At long last, Kelly Cutrone’s new Bravo series Kell On Earth premiered last night, and it was pretty much everything I could have wanted. The entire episode was one big tea kettle of stress, slowly bubbling away over the course of sixty minutes until finally the pressure was too great, leading Kelly to flip her shit in one of her most seething blow-ups I’d ever seen (if you’re still following the metaphor, that was the moment that the teapot began to whistle). Even better, I got the distinct impression that this explosion was just a little nothing on the Kelly scale. Oh, I can only imagine what treats will be in store for us over the course of the season.
Luckily for us, Kelly’s not the only bitch lingering around People’s Revolution. She’s joined by two sub-bitches, Emily and Robyn, who are also never afraid to bark orders, yell at underlings, and generally make life hell for anyone who deigns to enter this viper pit. It’s awesome. Suffering the wrath of this three-headed hydra are a small army of mostly unnamed twenty-somethings who spend most of the episode scampering from one cramped, messy corner of the office to another. The fear in their eyes is remarkable, and it’s hard to believe that a wide-eyed forest creature like Whitney Port could have ever survived more than five minutes in these trenches. Nevertheless, this first episode did offer some noteworthy personalities from the peons. First we had Stefanie, a former intern-turned-assistant who now was trying to prove herself as a junior account executive. She spent most of the episode looking harrowed and fragile, and as a major printing snafu threatened to derail a much ballyhooed seating chart, I thought she’d be ejected to the street when tears most forbidden rolled down her cheeks.
I imagine Stefanie is the Anne Hathaway of this Devil Wears Prada universe because it certainly isn’t Andrew, the long-haired, 1994 grunge oddity who serves as Kelly’s assistant. The guy seems friendly enough; although, his merits as an assistant are truly questionable, especially his tendency to excuse his errors by saying “Hey, I’m just an assistant. I don’t know what the hell is going on.” But hey, at least he’s not a pill-popper like Robyn’s awful assistant, who attempted to push Ativan on Stefanie during a particularly stressful impasse. I don’t remember the guy’s name, but he seemed objectively terrible — from the sound of his voice to the fact that he talked back to his superior (in this case, Stefanie). Everything about him seemed truly insufferable. With any luck, we’ll get to see some showdown between him and Kelly (or at least Robyn) over the course of the season, but I’m not optimistic as his presence in the previews seemed to be next to none. But hey, that’s okay. This show is about Kelly, not some random dude with a fake tan and an inability to understand the concept of RSVP (a problem that surfaced, much to Stefanie’s chagrin).
My deepest fear about Kell On Earth was that it would play out as just another Bravo ode to some low-rent celebrity’s vanity. Blow-Out and The Rachel Zoe Project come to mind. However, whereas those series often feel hollow at the core — shallow people engaging in a shallow industry with shallow stakes and shallow insights — Kell On Earth actually feels somewhat substantial. We’re obviously on board for the yelling and screaming, but the glimpse into the fashion world from a PR perspective is fascinating, especially since our guides through the territory ultimately come across as bright, albeit demanding, people. Kelly, Robyn, Emily, and the rest of the gang convince us through their urgency and conviction that their work is serious, and when a seating chart fails to print, we honestly believe the world might just end (as opposed to the less impressive disasters that occur on an hourly basis with Rachel Zoe et al.). We feel their stress, which is both a good thing and a bad thing: by the time the first hour of Kell on Earth had ended, I kind of wanted to curl into a ball on my closet floor. Either way, this show seems to have oodles of promise, and I simply can’t wait to watch Kelly ream out ten more trembling neophytes.
“This book is wonderful, Ava! Now excuse me. Mommy needs to go make grown men cry.”
“Someday I’m gonna blow my brains out, and it will be wonderful.”
“You know what you need? Ativan. And by ‘Ativan,’ I mean cocaine.”
“Listen, it’s FUCKING fashion week, and I don’t have time for this bullshit on FUCKING fashion week. What do you think this is? Not FUCKING fashion week? Because let me tell you something, it’s FUCKING fashion week!”
“My outfit is the three G’s: and EWW, I don’t mean gross, garish, and gay!”
“I’m so gonna berate my thumb once it comes out of my mouth.”
“Hello. I’m Annie Lennox.”
“Hey Stefanie, when I pull at my armpit fabric, does that distract you?”
“Why is it that every time I ask this mannequin something, it never answers me?”
“Of course I’m getting my eyebrows done at the office. It’s FUCKING fashion week. What do you expect? Anything goes on FUCKING FASHION WEEK.”
“So… I put people on the list who were never invited, but whatever. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just an assistant. I don’t even know where I am.”
“Follow me, Orangina. This is how a POWER BITCH walks through a park!”
“Oooh, cool magazine. Let’s take back to home planet.”
What did you think about the premiere? Did it live up to your Kelly expectations? Or did it disappoint?