Gossip Girl v. the City, Round 1

thecityGod bless MTV and its desperate need for viewership. See, I am stuck out here on this rock in the middle of the ocean – an American TV wasteland known as Japan.  We have Gossip Girl, oh yes, but last season.  Project Runway and Top Chef? Last season.  Plus they’ve added must-miss shows like “It’s Complicated” with Denise Richards and “Livin’ la Vida Lohan” or whatever you call it. Must be the Japanese obsession with fake blondes. They have much to learn about the varying degrees of fake blondes and their corresponding intellect levels.  That’s a show in and of itself. (Don’t even get me started on how much Real Housewives I’m missing.  I have to get all my updates over at Scented Glossy Magazines.  It’s like watching the Sopranos through your neighbor’s window.)

So MTV has graciously put the City episodes online so I can watch the latest episodes at my leisure.  Or binge like I did last night. (And yes, that would make this my post-binge purge. You’re welcome.)  MTV’s Hills’ spinoff is right up my alley. Just the fashion and the location make it so much better than the Hills.  I don’t think I ever downed an entire Hills episode without a swig of tequila.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up in LA, and hate to see it defamed in such a banal way.

The City, on the other hand, rescues Whitney (the only character worth saving) from the swill of the LA trash.  And PRAISE THE LORD ON HIGH there is no equivalent to Heidi or Spencer. (Why can’t LA girls stop themselves from jumping the trashy shark?  I blame the superfluous square mileage of tanning bed real estate.)

So, half way through my third episode of the City last night, it hits me….they are ripping off Gossip Girl! Like in a major way.  WOW. That’s bold.  I smell a smackdown. Let’s see how the City measures up.

The Uptown Bitch


I did not even know who Olivia Palermo was 24 hours ago.  My sister says “oh come on, you know who all those NY socialite girls are – you’d recognize her.” Nope, I really didn’t.  She’s apparently some real life socialite (although evidently, daddy’s gone bust of late – perhaps this explains her foray into reality television?)  Regardless, there is just no displacing Blair Waldorf as the self-proclaimed “crazy bitch in town.”  Especially by some upstart Tinsley-wannabe. Telling the world 5 times in the space of 20 seconds that you wore 2 pairs of Manolos to your “Deb” ball does not make us envious, it makes us pity your parents. Constantly pressuring Whitney to spill the beans in public on her barely-existent relationship with Jay does not make you bitchy, it makes you desperate. Blair, manicured hands down.

The Sanguine Ingenue


It’s hard not to like Serena, and it’s hard not to like Whitney.  THAT’S THE POINT. They are both innately likeable, leggy and beautiful, with awesome fashion sense and even better hair (PS, way to go Whitney on leaving the peroxide bottle at LAX). But Serena, I have to say, is just a bit too wishy washy of late.  I wish she’d just jump in, take Dan by his man-purse and have her way with him already. For that reason, I’m going to have to go with Whitney, presuming she can spine up a little and give this guy Jay the whatfor. Much like her, I am cautiously optimistic.  We might have to revisit this one.  Whitney takes this round, by the skin of her pearly white teeth.

The Object of Affection


Dan or Jay.  Hmmm.  Jay is breathtakingly handsome. He hates the Upper Eastsiders as much as Dan (I love when he shows up at Olivia’s rooftop with a bottle of champagne just to whisk Whitney away from the stuffy roof party.  Classy.) But, I’ve known Australian guys to be cheaters, in a casual, that’s-how-we-do-it-down-unda sort of way.  And why does he care so very much that Erin and her new boyfriend threw down the “L” word after only 2 weeks?  You sound a bit squeamish dude. Are you sure you want to pass on being the protagonist’s love interest in a hit new reality show so very quickly? I’m going to have to vote Dan on this one. Plus, I hear that an Ivy League education takes you further in life than dating models for fame. That was, until the market crashed. Dan, and not just because he’s man enough to wear a murse.

The Hip Downtown Friend


Vanessa has started to clean up (wardrobe-wise), but Erin’s wardrobe is much cuter (see sparkly blue beret in second episode).  She dresses like she knows who she is (where Vanessa seems to sometimes “clean herself up” for Nate and his uptown crowd.  Off-putting.)  Plus I always get the impression that Vanessa is one steamy-loft-window-crawling-episode away from trying to win Dan back.  Erin, on the other hand, seems to have her own thing going on. Unlike Olivia, she seems genuinely concerned about Whitney and Jay’s “relationship”.  Not to mention her dad is the bassist for AC/DC – and how sweet would those backstage passes be? Erin, knocking me out with those American…er…eyes.

Good TV. the City is on Monday 10 ET, or whenever the heck you want it to be on: MTV.com.

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7 Responses to Gossip Girl v. the City, Round 1

  1. Pingback: Gossip Girl v. the City, Round 1 | ReSTYLE

  2. Nikki says:

    Can’t believe you are not up-to-date with the Gossip Girl. No one, and I mean NO ONE compares to Blair Waldorf. I didn’t know who this Olivia person was either, before watching The City. She’s a joke. Blair would eat her for breakfast, if her mother would let her eat breakfast. She’d smell her desperation from miles away. There was a seriously delicious smack down of Olivia on either Gawker or some website. If I can find it, I’ll send you the link. It explains Olivia’s pathetic attempt to become a socialite. Endlessly amusing.
    Unlike you, I find it very hard to like Serena. She’s bland and seems kind of two-faced, like she’d steal your boyfriend. Also, after the Entertainment Weekly reviewer described her as having a “burger king mask face with a mouth full of marbles” it’s hard to take her seriously. And Dan obviously left his whiny balls on the D Train.
    Does it not bug you that Whitney things g’s are pronounced as k’s? As in “thinkink?” Now, she is much, much more preferable than Lauren “I have a weirdly dirty face” Conrad (who is also always morose for what-on-earth reason?) and please, TV gods, make Heidi and Spencer go away. If I never see you again, it will be too soon.
    I have no comment about hipster Brooklynite Vanessa, except that she’d better keep her hands off of Chuck Bass on TV and in real life.

  3. Nikki says:

    Found it! http://nymag.com/news/people/31555/

    It makes me all warm and nostalgic for the days we used to devour the Vanity Fair articles about the Hilton girls before they were famous as well as those other Manhattan socialites.
    I’m not proud of myself, but, I just can’t help it.

  4. Creme says:

    Totally – remember when we saw Nikki Hilton in Harrods back in 2000?

  5. Nikki says:

    Ha! Eating grilled ham and cheese with her parents. Didn’t your sis have some story about that brat trying to get her friends kicked out of a party or something?

  6. unknowntheartist says:

    Hey, great post. i never thought about comparing the two shows but I certainly know that I love GG more than The City.
    If you think you were behind the times with TV catch up in Japan, spare a thought for us Aussie girls, we don’t get any shows on free to air tv, they all go to pay tv (cable) so we all wait for the DVD sets to come out as even the pay tv comp,anies don’t play series chronologically 😦 And in DVD seasons, we are usually a year to 3 years behind any seasons that US gets released.

  7. Jan Davis says:

    Nice article. It’s just seems that way sometimes

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