Gallery Girls — Bravo’s latest reality bloodbath that chronicles the lives of seven (!) 20-something girls as they try to “make it” in the NYC art world — is both disgusting and brilliant. Unlike most of their other shows, which put a spotlight on the typical middle-aged wealthy nightmare, Gallery Girls deals with a new breed of terrible: The 20-something trustafarian. The timing is fantastic, what with the popularity of Girls and all, and Bravo is clearly sharpening their knives for the new generation of sacrificial lambs.
Gallery Girls claims to be about hungry Millennials climbing the ladder in the art world but, at its core, it’s a show about rivalry. In this case, it’s a battle of the stereotypes: Uptown Divas versus Brooklyn Hipster Zombies. (It’s also about money and the recession and internships and Sex and the City and having really good eyebrows but… whatever.)
Meet the Uptown Divas
Liz: Liz has lots of money and lives in Gramercy AKA the one downtown neighborhood that has a distinct uptown vibe. Her father is a big time art collector and his clout has secured her an internship at the prestigious Eli Klein art gallery. Liz is very open about being privileged and makes no apologizes for it, which obviously makes for great reality TV. On the first day of her internship, she makes it clear to Eli that she doesn’t want to do any physical labor. She’ll answer phones and walk across the street but that’s it. Eli sees dollars signs when he looks at Liz so he complies with her outrageous requests. At one point, he even fetches HER a coffee. Ha! Get it, girl. I know Liz is supposed to be an evil rich bitch but I kind of like her. She’s a straight shooter who’s remarkably self-possessed, and I’m pretty sure she knows that she’s a big steaming pile of crap. Love it.
Amy: Amy is very similar to Liz, in that she has lots of money and is very uptown, but she’s more fun to watch because she likes to party. You can tell Liz’s partying days are over. She probably went to rehab for coke when she was 18 so she’s over it and a total bore now, but Amy’s still channeling Lindsay Lohan and L-O-V-I-N-G her life. She’s the hot mess at the party with her boob popping out a la Tara Reid. If you wink at her, she’ll definitely give you a blowjob in the coat room. Basically, she’s my type of girl.
Maggie: Maggie sort of looks like Alyssa Milano and likes to twirl her hair a lot in interviews. She seems permanently stoned and bored, which I enjoy. Her main drama is that she left her internship at Eli Klein — the same place Liz “works” — because Eli was being a giant dick to her, but now she wants her job back. In the realest scene of last night’s episode, Maggie comes back to Eli with her tail between her legs and begrudgingly asks for her internship back, which he agrees to in a condescending manner. The whole experience feels very dehumanizing and authentic to our generation, especially since Eli seems like a total monster. He’s probably a raging cokehead and sleeps with all his interns, including Maggie, so it must be ultra-degrading for her to have to beg for a job she doesn’t even get paid for. Then again, Maggie has a trust fund, so I don’t feel that bad for her.
Meet the Brooklyn Hipster Zombies
Chantal: Chantal is the coven leader of her friends and seems like a total nightmare hipster bitch. I guess it’s not really her fault though. She moved to New York at the tender age of 17 from a small town in Georgia, and the second she set foot in Williamsburg, a zombie in skinny jeans came up to her and sucked her blood dry. She lay on Bedford Avenue, her lifeless body obscuring the entrance to an American Apparel, before waking up, alive but dead, and ready to be a totally soulless bore who makes herself interesting only by wearing kooky earrings and being an enigma. In many ways, Chantal is the most deplorable of them all, even though she’s one of the few who doesn’t come from money. You can tell that everything she does is cold and calculated for her Brooklyn hipster image and she doesn’t give a crap about anyone other than herself. Ugh, I’ve met so many girls like Chantal at Brooklyn house parties and they’re all the same. They talk slowly, their cadence emulating a deliberate mixture of Mary-Kate Olsen and Kim Kardashian, and they sincerely don’t have an original thought in their body. They’re meaner than the sorority girls they claim to hate for being so judgmental and they just seem hollow inside. Their souls were taken by a Yashica t4 camera and never returned.
Claudia: Claudia is co-owners with Chantal of a clothing store/art gallery called End Of Century in the Lower East Side. She appears to be the most human out of all the hipster zombies. You can tell she just grew up reading Nylon in her small town and was just like, “Okay, I’ll wear red lipstick and do my hair in a top-knot. Sure.” She’s too nice for the narcissistic assholes she pals around with and it looks like it’s going to bite her in the ass at some point. She took out a $15,000 loan from her parents to open the store with Chantal and when she expresses concern about them going over budget, Chantal sits cold faced and struggles to register empathy and understanding in her dead brain. Basically, Claudia went into business with the devil in red lipstick. Oops!
Angela: Angela is a free-spirit model/photographer/waitress from Orange County. She likes to get naked and talk about herself a lot. That’s it.
And the other one
Kerri: Kerri is neither uptown nor downtown. She might actually be midtown? She grew up (gasp!) middle class in Long Island and has to actually work to pay rent on her West Village apartment. (Have you heard of Brooklyn, honey? It might be easier to “survive” if you lived there.) She’s the token outsider of the show, the one we’re supposed to relate to, except so far she’s been totally blah and boring. We’ll see. She works at an internship with crazy Amy so maybe that’ll loosen her up a bit.
Even though I feel uneasy whenever a show takes a dump on my generation, I have to say that I loved Gallery Girls. Maybe it’s because I live in New York as well and these girls are around the same age as me so the stereotypes feel very real. I have met a coked out psycho who lives on the Upper East Side. I have met many a Williamsturd, like Chantal and her friends, so the sense of realism just adds to my enjoyment of watching this trainwreck. Watch Gallery Girls if you like hating terrible people who are the same age as you. You won’t be disappointed.