Friday, June 7, 2013

Bravo's Long Island Princesses: Oy, Can We Tawk?

So, Bravo launched a new "lets follow the lives of the gaudily rich" franchise last Sunday called Long Island Princesses. I watched. I did NOT qvell. The young ladies in this show make the actresses in any given SyFy Channel original movie (e.g., Sharktopus, Piranhaconda) look like Meryl Streep. Surriously. Now I know that we're supposed to watch these Bravo "reality" shows with the belief that they are real-time, as-they're-happening moments in the lives of whatever subculture world in which the show has immersed us. But the truth is that much of what passes for "real-time" is staged by the show's producers and at least in part, scripted. For the sake of the healthy continuation of the species let's all pray that my last statement is true, because what I saw on Long Island Princesses, if real and left to procreate, will END HUMANITY AS WE KNOW IT!

For starters I can't recall exactly how many princesses there were? I want to say five, but they all blended together into a singular whiny blur so I can't be sure that it was five. It could have been four, it could have been six. Suffice it to say there were a few...yeah, let's go with that. They are all, by their own to-the-camera admission either approaching or have already achieved, old maid-dom. The oldest is about to celebrate her 30th birthday so I'm guessing for her the shroud fittings are looming. Anyway, they all still live at home with their parents and one of them, Chanel (yes, that is actually her name and I will argue that being saddled with Chanel for a first name gave her no chance to become anything other than the little Jewish American Princess that she is). Anyway, Chanel, we learn, is being thrust into the maximally humiliating situation of having to help plan the wedding of her...YOUNGER SISTER! Dum, dum, dum....Oy the tsuris, such a shanda! But she stoically soldiers on, gigantic wineglass in hand, as her mother solicits her opinion on invitation colors: "Go with the eggshell? The ecru? The cream?" I'm already exhausted and the show isn't even 15 minutes in.

We next hook up with some little munchkin named Ashlee who is having a mani-pedi with her...Dad. Yep, Daddy and Ash pull up to the nail salon in his black Mercedes and proceed inside where Ash can't decide on a color and leaves it up to Daddy. Again, I'm already exhausted watching this crap. Ashlee, seated in the cushy pedicure lounger, tells us that she is about to turn 30, is 4'9" and does not own a pair of flat shoes. She has heels for every imaginable occasion and asks the bewildered nail salon employee if the pedicure flip flops come in heels. Ash can't wear flats, as in can't...wear...flats. Ever. Even, as it turns out to exit the nail salon. She has her father roll her in a rolling office chair, feet up so as not to spoil her new pedicure, to the salon's front door where then they BOTH proceed to request that the salon owner (a man) CARRY HER ON HIS BACK across the blacktop to the front seat of Daddy's Mercedes. How you must be asking yourself, did I not turn this drek off at this point. I really can't answer that, I just don't know. Ashlee is kinda panicked about her upcoming 30th b-day party wherein 200 of her closest friends are coming by for the bash that she has planned for herself.

Next we see Ash, safely ensconced in a fabulous pair of rhinestone-encrusted HEELS, driving, in the rain, through a middle class bedroom community in her BMW on her cell to her mother expressing her deep sadness that people have to live like this. She tells Mom that she might just have to cry. See, now here's where Bravo tipped it's hand re: the scripting of this nutso crap. I choose to believe, call me a cockeyed optimist, that NOBODY and I mean NOBODY alive is like this Ashlee character. I have to believe that folks, I just have to. Ashlee is stuck driving through this single-family home netherworld of not McMansions, to pick up her friend, a "south shore girl" Joey who lives on the Long Island Princesses' version of the wrong side of the tracks. Perfectly lovely LI, middle class neighborhood, but OK, whatevs. They are going shopping for the perfect dress for Ash to wear to her upcoming party. The rainstorm intensifies, thunder and lightning arrive and, by the time they reach the boutique, the power is out in the strip mall. OH NOOOOOOOOOOO!! Ashlee FREAKS OUT!! Which we will learn as the EP progresses is pretty much Ash's natural mental state. That is to say the bitch is fucking crazy. Well little Ash marches her ass up to the front door and knocks, expecting to rouse someone within the closed, darkened store. I mean, it's Ashlee; someone better fucking open up, she needs to shop and she needs to shop NOW. Amazingly there ARE two women in the store who tell the girls (two more of Ash's buds have magically appeared out of nowhere) that they lost power and can't let them in. Oh, HELL'S no. Ashlee, increasingly distraught, tells the storekeepers that she HAS to shop for this dress RIGHT NOW! Is there some kind of seizure malady that afflicts these bimbos whereby if they don't SHOP RIGHT NOW they start to vomit credit cards?

