High Society

Appears to hate its "characters" every bit as much as it hopes viewers will.

Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers will. The show is ostensibly about recently separated Tinsley Mortimer, a pretty blonde who actually married a wealthy guy named “Topper.” But the breakout stars in success are her loathsome friends, billed as a “Page Six scandal boy” and a “trust-fund partier.”

Operating on Bravo and MTV’s turf, “Society” wants to be “Sex and the City” on the cheap, but every beat of the first two episodes is as subtle as a poke (or in one case, an errantly thrown glass of whiskey) in the eye. Mostly, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wish this generation’s parents had practiced birth control more aggressively.

Mortimer’s posse — glamorously intro’ed in the credits as if this were a shampoo commercial — includes the aforementioned “scandal boy” Paul Johnson Calderon (remarkably, full names are used), who dutifully recites the Official Reality Asshole Bill of Rights near the outset, proclaiming, “I do what I want when I want. If you don’t like it, peace.”

Not to be outdone is Jules Kirby, the aforementioned trust-fund diva, who announces, “I don’t have a censor button” and endeavorsto prove it by noting that she’s not friends with Jews, African-Americans or gays. In episode two, she verbally abuses what appears to be a Hispanic maid, who merely rolls her eyes.

Seldom has a series more blatantly telegraphed its intentions to be train-wreck TV, but you have to wonder at the message such fare sends to an audience of the young and wannabe famous. If bad behavior is a ticket to notoriety, really bad behavior is simply presented as a viable career and survival strategy because, hey, it’s New York, baby.

CW already has planted a flag in this niche dramatically with “Gossip Girl” and its Aaron Spelling revivals, but presenting it as “reality” — even with all the posturing and staging — adds a far more distasteful quality to the proceedings.

Posing aside, Jules and Paul are probably right about lacking a censor button, but even 2,500 miles away, I couldn’t find the “off” button fast enough.

High Society

CW, Wed. March 10, 9:30 p.m.

Production: Produced by Glassman Media and IMG Entertainment. Executive producer, Andrew Glassman; co-executive producers, Grant Julian, Kathryn Takis, Mike C. Aho, Bryan Stinson, Tinsley Mortimer.

Crew: Supervising producers, Dan Zimmerman, Adam Shapiro; senior producer, Shura Davison; producer, David Norton; field/story producer, Shari Ast-Martin; supervising editor, Zimmerman; music, Jude Christodal. Running time: 30 MIN.

More TV

  • BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- "White Whale" Episode

    Hitchcock and Scully Episode of ’Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Announced at Comic-Con

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • Amy Powell

    Ousted Paramount TV Chief Amy Powell Denies Making Racially Insensitive Comments

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • 'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators

    'Breaking Bad,' 'Better Call Saul' Creators and Stars Talk Crossover Potential

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • Bristol Palin Teen Mom OG

    Bristol Palin to Join 'Teen Mom OG' Cast

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • Jeanine Pirro You the Jury

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeanine Pirro Have Spat During 'View' Appearance

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale

    ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Addresses Andrew Lincoln Series Exit

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

  • Syfy Debuts 'Nightflyers' Trailer at Comic-Con

    Watch Interstellar Madness Unfold in New Trailer for Syfy's 'Nightflyers'

    Before “Jersey Shore,” the thought of yet another reality show about self-absorbed, irritating poseurs would have sounded tedious at best, but CW clearly thinks there’s room for at least one more. Enter “High Society,” a half-hour program about Manhattan’s club-hopping set that appears to hate its “characters” every bit as much as it hopes viewers […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content