It all started with The OC. TV execs all piggy-backed on the phenomenon of this fictional show that focused heavily on the town in which the show was based – the culture of the cast was almost a cast member in and if itself.
Not long after the success of The OC, MTV launched the ever successful, and addicting, Laguna Beach, with the tag line, “The Real Orange County,” which aired for three seasons, and spawned, “The Hills.” An exec over at Bravo by the name of Andy Cohen seemed to be paying close attention as well as his idea of, ” The Real Housewives of Orange County,” launched a huge franchise of localized Real Housewives shows.
Other community-centric shows started popping up all over, especially on Bravo with the shows, “Gallery Girls,” “Princesses: Long Island,” “100 Days of Summer,” and “Blood, Sweat and Heels,” with the latter of the two being brand new.
Since I love all of the Real Housewives, I gave Gallery Girls and Princesses: Long Island a chance, and well, I have some bones to pick.
I’ll start with Gallery Girls, which portrayed NYC girls as stuck up, self absorbed and superficial. While the premise of the show is about them working in galleries, that portion of the show played second fiddle to their partying, drinking, shopping and dating, which brings me to one of the bigger issues I have with NYC-based reality shows: the lack of reality of it all. Thanks to fictional shows like, “Sex And The City,” that portray fabulous women with fancy jobs, disposable income and fantastic apartments, girls from small town America think this is actually doable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are girls that are able to pull it off, with or without the help of daddy’s money, but more often than not it is not the norm. None of these girls lived in a two bedroom apartment converted into a three bedroom in order to afford rent. They weren’t drinking Trader Joe’s cheap wine, and they certainly weren’t Maxxinistas. Show me these girls’ fabulous bank accounts, I bet it’s not something you would be envious of.
I find this type of culture to be a little disgusting. Enter Princess: Long Island. I am from Long Island, but don’t consider myself a typical Long Island girl like these ladies. The “daddy girls” that live with their parents, unemployed and expect their parents to take care of them, and they do. While that seems to be the case for many, it’s not the way every girl in Long Island lives; just this group specifically. While I’m not campaigning as mayor, when they say so and so is the most popular girl in Long Island, that is not the case. I, nor do my friends, know who any of these girls are, and I feel that reality shows blow popularity out of proportion. Which I guess is something that’s part of the paradox; they probably have to in order lure in an audience.
This leads me to Bravo’s new show Blood, Sweat and Heels. The moment I saw a commercial for this show, my first thoughts were, “Ugh, not another NYC reality show portraying NYC girl negatively and inaccurately.” Ok, maybe I wasn’t so articulate in my thoughts and an f-bomb or two might have been included, but you get the point. I’m over these shows, NYC specifically, even The Real Housewives of New York. I’m glad Bravo is branching out to Chicago for 100 Days of Summer. Can’t wait to hear what locals have to say about that!
Doesn’t GIRLS premiere soon? That’s a show middle America should be watching if they want a real POV of NYC.