9:58 – Disclaimer. Even though I photoshopped this, I’m not a Hills fan. But my roommate Dan is. Dan not only watches The Hills, he watches The Hills Aftershow, where a panel dissects the episode that just aired as if it’s a Thomas Pynchon novel. And now he’s watching the new Hills spinoff, The City, popcorn and all, so here we go.
10:00 – Whitney says she’s moving to New York City to “risk it all.” This is already exactly what annoys me about The Hills and its spawn. She is moving to New York City to star in her own MTV show. This is clearly a great deal, but she’s pretending she’s just a struggling career girl, living by the seat of her pants, one rent check away from moving back in with her parents. I guess she can’t really say, “I’m moving to New York City to star in a spinoff of The Hills. MTV has gotten me a fake job and some fake friends and told us all exactly what to do and say. Let’s see what happens!”
10:02 – Is “Meatpacking District” really three words? They just spelled it “Meat Packing District.” This is news to me.
10:04 – It’s definitely two words. I Googled it.
10:04 – Whitney is having a painfully staged conversation with her new workplace bestie, Olivia. Olivia is pretending she doesn’t know who Whitney is. I guess it’s an unspoken premise of this show that The Hills does not exist.
10:06 – Here is Jay, Whitney’s “boyfriend.” Dan is pointing out, correctly, that the odds that Whitney just happened to meet the perfect douchey New York boyfriend in the runup to The City are slim. Seriously, somebody has to explain the appeal of The Hills/The City in The Comments. This is every bit as fake as the WWE, but nobody gets hit with a folding chair. Sadly.
10:09 – Commercial for The Real World: Brooklyn. Tagline: “The real New York is on the other side of the bridge.” Wait, is this a dig at The City? It pretty much has to be, right?
10:14 – Question: Is Diane Von Furstenberg getting paid by MTV to be Whitney’s employer, or is she paying THEM? And either way, how much?
10:16 – Nevermind. We’re getting a big DVF fashion show montage. Took 16 minutes for this to become a paid commercial. (Yes, I realize me complaining about product placement on MTV is like complaining water is too damp.)
10:19 – Whitney is at a party, and she was just invited to another party tomorrow night. I am exhausted just watching her.
10:19 – Jay thinks Whitney’s new friend doesn’t seem “genuine.” I’ve decided that the best way to watch this show is as an elaborate, Andy Kaufmanesque practical joke played on the audience.
10:26 – They are having some kind of outdoor dinner party, while I eat leftover Chinese food. I hope they all get eaten by a Cloverfield monster.
10:28 – Meanwhile, Jay is playing pool and complaining to his bro about how clingy Whitney is. Wait, hasn’t she only been in New York for two days?
10:28 – Olivia is grilling Whitney about Jay. Jay Jay Jay…
10:29 – … and like something out of a dream, there he is. Note to self: Refusing to go to party with girlfriend and then showing up unexpectedly seems to work really well.
10:30 – So here is the plot of the first episode of The City: Jay does not want to come with Whitney to a party, but then goes anyway. That’s pretty weak sauce, MTV.
10:31 – Oh God, there are two episodes back to back.
10:32 – Whitney is meeting up with a previous suitor, Alex. He is taking her out to lunch to tell her that Jay is secretly still in love with an ex, Danielle. “I have to choose who I can trust,” says Whitney.
Goddamnit, this show is terrible, America. I’m ashamed of you all for liking this.
10:35 – Scene 2: Whitney is recapping her conversation with Alex to Erin. This show rivals Dragonball Z in its ability to fill time without advancing the plot.
10:36 – I really wish David Foster Wallace was alive to write a book length deconstruction of The City. It is so unintionally complex.
10:40 – How did I never notice that every single person in New York is lit bright orange, from the side?
10:42 – I’ll go ahead and say it. I kind of want to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Is Bill Nighy in this one? (Googling…) YES.
10:45 – Dan says he’s “loving hating this show.” He declares it “disappointing, but not disappointing enough not to continue watching.” So MTV, there’s your blurb.
10:46 – Manolo Blahnik makes a cameo. Whitney is treating him like Orlando Bloom.
10:48 – Ooooh, Alex is at the same bar. Showdown with Jay! If this was Gossip Girl, one or both of them would probably get killed now.
10:50 – This is kind of a great argument. They have to argue 6 inches apart, because of the club noise, and every other word is bleeped. It’s like Mamet.
10:57 – Whitney is meeting with some woman older than 30. Over the last hour, I had actually forgotten those people were allowed in New York.
10:58 – Now she’s telling Grandma about Alex and Jay. “Maybe you can’t trust both of them,” she muses.
10:59 – Here’s a teaser for future episodes. “This season on The City…” a lot of girls complaining about their boyfriends’ behavior, and a lot of guys resenting their girlfriends. Where do I sign up?
11:00 – This Pussycat Dolls music video over the end credits is my favorite part of the last hour. Goodnight, people.