Full (super long) disclosure: I went into watching the debut episode of “Miss Advised,” Bravo’s latest reality show about three “dating experts” who are unlucky in love, already not a fan of Julia Allison, one of the program’s three stars. Allison, for those of you lucky enough to have gone this long without knowing her, is a bit of an internet celebrity; she was “discovered” by Gawker, so to speak, became a dating columnist for Time Out New York, and spent years blogging the details of her personal life on the web. During that time, she developed a pretty large contingent of “haters” (well, large considering her fame, up until now, has been relegated to the internet) who find her various antics narcissistic, unhinged, and manipulative, if entertaining. (In short, she’s kind of the perfect person to cast on a Bravo reality show, where she’ll fit right in with Ramona Singer, Danielle Staub, and Teresa Giudice.) Those alleged antics have been detailed in depth on a site called Reblogging Donk which, for the sake of complete transparency as I embark on a weekly recap of “Miss Advised,” I read quite frequently (it’s really funny!) and, on very rare occasions, comment.
All that being said, despite my well-established distaste for Julia Allison, I thought it was possible I might actually find something to like about her or root for. After all, I love unhinged, manipulative and narcissistic when it’s on my TV screen — remember how hard I rooted for Courtney on “The Bachelor”? So, did Julia manage to show me — and those who already very familiar with her schtick — a different side of herself on the show’s premiere? And, oh yeah, what about the other two relationship experts, Amy Laurent and Emily Morse? How did they do? Let’s get started!
First, a little fact checking. “Miss Advised” is billed as a show about “three relationship experts”; Emily is the host of a sex radio show in San Francisco (true!), Amy owns a matchmaking service in New York City (true!), and Julia is a dating columnist (lie!). Actually, Julia hasn’t written a dating column for a media outlet since 2009, years before she was even hired for the show. She did have an approximately six-month run as a “social media columnist” for Tribune Media Services last year, and as of yesterday is blogging about each episode of “Miss Advised” for Elle.com. But my guess is that we won’t be seeing Julia do much work as a “dating columnist” on “Miss Advised” because, um, she isn’t one.
Our two other relationship experts, however, are legitimately and gainfully employed. Emily is the host of Sex with Emily, a sex radio show in San Francisco, that strikes me as rather Cosmo-licious, i.e. lots of blow job tips and faux-raunchiness. Amy, meanwhile, runs her own matchmaking service in NYC. I feel pretty “meh” on both of them.
Emily, in addition to being a fan of cock rings (as she tells her brother midway through the episode), is also a commitment-phobe. She seems like someone who doesn’t believe in monogamy but is feeling pressure (from herself, the outside world) to find a way to believe in it. My guess is maybe she should stop trying so hard, period. Monogamy is not necessarily for everyone.
Amy, on the other hand, is the opposite. She’s of The Rules ilk, though she’s not always so good at following the dated dating book’s advice. Amy is still kind of reeling from a breakup with a guy named AB who, of course, happens to be back in town. The first episode featured a very awkward dinner in which Amy expressed some regret over their relationship ending and AB did nothing but smirk. He has Gordon Gecko hair and teeny-tiny rimless glasses.
Side note: Early in the episode, we saw Amy walking and talking with a male friend through the streets of New York. My hawk eyes quickly identified this ill-fitting pinstripe suit-wearing male friend as PRINCE LORENZO BORGHESE, who was previously on “The Bachelor” (the godawful Italian season). He is heir to the Borghese cosmetics fortune or something, which sells their wares at Costco, and therefore should be able to afford a tailor. Anyhoo.
Now that I’ve done my part recapping Amy and Emily’s portion of the story, it’s back to Julia. Let’s learn a bit about her via tidbits she revealed throughout the episode:
1. She has a 73 point dating checklist, i.e. a list of things she wants in her “future husband.” Among them, “reads WIRED and Fast Company magazines.” This is not the slightest bit crazy. Just kidding! it’s totally nuts.
2. She was previously in “a very serious relationship” with Jack McCain, son of former presidential candidate John McCain. She also says that they “discussed marriage” and that she broke up with him. If you believe the bloggers at Reblogging Donk (who claim to be sent tips from people closely involved with the various dramas in Allison’s life) — and, spoiler alert, I do believe a lot of what I read on Reblogging Donk, but whether you do is up to you! — all of that is a load of poppycock. No matter how serious their relationship was or how it ended, I’m so sure the McCains loved the “Miss Advised” shoutout. Right?
3. She says she was voted “most hated person on the Internet.” Actually, she came in third.
4. She says she’s hated because she talks about having had bulimia and her career and stuff online and people find that “narcissistic.” (Which reminds me, her first recap blog for BravoTV.com is 11 pages long, just so you know.) Also, “sometimes I wish I could press a delete button on everything I’ve ever written or posted on the internet.” Wishes are like assholes, which is why she decided to do a reality show instead.
5. She has a “Kim Kardashian ass.”
6. She owns a shitload of “tutus.” Actually, they are petticoats. Whatever.
7. After leaving NYC, she spent the last year living in her parents condo in Chicago — but it was suuuuper annoying because they had all these rules for her. So, she now she’s moving to LA! (With her friend/roommate, also named Julia, or “JP.”) But first! A visit with Julia’s family to discuss the future. Or, as her mother Robin put it, “What’s the plan this time?” To meet a man who fits Julia’s 73-point criteria, of course. “Men can smell desperation,” Grandmother Marilyn quipped. (If you believe the article Julia wrote earlier this year for The New York Post, she left New York because it didn’t live up to her “Sex and the City” fantasies.)
[Ed Note:, Julia is obviously getting the bulk of this recap because I have a vested interest in her already and also it is so obvious she is the show's Danielle Staub, while the other two are, I dunno … name two "Housewives" who got the boot for being boring.]
But what did I reallllllly learn about Julia? That she is just as spoiled, rude, fake, shrill, self-absorbed and bratty as I expected her to be. No, but seriously, if this was my first experience with Julia Allison, my conclusion would have been that she is terrible.
For example, Julia’s behavior and treatment on a date with a guy nicknamed “Craigslist Justin.” (She says he got that nickname because she and JP almost rented an apartment from him, found via CL. However, “Miss Advised” reportedly cast many of the dates for the show via ads on Craigslist — I suspect that Craiglist Justin was one of them.)
Now, whether Justin was a legit date or one hired for the show, this plot line gave us a looksie at how either A) this “relationship expert” really behaves and treats people or B) how she would like us to think she behaves and treats people. Neither is pretty! On their date, Julia makes no conversation, immediately determining that she and Craigslist Justin have no chemistry. Fair enough. But then she flirtatiously manipulates/asks him/gets him to volunteer to help her move boxes the following day. “I would let him touch my boobs for moving my boxes,” in fact. Which he does. (Because he was paid to or because he was nice? Whatever!) When he suggests going out afterwards, on a second date, she’s evasive and weird because, duh, she was only using him. But then, instead of letting him leave with what remains of his dignity, she decides she has to “break up with him” (after one date, you guys!!!). Over the phone. After she goes on a rant about how he’s the type of nice guy she would go out with for weeks, sleep with, fake an orgasm with, and then dump, realizing how much time she had wasted. And then she called him “busted.”
America’s Sweetheart, this one! Good luck with the husband search! Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another recap of “Miss Advised.”