Amazingly they are admitted into the darkened store (I'm sure the Bravo film crew trailing them didn't hurt) with the proviso that no purchases can be made because, well, there's no fucking power. The girls power through the store, find at least a dozen potential outfits for the big day and just that quickly are gone again. Poof! Bye, bye Ashlee; bitch you not right. Now we meet Amanda Bertocini who is a LI Princess but is NOT a MOT (that's Member of the Tribe, folks). Amanda, at 26, is the youngest of the princesses and she lives in a typically garish McMansion with her plumped and surgically mummified mother, whose long, blonde hair and fake boobs belie the fact that she's probably pushing 50. Anyhoo, Mommy is way attached to Amanda and basically just wants to hang with her little girl all the time. Amanda's having none of it because she is all in love with her SOULMATE, who she met on the train and who is 12 years her senior: Jeff! Jeff is clearly gay, but Amanda is sure he's THE ONE. I'm sure he is honey, just not for you. Anyway, Amanda loves being the pampered, much younger girlfriend and, even though she is sans rock, she's sure they're headed for the altar. Poor thing; she's just a little simpleton. Jeff LOVES to go shopping with Amanda and her Mom and they do just that, head to Roosevelt Field Mall to search for the perfect bathing suit for Amanda to wear to the upcoming pool party at Erica's. Mom and Amanda prance and twirl in increasingly tiny bathing suits for Jeff's approval in what is a pretty creepy segment inside of a wholly creepy show. I don't know which is worse: that Amanda and her Mom are vying for a gay man's approval of their (not so great?) bodies or that I'm watching this feeling like a shower is forthcoming.

We meet Erica, who is an incipient alcoholic, and by her own and the others' admission, the true party girl of this crowd. Erica also lives at home with her parents in another in a series of forgettable, gigantic mansions on Long Island's north shore. Erica's actually kind of boring so I don't remember a whole lot about her segment except she does alot of sunning at the pool and drinking wine from glasses that appear to have been swiped from the set of Cougar Town. Oh, did I mention that, except for bad side of the tracks Joey, not one of these sorry bitches holds a job? Well, Erica has a pool party and some man-candy, athletic types that nobody in this crowd would remotely consider dating, are invited as guest fodder, all the girls, of course, and some random friends of friends show up. Typical Bravo social gathering, lots of drinking blah, blah, blah while the camera pans across the crowd. People jump in the pool, get thrown in the pool and otherwise do what pool partiers do. Then the scripted dramah begins as a (supposedly) very drunk friend of a friend begins to harass gay Jeff. Some trifle about Facebook and stalking and Oh, hey, Amanda? Did you know your boyfriend's, um, GAY? Amanda FREAKS OUT and starts to scream at the drunk girl to get AWAY FROM HER MAN and then lots of accusations are flung around and Jeff, hon, please stop trying to deflect the attention from your gay self...your hysterical shouting and frantic hand gestures, I gotta tell you, are NOT helping your case,babe. Hilariously, as the episode ends, little high-heel clad Ashlee is seen crying into her cell, to her MOM, telling her "I'm scared!"

So, I'm thinking I'll give this shit show another week to get me hooked and then I'm gonna bail because this crap is lousy even for Bravo. And I sat through every episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo so I know from lousy crap.

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