I'm Hustling in the Hamptons could have served as commentary on extant racism and subtle class divisions within Long Island's honkey haven's upper echelon. Instead, MTV worked its magic and gave the world a brand new horrible bitch to love.

Burgeoning blogtress Brittany relocates her New York operations for the summer to stay in the center of the gossip scene while it takes its seasonal siesta. The Hamptons' culture and its calendar of polo parties and cocktails at the club are ridiculously WASPy. The place is racist by default, so Brittany is hyper-aware of the difficulties she faces. Not only is she prying, hoping to publish juicy tidbits about an elite and close-knit social circle, she is also black. Brittany is model-tall, beautiful, charming, and intelligent—all the superficial and professional characteristics needed for success in a preppy mecca—but she is still an obvious outsider in that whitewashed world.

A worse challenge presents itself in Ashleigh, Brittany's weirdly wealthy "friend" who tags along on the trip to serve as the blog's PR/freebie agent. Ashleigh is the distillation of a rich bitch: she's bold, she's brash, and you better believe she's got billions in the bank even though she never pays for transportation, lodging, food, or drinks. Ohhhh, the drinks. Champagne is Ashleigh's poison (literally, she's probably developing cirrhosis), and her thirst is unquenchable. Brittany is left to wrangle Ashleigh into faux-classiness to keep her own tenuous grip on her society status.

Advertisement

For a girl who "just got back from St. Tropez", and brings multiple pairs of see-through mesh dresses to hang with high rollers, Ashleigh just doesn't feel right in her wealthy identity. Maybe it's because she says the word 'doggie', "daw-gEE", but she seems too affected. The demure dignity that describes the wealthy when in their own company is lacking in Ashleigh, though she is as oblivious to their racism as they pretend to be, so maybe she's the real deal. Maybe the romantic ideal of the successful American—a gray-haired man on the prow of his yacht, with a bottle of good Scotch waiting back in his bunk with his mistress and his viagra and his cocaine—has mutated into Ashleigh, the mean, emotionless blonde who would fuck herself in the mirror, who is either spoiled beyond comprehension or compulsively lying, friendless and empty.

Maybe any image of affluence is just that: only an image, some ingrained parody of itself responsible both for Ashleigh's questionable class as well as the ideas of success and class themselves. Brittany, the girl who went from Harlem to the Hamptons worried about misconceptions regarding her place there, had a fun time despite any displacement, and made a buck out of the deal. She is self-made; her success is even sweeter. Her crowning triumph: cutting ties with Ashleigh, leaving her trapped in her own bitchy bubble while securing a place for herself in that kingdom by the sea.