I am crying right now. CRYING. Not literally. Just on the inside. That’s because the last episode of The City aired last night, and while I hope it was merely a season finale, a part of me fears it could be a series finale. Why? Well, first off — Kelly Cutrone is getting her own reality show on Bravo, and that certainly doesn’t bode well. Not sure NBC Universal and Viacom will be willing to share her. Second, I seem to remember hearing that the ratings for The City haven’t been stellar. I may be wrong on that front, and since I’m chronically lazy, I’m not going to look it up. Nevertheless, I certainly hope MTV gives us another installment of this wonderful show (with Kelly Cutrone) because it is a gem. A GEM I tell you.
Anyway, the season finale brought two storylines to a head: Whitney’s attempts to make a name for herself in the fashion industry and the ongoing rivalry between Olivia and Erin at Elle. Surprisingly, there was no crossover between the two plots, and really, this season has been striking in that the two worlds of People’s Revolution and Elle have only overlapped in one episode. That’s okay though. The show didn’t suffer one bit for being so segmented.
Nevertheless, in Whitney world, she learned from Kelly that the buyers at Bergdorf Goodman wanted to check out her collection after all. This seemed highly unlikely as Whitney’s previous visit to Bergdorf’s ended in polite disaster; however, MTV can sway many people to do many things, and so a meeting was arranged for Whit-Whit to take her My First Fashion Line clothing to the department store for further appraisal. This was kind of a big deal, and as such, it was important for Whitney to have only the most skilled and experienced people with her. You know, like Roxy.
That’s right — after a season’s worth of Kelly telling Whitney NOT to involve Roxy in her career, Whitney asked if maybe she should bring Roxy to Bergdorf’s. Kelly somehow managed to contain her exasperation and said no, which would logically mean END OF STORY. But when Roxy later started babbling away about Whitney’s big meeting, Whit-Whit sheepishly looked at her friend and said that Kelly suggested that Roxy not come along. Note that Whitney did not take ownership of the situation and say “Oh, it’s just going to be me and Kelly going.” Instead, she sort of sat there like a lump, passing the buck to Kelly, which was fine because if there was anyone who was happy to take on the buck, it was Kelly. Roxy immediately marched into her boss’s office and all but demanded to work on the shoot. Had the cameras not been rolling, I’m sure Kelly would have fired her on the spot (heck, had the cameras not been rolling, Roxy would have been gone a long time ago), but oddly enough, Kelly put up with this ridiculousness (but not without schooling Rox-a-doodle on the intricacy of sales and jargon). Eventually, in a spate of exasperation, Kelly essentially threw her arms up and said that if Whitney wanted Roxy at Bergdorf’s, she could have Roxy there. And then she abruptly threw the bitch out of her office, clearly not wanting to deal with any more of this inanity.
The good news is that Roxy didn’t do her usual sabotaging at the big meeting. Well, she did a little — with an offhand comment about wearing black in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, Whitney had bigger problems than her unruly sidekick. First, Kelly bailed on the meeting (probably a passive-aggressive retort to Roxy’s presence). Second, her collection kind of sucked. I’m not a fashion guy, but even I could tell it all looked cheap. The buyers — who all chirped away like a bunch of suburban housewives in designer duds — seemed fairly unimpressed, especially by the fabric choices, and ultimately, the entire experience turned out to be a massive FAIL.
There was redemption for Whitney though. When she later met with Kelly again, she learned that the buyers hadn’t totally dismissed her. Even though Whitney had only shown ten looks, they were still open to seeing more. You know, perhaps at a fashion show? Well, one thing led to another, and now suddenly Kelly was talking crazy talk about inserting Whitney into a fashion show at Bryant Park. Whaaaaa? Oh, and by the way, if Whitney’s fashion show was a dud, she’d be ruined. RUINED!
Of course this was a great opportunity for W-w-w-Whitney, but I couldn’t help feeling that maybe she should try shopping her duds around at a few other stores. Nordstrom? Talbots? JC Penney? Goodwill? Either way, as the episode ended, we saw Whitney strolling through the streets of New York, pondering whether or not to take a “leap of faith” (as Kelly uttered over and over again) with the fashion show. Well, I assume she was pondering that. She could have very well been thinking about doilies and buttercups.
Elsewhere in the city, Erin and Olivia’s problems came to a tense, awkward head when Joe Zee had to go on the fourth hour of the Today show to discuss some silly thing about girls vs. boys and their ideal looks. As we remember from last week’s episode, the two girls nearly came to blows when Erin found Olivia’s choices to be beyond subpar. Well, Erin remedied the situation by pulling all of Olivia’s looks and replacing them with different outfits. And that’s where the conTRAHversy kicked in. With all the new looks ready to go on the air, Olivia was totally clueless about the designers and price points — a major problem, especially when Joe Zee approached her about it just seconds before going live.
