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“NYC Prep”: Heartbreaking Holiday Break

In this week’s “NYC Prep,” we get further into romantic intrigue, but not just between Kelli, Sebastian, and Taylor. A lot of the focus is on PC, who heads to Mexico for the holidays, only to basically come out of the closet on television (more on him later). Otherwise, we got more of braying Jessi’s stupid, annoying life that no one is envious of and some stuff about the other character no one cares about, Camille.While I’m critical of “NYC Prep” on an almost wholly negative front (this of course has something to do with being a former NYC prep school kid with no money), there’s one character who is interesting and sad, nay I say poignant, who might be the sole reason I keep coming back for more episodes: PC. I’ve talked about PC’s depth before, but some big time press about him this week, coupled with his behavior on last night’s episode, suggests that the society boy is taking to the screen for rebellion from a life that’s suffocated him. The genius part is that he doesn’t even know he’s rebelling or that his life has been suffocating. First off, PC’s trip to Mexico made it clear that he’s gay, if not questioning his sexuality in a serious way. He visits his friend, JP, from boarding school (PC only attended for a short time, meaning he probably got kicked out) who lives down there. “You’re the most beautiful Mexican,” PC tells JP. He also tells the cameras, “JP and I are best friends. I guess that’s a bromance or whatever.” Right, or your Mexican gay lover. Same thing. While south of the border, the boys go to a club twice, and both times, PC refuses dances with horny teenage girls with taut bodies that would make any boy drool. Instead, PC ends up sandwiching a fat lady with JP on the dance floor. Oooh, you guys are sooo ironic.

So PC is gay, which probably has his family reeling. But, suggests New York magazine, PC is no longer displaying a nonchalant air now that the show has aired. Says the mag, “[His family] has discouraged PC from speaking publicly about the show. It’s high drama, with whiffs of a lost inheritance. In one sense, it’s like one of those upper-class parables in which the callow heir besmirches his good name with his debauched youthful pursuits—but in this case, the kid has remorse. ‘He feels humiliated, degraded, and hurt by the show,’ says a family friend.” In the end, it would seem, PC used his “I can get away with anything” attitude in the only world that would allow it, and yet this time, it turned against him in the worst possible way. [NY Mag]

On to the rest of the show. Scenes graze over Kelli with her family in the Hamptons where Sebastian comes over for a playdate. “I was in the Hamptons for the weekend, too,” he narrates. Except now we know for certain that Seb is nowhere near as cool as the rest of the cast, because he clearly lives there most of the time. With a bit of research, you can find that he attends the Ross School out in East Hampton (which, by the way, no New Yorker has ever heard of). Anyhow, blah blah, Kelli’s dog dies, Jessi is in Palm Beach for the holiday and calls PC a million times because she’s in love with a gay boy, and Camille gets a stylist who is clearly plotting to make her look uglier.

The other subplot comes back to Taylor, the public school girl who admits this episode, “I always wanted to marry rich. Maybe I should think about things with Sebastian.” Except that he’s a total ass who probably doesn’t have as much money as you think. Taylor now finds herself torn between the floppy-haired golden teen God and her ex, Cole, who comes back into the picture because she’s now on TV, uh, I mean, he wants to be with her. Poor Cole is desperate and demanding, with an awkward body that’s turning into a man, but with a head that’s still a boy’s. As the episode comes to an end, he basically commands Taylor to call things off with Sebastian. And as poor Taylor sits eating her wonton soup entree (clearly someone is using that “being a vegan” excuse to get out of eating to cover up an eating disorder), she seems to agree. But only because her sadness and desperation can’t be cured by food at the moment, so it has to come from somewhere else.

To sum up my own emotions about the episode and outsiders’ as well, I turn to a New York Times piece about “NYC Prep” where anonymous Upper East Side parents express their horror, and the author of the article appropriately reiterates: “[The show has] contradicted an unspoken rule at many private schools: to be showy or prideful is not only culturally inappropriate, but also in supremely bad taste. To be showy or prideful on reality television appears to be even worse.” [NY Times]

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