Hello, Upper East Siders, and welcome to "NYC Prep," a show that's just like "Gossip Girl" except 100% more real and 75% less interesting. The premise of the show is simple: take a group of loosely connected Upper East and West side prep school teenagers, throw in "random" meetings and a token public school kid, stir, and wait for drama to ensue.
Since we're still in the getting to know you phase, let's meet the players, shall we? Just for fun, and because it was so obvious, I've included the GG character each kid represents.
Camille – 17, Junior (Blair Waldorf)
Camille lives on the Upper West Side, unlike the rest of the gang who are UES-ers, and is very wealthy "in the top 1/2 of 1 percent." She's an intense girl who's got her entire life planned out: she's going to Harvard, then she'll be the business head of a genetics firm and will have a husband and two girls by age 40. That's a lot of planning for such a young girl. She obviously puts a lot of pressure on herself, and I sense a little (okay, a lot) of pressure from her mother in the one brief scene they share together. Be careful, Camille…Blair had her whole life planned out and look where she ended up! At a *shudder* non-Ivy!
Sebastian – 16, Sophomore (Nate Archibald – but more like book Nate)
Sebastian can be summed up in five short words: ladies man with assy hair. Perhaps his hair isn't assy, and I am just old, but it looks like something Farrah Fawcett wore on "Charlie's Angels." All the girls exclaim over how cute he is, which goes completely over my head. Is he cute? If so, then I'm definitely old because I just don't see it. Besides being into "hooking up a lot" there isn't much more substance to Sebastian, I'm afraid.
Kelli – 16, junior (Serena Van Der Woodsen)
Kelli has a living situation most teen girls would kill for. In order to better pursue her singing career, she lives in NYC with her brother while her parents live in the Hamptons. This means no curfew and no supervision, although she does mention being grounded in passing. How on earth would that work? Electric fence? House arrest ankle bracelet? Kelli meets Sebastian and immediately develops a massive crush, which just proves that she is not immune to the teenage girl disease of having horrible taste in boys.
Jessie – 17, Senior (Jenny Humphries)
Jessie is what I would refer to as a bit of a force of nature. She's a self-professed fashion addict and has had a shopping consultant at Barney's since she was 13 years old. She's also into philanthropy and is very involved with Operation Smile, as well as aspiring to be in fashion PR and already networking to get integrated in that world. Phew. When I was 17 I was worried about finals, band practice and swim team and thought that was a full plate. Jessie used to date best friend PC and is obviously still into him on some level, considering the huge smile she gets when asked about it and the way she strongly insists they're "just friends." My suspicions are confirmed when she brings him to a fashion event (that she in some way considers work) and he meets Kelli and Camille. The extreme jealously and poutiness this brings out in Jessie is unrivaled, especially when she tells him she wasn't there to meet "kids their age" and she was trying to meet "people in the business."
PC – 18, Senior (Chuck Bass)
How to describe PC? Let's see: bratty, dramatic, self-absorbed, affected, dismissive, obsessed with building his own mystique, and, unfortunately, very, very slightly charming despite all of this. Still, the kid's a bit of a douchebag. He's 18, so I don't feel so bad calling him this, as it seems like he's old enough to know better, in fact does know better, and yet chooses to be this way. He also chooses to continue to be referred to as "PC," which is quite unfortunate, especially because he's no John Hodgman. He is so similar to Chuck Bass in so many ways (except 89% less charming and handsome) that it HAS to be an act, right? I mean, no 18 year old kid really wears suits to go meet his friends for drinks, right?
Taylor – 15, Sophomore (Vanessa Abrams)
Taylor is another Upper West Sider, but with a twist because instead of being a prep school kid she goes to one of the top public schools in the country. She's "friends" with Kelli and Camille (although this smacks of a production setup to me) and is obsessed with her image. Her goal is for people to think she has status and money so they will respect her more. How sad. In order to obtain this status, she throws a party at a Japanese restaurant, mixing public and private school kids. The horror! Things do get mildly interesting, however, when she and Sebastian start making eyes at each other right in front of Kelli.
- These kids are more like little adults. They attend adult parties with no one around them batting an eye, they go to places to "network," they have dinner parties. Do you think any of them ever go hang out at the movie theater like I used to do when I was a teen? Yeah…doubtful. They probably just get the director of the movie to send them an advance copy of the DVD while the thing is still in theaters.
- My favorite moment of the entire episode had to be Sebastian friend's Gabe devising a signal for Sebastian to flip his hair a certain way to "claim" one of the girls on their double date. And then Sebastian does it, complete with eye motions! Amazing. Let's gloss over the fact that he then speaks French to the girl of his choosing to seduce her, because it is incredibly disturbing.
- "I treat my clothing like my children." – Jessie
- "There are so many other things that need to be addressed in the world before f***ing cleft palate." – PC
- I'm Sebastian and I'm 16 years old. I'm a sophomore, I live on the Upper East Side, and…yeah. I hook up a lot." – Sebastian
- "I wear clothes that are less than $20 sometimes." – Zoe, Jessie's friend
- "I'm a senior, they're juniors, so there's definitely a lot they've got to learn." – PC, on Camille and Kelli
Until next time: you know you love me, xoxo…
What did you guys think? Any current or former NYC prep schoolers who want to chime in on the accuracy/inaccuracy of the show?