Olivia revealed that she knew nothing, and in what proved to be a very, very uncomfortable situation (I was cringing), Joe had to go on live TV and improvise his way through the segment. Not good. When he later asked the girls what the hell happened, Erin claimed that she had done nothing but prep Olivia, and furthermore, they’d had three hours of downtime — why didn’t Olivia take the initiative to at least look up the information herself? It was all very murky and unclear. Did Erin really prep Olivia? Or had she set her up for failure? And did Olivia knowingly stay away from Erin’s looks as a passive aggressive rebuke to her outfits being pulled? Probably all of the above. Either way, the two women certainly don’t seem to be in a healthy work relationship. That’s why Joe later called them into his office to hash things out. Petty bickering ensued, with Erin doing plenty of finger pointing and attacking, and Olivia dismissing all accusations by haughtily changing the topic repeatedly. Honestly, the two of them are both at fault, and even though Erin did a whole “I’m ten times harder on myself” gambit that for a moment looked like it might be wringing some tears out of her, the truth is that she’s not infallible in this situation. It was a total personnelsaster.
Finally, Erin distilled the situation into very clear terms: either she goes or I go. What would Joe Zee do? We never found out. Like the fashion show, the Erin-Olivia situation remains a major question mark. Now MTV has to renew this series. It would be cruel to leave us hanging!
In the meantime, here’s a photocap.
“The buyers at Bergdorf want to see my looks?? Can Roxy come?”
“What? Are you a fucking idiot?”
Erin: “Bryn, I wasn’t happy with any of the looks you and Olivia pulled; so I pulled them myself.”
Bryn: “I didn’t realize; I’m sorry.”
“And that pen you’re holding — I switched that out too with something I bought at Staples.”
“And that dress you’re wearing — it’s not even yours. I snuck into your apartment last night and swapped it out with something more appropriate. I don’t know why no one can do their jobs!!!”
“So bad news, Roxy. They found a raccoon living under your bed.”
“Kelly, I think it’s high time you treated me with the respect I deserve. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to spill ketchup on Whitney’s creations.”
“Who the fuck are you? Do you even work here? Wait, wait — I remember now. You deliver for that deli down the street. Where the fuck is my sandwich?”
Erin: “Just so you know, I had to pull the looks myself because you failed on your end.”
Olivia: “And just so YOU know, the man who built this clothes rack is a very dear friend of mine. So just think about that.”
Model: “I hate you, Mother.”
Roxy: “I’m not your mother.”
“Oh how convenient.”
“I’m a very direct woman, Roxy, and please understand that I have controling interest in Denver-Carrington. If you don’t approve to this merger, I will fire you all on the spot and replace you with a board that will approve it.”
“What is going on?”
Whitney: “She’s quoting Dynasty. She does that every now and then.”
“What’s that, Kelly? You’re not showing up? I’m sorry — you’re breaking up. What did you say was ‘too embarrassing?'”
Olivia: “I don’t know the price points on these looks, but rest assured that the man who invented the term ‘price point’ is a VERY dear friend of mine.”
Joe: “This is turning into a disaster, Olivia. You are totally failing at your job. But that dress looks CA-YUUUUTE!!! Hate the work ethic but LOVE the look!”
“I wonder what time it is. Hey! This watch is CA-YUUUTE! I’m a real superstar! LOVE the watch, me!”
Whitney: “So this is my collection. I like to call it Los Angeles meets Forever 21 Rejects.
“I cancelled Mahjong for this??”
“I wonder if antelopes like salsa….”
“Joe, I don’t think you realize that I prepped Olivia for hours. It’s all I’ve ever done. All I do is prep her, and she doesn’t listen. I can’t hold her hand, Joe. I can’t.”
“But her hand looks GREAT! You should hold it. LOVE the hand-holding look!”
Erin: “YOU’RE a whore.”
Olivia: “That seems unreasonable.”
“Girls, we’re not in high school here… But I wish we were! That would be CA-YUUUUTE!”
“So we’re going to put your look in a fuckin’ fashion show. It’ll either make you or break you — but hopefully break you; so I don’t have to deal with this ridiculous pipe dream any longer.”
“Can Roxy come?”
“Oh God. This fucking thing again.”
“I like tin foil.”
What did you think about the episode? And the season?