Everyone has a friend who actively ruins reality TV. "You call this real?" they crack, with no respect for a show's hidden genius, or even its wide-angle aerial footage. They interrupt moments of small but urgent drama with audible scoffs. "Yeah right, like he'd actually say that!"
It's just tedious after awhile because it's so Captain Obvious.
Yeah, we know things are staged, that's not really the point. But the second episode of the CW's High Society goes out of its way to make it the point with a priceless montage of Tinsley's "German prince" boyfriend, Casimir Wittgenstein-Sayn, throwing tantrums over camera angles and conversation starters.
It's the first we have seen of "Cassi" in video; in the first episode he was only invoked when Tinsley's mother, Dale Mercer, warned her daughter to not be photographed with him. ("Just … don't.") Ha, this turns out to be one thing upon which Dale and Cassi might agree!
In Paris for Fashion Week, Tinsley meets Lindsay Lohan, then the "creative director" for Ungaro (LOL!) and sits next to Katy Perry and Rihanna. She geeks out --as she should; check out this epic interview -- over Karl Lagerfeld, babbling about black. Later, she asks Cassi to "fly over to Paris" from London.
The rendezvous begins pleasantly enough, with the pair strolling around streets and parks holding hands, tiny Tinsley talking animatedly up into his oafy face. In one shot, they round a corner. "I'm sad in Paris without you!" she chirps, and all hell breaks loose: "You're throwing things at me that we didn't discuss!" ___ roars. And, for good measure: "I don't like this walking toward the camera shots at all." He rants and raves, paces and stalks, counts down like an angry parent, demands that "I want to look at everything that was filmed today," and participates in this classic exchange:
Cassi (going crazy): "She said something weird -- that's why I was thrown off -- that we didn't discuss. Something like you were sad in Paris or something?" Tinz (pleading): "Cause you weren't here! Why is that weird?" Cassi: "It's something we didn't discuss." Tinz (wheels turning inside her brain): "Well, you know what? Reality isn't … discussed. I mean, what do you expect?"
Does it get any more meta? Reality isn't discussed.
Having fallen through the looking glass, the rest of the episode seems that much more beyond. What on earth to make of the "party" that Dabney throws for "Tinsley and some of her friends" that turns out to be an awkward dinner held at one end of a table, the better for the camera crew to film from the other? To celebrate Tinsley's new single girl status, Dabney says, everyone wants to introduce her to boys.
"And so we've all brought…" she says "…a picture." I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was let down: I had gleeful visions of a Singled Out -type dating game taking place then and there.
After several ridiculous pictures -- anyone know "Carter Thompson" or "Mike Riley"? -- Dale Mercer gets up. "Tinsley," she says, "if I were picking the perfect person for you I would want him to be accomplished, successful, come from a nice family, and if this were a fairy tale world, this would be my choice." Her choice: a giant photo of Tinsley and Topper embracing. On their wedding day. Probably not something Emily Post would recommend.
The sisters gang up on their mom, who in half-baked embarrassment makes facial contortions the likes of which I have not seen on anyone over the age of 9 weeks. (I actually love Dale in this episode, though: her trim dresses are foxy, and I could watch for hours looping footage of her lurking around the library and brainlessly flipping the pages of books.) "That's the picture they used in the New York magazine piece, Mom," Tinsley complains, and I narrowed my eyes: that's a little convenient, wouldn't you say?
But the night was not all for naught: it yielded a date for Tinsley with some bro, Brian Mazza, whose sole qualification seems to be that he is the exact opposite of Topper (although I suppose it's possible Topper would also use the phrase "dressed to the nines.") Here's everything you need to know about Brian Mazza: "Dune in Southampton with Brittny Gastineau." After an odd dinner at Phillipe in yet another empty restaurant the pair tries to "go figure skating" -- Tinsley is wearing a dress and no coat, mind you -- but are stymied by rain and awkwardly make out instead. It's not hot.
"It shocked me," says Alexandra Obispow, who set Tinsley up on the date. In a show of ridiculous characters, she's the most normal by far: "We don't do this," she says after Paul Johnson Calderon apologies to her for last week's drink-to-the-eye. "We're not 1980's Dynasty where people are throwing drinks at each other and slapping each other in the face." And she has a piece of advise that would make a good Rule for an Unborn Son: "Paul may have apologized, but a gentleman would offer to pay for the dry cleaning."
That PJC mea culpa went much better than his attempt to patch things up with Jules Kirby, which began with the always-ineffective "to be honest, I don't really feel badly." By the end of their talk, Jules was back to accusing him of phone theft. "I don't want your Crackberry," PJC sniffs. "I have an iPhone." (It's not the only moment of Blackberry hilarity in this episode, but I don't want to spoil the unbelievable mobile phone line that Brian Mazza utters during Tinsley's date.)
As for Jules, she's her old unbelievable self. She and Dabney celebrate their new transient hotel living situation by buying fancy Frette sheets. "Dabney chose the monograms, and I don't like them," says Jules, but she sure does seem to care to defend them, yelling at a poor hotel maid to make sure the monogram is directly in the middle of her bed and erupting when the woman makes the treasonous mistake of fluffing one of the illegibly-monogrammed pillows upside down.
"In our country we don't spell upside down," she yells. "Maybe we should get someone else if you can't do it by yourself."
It's a nice dash of xenophobia to go along with last episode's racism. But hey, Jules wants to work for the UN, and she does have an ethnic friend, Cleo, who is "French and Japanese and gorgeous" and gives Jules "like, that downtown edge, kind of." The pair flirts with some dudes at a beer pong-y downtown bar, and for once you find yourself sympathizing with the frat guys. "It's fun to hang out with blue collar people in a scummy bar," says Jules.
In the spirit of further "discussing reality," I'll just say that I briefly met Cleo on this memorable night while standing outside on the sidewalk. "Yeah, I'm in the show," she said, looking bored. "We basically all hate each other."
Shocking, I know, but there's some good news: Devorah Rose will appear on the show next week. So whether all this hatred is real or contrived, there's certainly about to be a whoooole lot more of it. I'm not complaining.
Paul Johnson Calderon Frogger was at it again with the quick remarks on his once BFF Jules:
On attending THIS Cancer Benefit at Marquee:
"And then I saw Jules and I was like, how ironic that you're at a cancer benefit, you know, since you're the girl that pretended to have cancer.....Weird."
See video of this scene HERE.