Tinsley Mortimer's bargain-basement CW reality show premiered last night! Boy was it an ugly mess. It's gotten to the point where I can't really tell if shows like this are actually entertaining or not. I just watch them and gurgle.
Not a whole hell of a lot happened in the episode. I mean, a girl was blinded with a gin and tonic and Tinsley cried a whole ocean of tears, but I think that's pretty par for the course for rich, upscale socialite folks. Maybe we should just do an introduction to all of the characters so you can get the lay of the land, eh? OK.
Paul Johnson Calderon
Paul Johnson Calderon is a gay cricket that lives in Times Square. No, actually, he lives with his mom and is always begging her for money from his trust fund. In this episode he needed $25,000 so he could move out and get his own place and eventually have a family, that's all he wants, a family. His mom wearily sighed and said "You just spent $200,000..." But PJC doesn't give a flying eff. He demonstrated this attitude by saying "I do what I want!" while limply throwing a diet soda can out a limousine window. This girl is independent. Now where's that $25K? PJC is friends with a person named Malik So Chic, who is basically a gay, bald, bespectacled Li'l Jinx. The two of them have wild adventures in the big city that include throwing drinks at their enemies. Yes, PJC has this enemy named Jules Kirby who he really hates. The two of them ran into each other at an AIDS benefit, which is always the time and place to fight about stupid petty personal problems. That really shows that you care about the AIDS. Anyway, at the AIDS afterparty, the two got in a squabble and PJC accused Jules of burning down a country house and then he threw a drink in her general direction that ended up in a mutual friend's eye and the poor girl shrieked and shrieked and shrieked and her eye fizzed and sizzled and now she wears an eyepatch, skittering around the darkened Upper East Side streets in the still of the night, planning her revenge. It will come in the season finale, one hopes.
A gay-bashing racist who hates Jewish people, Jules is your typical near-feral New York party girl. She's got exhausted, oily features and a fried expanse of brassy blonde hair and drinks a lot. In her little intro package last night she told the camera that she doesn't hang out with "homosexuals" or Jewish people and as far as race goes, she thinks it's OK to say the n-word and, anyway, she only likes white guys. So, sorry to that line of black would-be suitors waiting anxiously with roses in their hands, wanting so desperately to date this 44-year-old Jessica Helms. Jules is unfortunately no into you. Go on now, scatter. Go back to where you came from. You know, Poortowne. Negro's Corners. The Upper West Side. Wherever. It's just not going to happen. Anyway, Jules had a charming scene last night where she was yelling at the staff of the hotel where she's living. She lives with Tinsley's sister Dabney and they're sort of between apartments right now (Jules works, but is cut off from her wealthy parents' money supply) so they're staying at the Empire Hotel and something was wrong with the room. So Jules called down and did a lot of yelling and insulting and totally embarrassed everyone, saying things about the recession and throwing the phone across the room in disgust when asked to apologize. Later on her friend got blinded by a drink meant for her and you really wish it had been her, writhing and screaming in pain, clutching her eye socket, like the wretched Elle Driver in Kill Bill. The real problem with Jules is that she's sooo isolated and spoiled and fattened by money that she doesn't even know what she's saying. She's never suffered a real consequence, not once, so she just blabs her mouth wondering when someone will stop her. At this point, I mean she's 52 years old, I don't think anyone will.
Dabney didn't do much this episode other than stare in horrified resignation as Jules murdered a hotel employee with her bare hands. Once Dabney had cleaned up all the blood, they put on their nice clothes and went out to the big AIDS party. There Jules made jokes about PJC having AIDS, y'know because he's a homosexual, and Dabney kind of smiled as if it was an acceptable joke to make. Jules grunted, pleased with her little joke, and swilled back a drink and broke the empty glass over a waitress's head and then, when the poor woman was moaning in pain on the floor, Jules kicked her in the stomach and said "Umm... can I have another drink puhleeeze?" And Dabney just stood there and fiddled her fingers over her lips, back and forth really fast, making a funny humming noise. Later, when they got back home, Jules had her way with Dabney and when the littlest Mercer woke up the next morning, shivering on the coffee table, still wearing one shoe, she wondered where she took the wrong turn. What a life!
Dale is the old lady whose vagina Tinsley fell out of and now the woman is trying to rule Tinz's life and it is very unfair. Dale is all buttoned up and refahhyyned. She's a Southrun lady who somehow ended up on the Upper Jewish Side and that's all she can abide of this filthy city. When discussing Tinsley's new post-divorce apartment, a sprawling loft in midtown, Dale referred to it as "the Midtown." As if to sound so removed and faraway. "Oh I don't know. They tell me there's a Midtown, but I've never been to the Midtown. Why would I want to live in the middle of town?" Other than real estate snobbery, Dale's other beef with the Tinz's current state of being is that she doesn't like this whole divorce thing. Topper Mortimer was a perfect young husband — from money, works in finance, is white and American, is named Topper. And now Tinsley is dating some sleazy Euro, a German prince!, and Dale thinks she just might faint and die. First it's a German, then it's a Jew! That's how these things work. And living in the Midtown in some sort of one-room apartment with no furniture. Just dreadful. Dale Mercer didn't scrape her way out of a two-bit trailer field near Gulfport for this. No siree Bob. Didn't sleep with John V. Lindsay, twice, for this. You can bet your biscuits that Tinsley will be out of this shithole in the Midtown and back with strapping young Topper by year's end if Dale Tatum Mercer has anythin' to say about it.
Tinsley, obviously, is our hero. Her life is a pretty fabulous stream of party dresses and sad dibborces that leave her crying on her big plastic bed as the movers take her furniture from the old Married apartment, wishing wishing wishing that she could go back to when she was a little girl and things weren't quite so scary and big and pointy and difficult. Or at least back to a couple of falls ago, when she was still married to the Mr. Top Hat and she lived in the big pretty house near the green, green park. Now she's just stuck by her lonely old self in this big echo-y room in a strange part of town and she has no idea where she is. A man on the street said that it was the Diamond Towne and another one said that she was in Korea so she doesn't know. Things are so hard. All dusty and noisy and full of Jules attacks. Sometimes Tinsley thinks that she can hear Jules rustling around in her closet, muttering wicked things and scritch-scratching on the door, trying to get out. Tinsley pulls the covers up to her chin and says prayers, Hail Guadalupes, over and over and over again. Guadalupe was Tinsley's trusty maid and best friend and confidant and one-time emergency dentist who was from Farawayland and had to go back there because her stupid old daughter had a baby and Guadalupe wanted to help her out. Guadalupe used to make little meat pocket snacks and hum Faraway songs and fluff pillows and open the shades when there was sun and close them when there was too much. Tinsley supposes that last thing doesn't really matter anymore, because all the sun in the whole wide world is gone now, and she's just lying on a plastic bed and sobbing, carried away by the mover men, a new Day of the Trucks, rumbling away back to the Midtown, with the dresser and the chairs and the long hallway mirror. Oh Topper. Oh bottom. Tomorrow Tinsley will put on a new dress and a big bow and smear a smile on her face and go outside and be happy, look happy, but for now there is only crying on the plastic bed, only the rumble of the truck as it carries her away from the halls and the little creaks and the once-warm rooms where she used to live.
And that was the show!