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I really don’t want to talk about this show Gallery Girls, but I feel like I must. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Yes, it is essentially the reality show version of Girls. Yes, it is filled with superficial, naïve, spoiled, NYC hipsters with zero work ethic paired with struggling, status-climbing wannabes who would sell their first born child in exchange for bonafide status in the art scene. Gallery Girls is embarrassingly predictable with each girl fulfilling a roll as a specific niche stereotype. Lazy and spoiled Liz has got a rich art collector daddy (Martin Margulies!) and won’t hesitate to remind you she could buy and sell you twice. Don’t ask her to actually lift a finger at her Eli Klein Gallery internship; she’s just there for the cocktail parties. Insecure, entitled, and snobby, she reminds me a lot of Paris Hilton, which means you will hate her immediately. Cut from similar cloth as Liz, Maggie’s a DuPont heiress living off her trust fund as she sporadically attends her unpaid internship at the Eli Klein Gallery in a sad attempt to recreate Charlotte’s fictional life from SATC. The only plausible explanation for Maggie is mood stabilizers. When she comes back to Eli asking to resume her internship, she almost expresses a cogent thought. Almost. The third lady of privilege is called Amy. Amy means well, but is just sort of dopey, drunk, and desperate. Liz spends most of the episode looking down her beak at Amy even though they are both equally insufferable in different ways. Amy’s just a little too loud, a little too enthusiastic, and a little too bow-clad for this whole scene, despite her best efforts to assimilate.
Of the struggling Brooklynites, first we have Chantal – a pale, nasally, broke-down ballerina type who wanders around oblivious, but occasionally and unintentionally drops a dead-pan one-liner that will crack you in half. The best part of Chantal is her utter lack of self-awareness – which makes her secretly amusing, if you can get past the annoying voice.
Whiny yet winsome Claudia has partnered with Chantal and Lara to open End of Century, a boutique/gallery in Manhattan. Claudia borrowed fifteen grand from her family to get the space up and running and is now realizing her hipster friends aren’t so reliable when it comes to actual work. A true twenty-something, her guiding ideal for this endeavor: “Friendship comes first, business comes second, and that’s what makes it work.” Feel free to condescendingly chuckle to yourself. Angela, raised in Orange County by her doctor parents, rebelled against her strict Vietnamese upbringing and moved to Brooklyn to try to make it as a photographer. An admitted narcissist, Angela comes off as flighty, ungrounded, self-absorbed, attention-seeking, and a bit slutty. Here’s hoping. Kerri is the hard-working middle-class type. You know, the one you are supposed to relate to; the “normal” one. Kerri has a hard-edged drive that definitely gives the impression that she would step a stiletto on your spine to claw her way to the top. Her face is all hard angles, and I suspect her personality and ambition are too. Best believe that kut-throat Kerri is hongrey hunny. After the premiere, I predict we will learn absolutely nothing about art from these real-life Girls, but I do predict this show will serve as more than a cautionary tale for the hazards of wearing red lipstick. (Why don’t those Brooklyn girls tell each other their grills are smeared with MAC?) If nothing else, those born and bread on SATC might see all their Carrie Bradshaw ideals come crumbling down in this semi-idealized real-life copycat incarnation.