Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not so high on High Society

     When I got the screener for the first two episodes of the CW's High Society in the mail, part of me was tempted to throw it away and not watch it.  Then I remembered how much I liked Gossip Girl, and I admit, after months without it, I was missing those socialites and their dramas, so I gave it a shot.  Writing this immediately after watching, I'm not sure I'll watch any more.
     The show is a reality / documentary program centered on the life of Tinsley Mortimer.  I, like most people, had never heard of her, though if you move in high class circles in New York City or the fashion world, you may have.  Apparently, she even made a cameo in the season two premiere of Gossip Girl, a year and a half ago.  Tinsley herself is sort of interesting.  She comes off as human, and not just because of the clearly staged crying while thinking of the pain of her divorce.  In episodes one and two, she moves into an apartment (gasp - in Midtown!) and goes out with friends, but doesn't party too hard.  Yes, she has a little air of rich snobiness about her, but it's not overwhelming.  If I continue to watch, it will be for her.  She is clearly the main draw, the most grounded (or at least portrayed that way).
     The supporting cast is less so.  Her mother, Dale Mercer, though divorced herself, has made it her mission to get Tinsley back with her ex.  Her sister, Dabney Mercer, paints her fingernails while she is supposed to be helping Tinsley unpack.  Her friend Paul Johnson Calderon, is obnoxious, always talking about who he 'really is', but acting the opposite as the cameras role.  The only character less likable than him is the girl her fueds with, Jules Kirby, a bigot, but at least she seems authentic and is up front about her biases.  The other two 'leads', Alexandra Osipow and Devorah Rose, made no impact at all.
     The question is, how real is the series?  Kirby skipped the premiere party because of the way she being shown.  Tinsley is dating a German prince in the first two episodes, but he gets angry when scenes are not being filmed the way he wants, and Tinsley veers 'off script'.  Later in the season, American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis will appear, but it was revealed that he was actually cast to play her boyfriend.  Also, several friends, and even Tinsley's half brother refuse to be filmed, and every time her ex is shown, his face is blurred out.  It appear it may all be completely fake, although that never killed the popularity of a similar show, The Hills.
     I frankly can't decide whether to recommend anyone watch this series, but as I have outlined what it is about, you should be able to make up your own mind.  Eight episodes have been ordered for the first season, and High Society premieres tonight at 9:30pm on the CW

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