REASON TO WATCH: Real-world “Gossip Girl,” or so Bravo hopes.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: This latest from the Bravo reality chop shop takes a little piece of “Gossip Girl,” chunks of “The City” and “The Hills,” and a slab of “Real Housewives” to create something that you’ve seen before but — and this is the genius of Bravo — haven’t.
We meet a group of entitled Upper East Side prep school kids, ages 15 to 18, who meet, eat out, chat, text and party. (Study? You’re kidding, right?) There’s P.C., who’s ironic, abrasive, smart, immature and, naturally, the most interesting of the group; his pal, Jessie, who’s into fashion; Kelli, a latchkey kid whose parents occasionally return from the Hamptons to drop in at the apartment; Camille, who’s desperate to get into Harvard; Sebastian, who’s into hooking up with girls; Taylor, whose mother hovers protectively; and others.
As the pilot proceeds, you get a steady accretion of details about their interests and lives, but nothing about prep school life. Odd insofar as this is named “NYC Prep.” And being New York-bred kids who were weaned on everything from “The Real World” to “The Real OC,” they are media-savvy and well aware they’re the cast of a Bravo reality show.
BOTTOM LINE: A recent post in The Wall Street Journal’s entertainment blog, “SpeakEasy,” reported that pretty much the whole Upper East Side has dumped on “NYC Prep,” sight unseen. In fact, there’s nothing much here to get riled up over — yet. Yes, cliches about wealth and privilege abound and are confirmed, or perhaps further embedded. Yes, these teens are 16 going on 26 — chattering about sex and money and clothes and blah, blah, blah. But “NYC Prep” is so eager to establish a kinship with “Gossip Girl” that it’s forgotten to tell much of a story. Or maybe there’s not much of one to tell. Give me table-flipping Jersey housewives any day.