"The City" A Little Too Close To Home

MTV launched its new reality show “The City” last night and since we generally like any show/film intended for teenage girls we tuned in. In case you missed it, it’s a spin-off of the network’s popular monstrosity “The Hills,” only it takes place in Manhattan. The first episode revolves around Whitney—a fish-out-of-water with a brain that’s fittingly about the size of a herring’s. This big-eyed star of ‚”The Hills” has evidently just moved to the city and is trying to make it in the fashion industry. Along the way she meets Olivia, a self-proclaimed “uptown girl” who habitually rolls her eyes and throws catty cocktail parties where nobody has any fun. Whitney also gets courted by a creepy Australian “bad boy” who has calluses from tussling his hair. This Russell Brand-wannabe could be the new Fabio for pubescent girls.
About fifteen minutes in, around the time Uptown-Olivia begins waxing poetic about the downtown crowd’s lack of sophistication, we began feeling nauseas. But ironically it wasn’t because the show felt contrived. Au contraire. We felt nauseas because “The City” was nailing it. Manhattan actually feels this dumb and inauthentic. Our city (or at least Manhattan) has become a velvet rope playground where the freshly transplanted nouveau riche try to be bohemian by staying up-to-date on trendy restaurant openings. It’s become a place where L.A. jetsetters, like Whitney, can feel right at home and feign bohemian by drinking $12 cocktails beneath Houston street with the edgy “downtown set.”
Of course, we’ll stay tuned. Now that we’ve been avoiding Manhattan like the plague, ‚”The City” will be a great way to keep track of what’s happening on the island.

video c/o Gawker


  1. Well put

  2. Ya know, there are millions of people on Manhattan. MILLIONS. Don’t you think you might be over-simplifying things just a bit?? I mean, to be blunt, don’t you think your assessment is a bit…..high school-ish?

  3. I’m sure Whitney will kick it in W’burg before the end of the season. Like the Real World commercial says, “The real New York is on the other side of the bridge!”

  4. doesn’t even come close to a russell brand wannabe; that would be an enormous improvement.

  5. doesn’t even come close to a russell brand wannabe; that would be an enormous improvement.

  6. I have to second Matt’s comment regarding over-simplification. I don’t want to to talk down to your blog (I am a regular reader and I thoroughly enjoy it) and I will always be the first person to confess my own desire to fit into some, mostly undefined, New York scene – but this analysis of Manhattan culture seems a lot like how I viewed the city during my freshman year of college when I felt this immature need to reinforce this ideal that I was somehow above everybody else. I currently live in Manhattan and I can’t help but feel this post is making a sweeping generality.

  7. shows like the City cater exclusively to the unsophisticated late 20’s early 30’s set trying to stay connected and cool.
    while in the same post to bemoan the lack of Manhattan sophistication is a bit ironic.

  8. @B-I
    “while in the same post to bemoan the lack of Manhattan sophistication is a bit ironic”
    that’s right – it’s ironic, man
    irony’s how we do it in the Burg!
    ouch, that kind of hurt just now

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