The City, a New York-set spin-off of MTV's tremulous reality sensation
Nova The Hills, premieres tonight. I know, I know. In case you're not yet convinced, here are three reasons why you should watch:
1. Don't Be an Old
You know what old people don't do? Watch The Hills. You know what lame old people do do? (Other than their pants! Incontinence!) They watch The Hills. Like now. They just started. When the show was in its fourth season. Because they want to be with-it-day-and-age. That is sad and I weep for them! But! Attention all people who don't want to be Olds: The City is brand new. It's like when you were youngish and a new model of Victrola or varietal of Dr. Phinneas H. Pittsburgh's Salving Tonics was released. This is that exciting. And, if you watch tonight, you get to be, if not ahead of it, at least in step with the curve. Next time you're staring ominously at your young grand-niece and grand-nephew, the creaky old grandfather clock ticking, that creature in the walls scratching louder and louder, you can break the horrifying, Gothic silence with a raspy bon mot like "Isn't Whitney such a character?" The young ones will squeal and clap and shit themselves with delight. You'll be the hero of the day and your grand-nephew will finally be willing to take the push broom and enter the space between the walls to flush out... whatever it is.
2. It's About New York!
Odd as it might sound, there really aren't a lot of reality shows set in New York. Yes there have been several set inside Tiffany "New York" Pollard, but not many in the actual city. Since Real Housewives of New York City is on hiatus, The City can fill that void. Watch as Hills supporting mute Whitney mugs and whines and bellows and chirps and chugs her way down the grimy, gray-streaked New York streets. Marvel as she pronounces Houston like the city in Texas ("I'm at Bowery and... Dallas. Bowery and Dallas.") And squawk furiously as she takes cab after cab after cab. The best way to feel Of a Place is to malign and harangue someone who is distinctly Not Of that Place. Revel in her otherness, revel in your sameness. Sameness that becomes otherness when viewed through the lens of the rest of the country. Sameness when viewed from other countries. Etc. etc. until glittery bits of carbon star dust pfft out of your ears and your mind is blown. A transcendent TV experience, this The City will be!
3. Whitney Port Is Either a Brilliant Comedienne or a Dashing Idiot
She was long a fan favorite on The Hills because she was a strange, saturnine silent observer. She was Guildenstern and Rosencrantz and the Our Town Stage Manager and the maid in this production of Maria Irene Fornes' Abingdon Square that I saw in college all rolled into one strangely unknowable ball of wax. So what will happen now that her funny galoompfing, her silly facial tics, her awkward-annoying adding of "-nk" to various "-ing" words ("shoppink") are being thrust unscrupulously front and center? Either she'll reveal herself to be slyly aware of herself and will deftly navigate the cobbly Gotham grid with aplomb, or she'll crash and fiery burn like... well I won't make that comparison! Politics! It ought to be entertaining either way. And telling. A crafty Whitney probably means a successful series. An unsure, unsavvy Whitney might mean Laguna Beach: Season Three (abominable disaster) or Newport Harbor (abominable pleasure, but still never revived.)
So that's that. That's why you should watch (at 10 pm tonight). Also you should watch so when I sit down to do a recap tomorrow, I won't be type-a type-a type-a-ing in vain.