In Defense of ‘NYC Prep’
“NYC Prep”: It’s like “Gossip Girl,” only in real life. The first season of the show premiered this summer as it followed around five prep school kids and one public school girl who was trying to break into the prep school scene. They partied; they dated; they created unnecessary drama; basically, they created great television. While the people on the show may not be the best people in the world, they sure are entertaining.
In order to prove just how great this show is, I’m going to recap the main “NYC Prep” players. Well, let’s start at the bottom: Kelli. While there was really nothing wrong with her (aside from her awkwardness on camera), there was also nothing particularly good about her. The wannabe singer (and she could actually sing) was boring and awkward, contributing very little overall to the show.
Next up: Sebastian. The supposed “womanizer” dated two of the main girls on the show and claimed to hook up with at least 20 girls a month, yet he seemed to have no game whatsoever. While he was obnoxious at times with his constant bragging, his frequently failed attempts at charming girls made him all the more fun to watch. Of course, we can’t forget his constant hair-flipping, which he did about every five seconds he was on screen.
Wannabe Queen Bee Camille fulfilled one of the troublemaker roles on the show. While she herself didn’t have any particularly exciting story lines on the show, her contributions to others’ story lines made her role crucial. She was manipulative, judgmental, catty and self-centered. Instead of solving problems, she created them. When she wanted to join the Operation Smile junior committee, as headed by other show regular Jessie, she didn’t stop at just asking Jessie. Instead, at Operation Smile’s fashion show, Camille approached the leaders of the organization and called out Jessie for not involving her. The show is drama, and Camille is not afraid to play her part.
Public school sophomore Taylor was certainly one of the main focuses of the show. Between her dating Sebastian (pretty much only to be friends with the prep schoolers) and dating her creepily possessive boyfriend Cole, her love life was the central story line of the show. No other story line had as much continuity throughout the season. While Taylor couldn’t decide what she wanted to do with her life (she jumped between philosopher, dancer and something in a circus), she certainly knew that she wanted to be friends with the prep schoolers, and she certainly started to make her way (with a little help from Bravo).
Finally, there are the two most entertaining and crucial characters on the show: PC and Jessie. The prep school senior exes and now best friends were by far the best people to watch. If Camille was judgmental, catty and manipulative, she learned it all from Jessie. The current queen of the prep school scene, Jessie judged everyone and didn’t have time for anyone new. She didn’t care what anyone thought about her, and she didn’t need to: Everyone was already afraid of her.
The stuck-up, flamboyant, fashionable and even more catty PC was definitely the star of the show. He took Taylor under his wing and tried to teach her the ways of the prep school; he started to party with 30-year-old hipsters; he decided that he was over high school and ready to move on. He wasn’t afraid to stir the pot, and he did so knowing exactly what he was doing. He made the show what it is: a real-life “Gossip Girl” full of ridiculous drama. In the end, “NYC Prep” ended up being the PC and Jessie show, which was fine with me.
Yes, the kids may have been obnoxious and spoiled at times. Of course, it also clearly wasn’t all real (I mean, why would the king of the prep school scene care about a public school sophomore?), but why is that important? Maybe it was a little bit trashy and overdramatic, but that shouldn’t detract from the brilliance of this show. It was real entertainment. We were able to observe these kids in their natural habitat as they created drama for our viewing pleasure. Quality television? Maybe not, but entertainment television? Without a doubt. Tune in next season!