NYC Prep vs. Miami Social
BY Dave White
July 09 2009 12:00 AM ET
My editor presents me with an excellent, retro, public high schoolish task. Compare and contrast Bravo's NYC Prep (three status-clawing episodes in) and Bravo's upcoming Miami Social. I like this assignment because it relieves me of the burden of having to compete with the 1 billion other people writing about Michael Jackson's televised memorial service (I got choked up when his daughter spoke, just like you should have) and takes my mind off how our elected officials are about to fuck us all out of a public health care option and also about the next Korean war that I think debuts right after Miami Social . This is why there's Bravo. They make it easier to sleep at night.
Okay, so NYC Prep is this show where some spoiled prep school kids (and one public school ragamuffin from the streets) cavort about in a "Peanuts"-like, parents-erased Manhattan. And I think they really did digitally remove the adults from most of the footage. I have a friend who works in post-production and he once spent weeks disappearing some wrinkles from the face of an aging A-list actress for a romantic comedy that went on to make billions of dollars. This can really be done. So I assume that in some of the scenes shot in homes that there probably was a person over the age of 17 sitting in the room and cluttering up the aspirational portrait of floppy-haired teens lounging luxuriously on piles of money, but they just got obliterated from the shot after the fact.
Miami Social is about a bunch of really gross people. Some male, some female, some gay, some straight. And that's it. Just these people tossed together that you're supposed to give a fuck about for no reason other than that they are in Miami, studiously avoiding the camera crew following the Gimme Sugar Miami girls around, and tossing out bitchy comments. There's no glue holding them together that is not the show itself. The show says that they're all friends and that they are the people who "make Miami spin." But after watching the rough cut of the first episode (disclaimer on DVD: some of what I saw might not make it to air, or, in reality TV lingo, "EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS ABOUT TO CHANGE"), I believe they all became friends the day they met for casting callbacks.
Now for the compares and the contrastsâ€¦
The Prep kids exist at Christmas time in Manhattan, swaddled in cashmere (except for when power-ennui-er PC goes to Cancun and rolls himself like a piece of Shake 'N Bake chicken in the sand) and puffy coats. Then they sit around the Robert Longo-painting adorned penthouses of their invisi-parents and talk about how tiring it is to be so rich. Seriously, they're exhausted. It's pretty great.