Friday, January 02, 2009

Will the Real New York City Please Stand Up?

I hate to admit it, but I actually like "The Hills." So I was looking forward to Whitney Port's spinoff "The City," especially since I'm a New Yorker. So I watched the premiere episode this week on MTV. Ummm...and I didn't recognize New York City at all. Sure, the landmarks and hipster spots were there. But from watching "The City," you would think perhaps the most racially diverse city in the world had no people of color living in it. And the forced divide between "downtown hipsters" and "Uptown socialites" feels like a contrived story line cribbed from the pages of S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders." You know, re-imagined as the Upper East Side Socs and the Lower East Side Greasers, without the grit and despair and all with interest earning savings accounts. Or perhaps it's just a lame Gen Y version of "Sex and the City," without the sex and the real city.

So, dear Whit, I cannot bear to watch "The City," because it reduces New York -- one of the realest, most multi-faceted cities in the world-- to a superficial playground for bratty trust fund babies and vapid fashionistas. I'd rather watch Lauren pout her way through expectedly fake L.A. on "The Hills." But maybe Cali folks feel the same way about that show.