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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"NYC Prep" -- Why Are These Kids So Ugly?

After the success of the "Real Housewives" series -- the reality response to the popularity of "Desperate Housewives" -- it's no surprise that Bravo TV is applying the same drama-to-reality formula to "Gossip Girl."

Last week Bravo debuted "NYC Prep" -- a "real-life" version of the CW show -- and it's obvious the producers are typecasting the six rich and preppy kids they follow on the show into the "Gossip" mold. So, why, oh why would Bravo cast such unattractive, annoying, spoiled brats for the show? After watching the second episode of the show last night, I can't help but wonder why these kids, who apparently have all the money in the world, couldn't pull in a little plastic surgery time before getting in front of the cameras. (Mean, yes, but these kids have more money in their little fingers than I do in my bank account and they signed up for the show, so fair's fair).

Jessie the aspiring fashionista is probably symbolic of all that's wrong with this show. I probably shouldn't badmouth a teenager, but homegirl is positively hideous and completely boring to boot (see photo to the right). Aside from dropping names in the fashion biz, something anyone with access to "Project Runway" episodes could do, she constantly plugs her pet charity cause of "Operation: Smile." The funniest moment in the show so far has to be when her bff P.C. -- an 18-year-old who is prone to saying pathetic things like "but that’s what New York is: money is power" and talks to his shrink about how he's sooo past high school -- lectures Jessie about why she couldn't have picked a cause that's more relevant.

The other three girls on the show, with the exception of poor little public schooler Taylor (who attends the competitive magnet school Stuyvesant, not some inner city neighborhood school, but feels the need to cover up this inadequacy with rich and preppy friends), are equally vapid, unattractive and obnoxious. Camille fancies herself as Blair Waldorf with her headbands and Harvard dreams, but comes off as unintelligent and lifeless unlike her fictional counterpart. Kelli, an aspiring singer who lives alone in Manhattan with her brother while her parents live in the Hamptons, is equally bland.

Even supposed playboy Sebastian — whose sophomoric version of seduction is speaking bad sixth grade French and flipping his Farrah Fawcett 'do (may she RIP) — looks and acts more like a Boy Scout troop leader than the bad boy he supposedly is. Also, for all his talk of "hooking up with girls," we're two episodes in and the most Sebastian's done to maintain his player reputation is get a lot of phone numbers and lip lock with Taylor. Sebastian does, however, remind us of another faux-Frenchman -- Quasimodo from Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Check out this photo and make the comparison yourself!

Ken Tucker of EW, no TV reality snob, calls the show actively annoying "with its privileged nobodies flaunting their self-perceived hotness and their my-perceived inarticulateness." I can't help but agree with him, but I also can't help watching. In a way, it's uncomfortable. The best thing about shows like "Gossip Girl" and "The O.C." is that it's made-up, a fantasy of how the other one-half-percent lives to help us cope with the reality of a flailing economy. Watching these privileged teenagers come to life is almost repulsive, but I still can't take my eyes off this train wreck.

"NYC Prep" airs on Bravo TV on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Confess this and other guilty pleasures in the comments. This is a no judgement zone!

--Malavika Jagannathan,

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this sounds like that MTV show about sweet sixteen parties. spoiled brats mugging for the camera. just what the world needs more of.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 1, 2009 at 9:55 PM  

It's definitely in the same vein, but a different kind of annoying. I find watching these shows is sort of like watching "Nature" shows on PBS or Nat Geo. It's like a glimpse into a whole, new, weird world.


By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At July 2, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

Thank you for saying it while I've just been thinking it. These poor teenagers are not appealing in any way and I think some may suffer from WASPy inbreeding. It would explain the faces.
All that being said, I'm a sucker for Bravo's reality programming and will likely tune in for a marathon some weekend.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 2, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

You are right, they are sooooo unattractive. They look competely average or less than. Heck, my whole nieghborhood looks better than them. Yuck!

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 5, 2009 at 1:46 AM  

who are you to talk about the aesthetics of these children, only the underclassmen are hideous, like sebastian, kelli, and taylor (god these bitches are so stoopid) *thank u roe v. wade*..
sebastian's all "my talent is wickin my dick in anything that moves" jesus h. christ hangin on the cross when i saw this i was like "please switch to the more hotterer guy PC! cause im tired of hearing this kid talking about his 'meth issues' and his collection of std's, which are probably competing with jamie lynn spears"..
I think they need a gay guy or bi girl, i heard pc was bi so that should be interesting to see, unless he's all "i aint gay! i just enjoy having dick in my mouth, whats so gay about that"

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 7, 2009 at 12:14 AM  

but he's right. they are ALL homely. this not cruel intentions what spo ever. at least on all the other shows like the hills etc. the kids ae some what attractive. thanks for saying what we all have been thinking.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 12, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

My guess is that their parents are financing the show at least in part.

By Blogger Frivolous, At July 16, 2009 at 1:44 AM  

Bravo, litearlly. Isn't that what we have all been thinking? Even though you should have shined the bashing spotlight on "PC" the douchebag on the show. When actually in all reality their all pretty much douchebags. After watching the episode when PC is in mexico, it makes me want to walk him to the ledge of the highest cliff and push him off. These kids are vapid and have no unique qaulites what so ever. They are only going as far as there mommies and daddies money will take them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At July 22, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

I agree so much! I sit through episode after episode and wonder how it can be possible that people who supposedly have so much money cannot a) buy themselves some style
b) buy some looks
I mean I don't even know anyone rich or poor who is uglier than Sebastian and Jessie. That Jessie is some kind of fashionista is just such a joke, her clothes should be burned, I wouldn't even give that to a homeless person. And the worst part is that they seem completley blind to how they are acctually perceived. I admit that Camille,P.C, Taylor and Kelli don't always act like the sharpest tools in the shed, but I can still see that behind the cameras they might acctually be kind of interesting people (or at least when they mature a bit) but Jessie and Sebastian are just completley delusional and would need some kind of eyeopening miracle to change their personality!

By Anonymous Charmy, At January 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM  

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