“NYC Prep” is set to debut next week, and as I expected, reactions from the Upper East Side community have increased in anticipation of the premiere. The show, which will follow five privileged Manhattan teens, has trouble written all over it. Recently, we’ve learned a bit more about the filming process, parental reaction, and have even gotten to know one of the characters, Sebastian, better because he naively accepted our Facebook friend request!“NYC Prep” is bound to be a bit of a hit, and that won’t make elite New York families happy to see their community exposed on such a level. Do they know the debauchery exists? Yes. Will they put up with a little tabloid play here and there? Probably. But a real-life national TV show? Forget it. As I reported earlier in the month, the head of Nightingale-Bamford, school to cast member Camille, issued a letter to family and alums (that was then leaked), firmly explaining the school’s lack of participation in filming: “The decision to participate in the show was made by the student and her parents without consulting Nightingale’s administrators.”
I mentioned that I attended a private school in Manhattan (Trevor Day School), and while I didn’t grow up among the levels of wealth you’d find at, say, Dalton, I was always shocked to find out just how much money my classmates actually had. (Hint: a lot.) There were daily shows of ostentation, but in general, net worth was downplayed because part of belonging to this community was about discretion. Spence, a tony UES school, for example, carries quite a bit of debt, recently downgraded by Moody’s and its “extremely concentrated investment portfolio exposes the school to significant risk.” Yet, you find this article on Bloomberg.com, and note that administrators of the schools refused comment.
One of the foremost concerns has to do with on-camera drinking, which could have real repercussions should school administrators choose to confront the students about it. amNY reports that a producer of the show vowed that the kids were filmed imbibing only in countries where it’s legal…”still, the show’s stars talk about their cache of fake IDs, a potential landmine for getting into a good college.”
Forget the drinking. Kids in America are weaned on Colt 45. They’re not just getting smashed in NYC. The real problem here is an airhead attitude from authority that I’m inclined to say is more immature than the teens. Says Elise, the mother of 17-year-old cast member Kelli Tomashoff, to amNY “I don’t worry. I thought it would be a great learning experience for her … She could write about it for a college essay.” Yeah, if you want your kid to go to a community college. Do you really think Yale is going to look kindly on a girl who starred in the reality version of “Teens Gone Wild?”
Yet, it’s not just the parents who are waxing blasé. At the preview screening, Bravo producer Andy Cohen couldn’t be bothered with accusations of manufacturing low-brow entertainment. “Bravo is about presenting a world of fashion, food and culture. We are not CNN and we’re not `Flip This Trailer.’ That’s not what sells.” [Womanaroundtown.com, Nycprivateschoolsblog.com]
Of course, we wouldn’t be here discussing the ethical dilemmas of “NYC Prep” were it not for the completely desperate and barf-worthy attitudes of the so-called stars themselves. As a writer for a website dealing in sex, love, and relationships, I have to pick a bone with the playboy character of the group, Sebastian, who admits his passion is “hooking up with girls,” while another female character advises, “Girls, do not date Sebastian.” He accepted my Facebook friend request. I don’t have too many 17-year-old friends who are guys, so I can guess that his profile doesn’t differ too much from your average man-teen with wall posts with bonehead remarks from friends. Some highlights: “if its anal u want, then its anal you get,” “yooooo, are you in the hamptons for labor day weekend? friday night i might be hittin up tavern night club cuz david guetta (extremly famous french dj in case ur not in the vibe) is mixing there… wanna come? 30 bucks a ticket!!! get a fake and lets get the fuck down there its gonna be maadddd,” and “dont even bother texting me if you are remotly busy with another woman” (that’s from a dude). Sebastian, good luck ever finding a relationship with a girl who is not after your money, or who you don’t cheat on.