? Because I resent that.”

“Shut your face and get back to work, bitch.”

Erin: “Two things: first of all, these outfits are terrible. Second of all, Brynn, don’t lean against tables. It makes your FUPA show.”

Erin: “You know I asked for different sizes for both the looks.”
Olivia: “Well, I have small muscles, and I refuse to make them larger as I quite like the look of my arms; so really I couldn’t carry more than one outfit, and if you have a problem with that, then I suggest YOU go to the gym, and YOU make your man-arms bigger so that YOU can get the damn clothes YOURSELF.”

“Now who here is going to remove this slowly constricting snake from my neck?”

“You know, I like flowers, but not ALL flowers.”

“If you’ll excuse me, I’m meeting my brother, EDWARD CULLEN.”

Olivia: “I think this will be a really good segment.”
Erin: “Mmmhmmm.”
Olivia: “I’m glad I thought of it myself.”

11 replies on “'The City' Is Back… And Now 100% Less Australian (and Douchey)”

  1. This show was so much better than K.Cav Hills and way better than last season. Even my bf, who watches the Hills and City just to make fun of Spencer and see how douchey he can be, commented that it looked better than the Hills after watching the montage of “coming up this season” on both shows.

  2. Ah ha, you are correct. She’s the daughter of “thirtysomething” actors Ken Olin and Patricia Wettig. Seriously, Google Patricia Wettig, exact same face.

  3. Rachel-yes! She is Ken Olin and Patricia Wettig’s daughter. Good find.
    I like her, but doesn’t she look a lot older than these girls. She looks like she is 40. (NOT THAT 40 IS OLD BY ANY MEANS)
    Thankfully Kelly is back on. Love her even if she looks like death. Does she not shower? I don’t understand how anyone in fashion could look THAT BAD!
    I’m loving the Erin and Olivia fights. I can’t imagine telling my boss that if he didn’t like what I did he could just do it himself.
    Glad to see the Australian gone.

  4. Ya, Roxy, Whitney, Stephanie & Spencer all attended the same high school.
    And is it just me or does Roxy look like a Russian, not so hot version of Megan Fox?

  5. It might finally be time to call it quits with these shenanigans. The fact that Roxy was Stephanie’s friend on the Hills a few seasons back and the fact that Stacie “The Bartender” is suddenly a part of the crew on the Hills is just too much fakery!
    Also, I’m almost certain that the scene of Kelly and Whitney at the office right before the party and the following party scene didn’t happen that way. Whit’s hair is much curlier when she arrives at the party, but they tried to make it seem like she left work and directly went to the party. I love noticing those little tidbits, they’re all over the place on these shows.

  6. All of this kids went tot he same very small high school. So Roxy being friends with Stephanie and Whitney makes sense. They were in the same class a few years ago.

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