The City Recap: The End of Olivia Palermo?

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Piñata dress!! Photo: Courtesy of MTV

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but they could also say time flies when you’re not having fun if you’re on reality TV! Because among the many examples of how unrealistic The City’s world is, the best was last night’s episode, where it was Fashion Week — again. Only four episodes passed between this Fashion Week and the last Fashion Week. Young girls watching this show should know that a life in fashion is not a life of shows. For a lot of people it’s still a not-very-glam life of sitting in a cubicle. But no matter! In last night’s episode, things continued to fall into Whitney’s lap, Roxy started doing something right (what that was, we’re not sure, but Kelly hates her less), and Olivia continued to screw everything up.

But The City’s universe risks implosion when Olivia and Whitney face the threat of new character Louise Roe, who despite outward perfection must be a complete psycho, because she dated Freddie Fackelmayer. We’re not sure if it was her obnoxiousness or Olivia’s flat hair, but something made us feel sad for Olivia when Robbie suggested she was going to call her up and fire her at the end of the episode. Let’s further explore these feelings in this week’s lessons.

Lesson 1: Dressing for the office.
Do: Change out of your nightie! When Roxy approached Whitney in the first scene of the episode, we thought they were in their apartment for a second because Roxy looked like she was wearing a negligee. Part of the problem, of course, is that she was going to visit Whitney, who basically works in the People’s Revolution stairwell, like a human pet Kelly keeps in hiding; on-camera the space looks like anything but an office.

Lesson 2: Prepping for Fashion Week.
Don’t: Trust Olivia to arrange a post-show interview with Marc Jacobs. Interviewing Marc Jacobs after his show at Fashion Week is like trying to just knock on the White House door and sell Barack Obama some Girl Scout cookies. It takes weeks of arranging, and he doesn’t talk to just any old socialite with an Internet video producer on her arm. Olivia, who can’t even show up to work most days, has no chance of figuring out how to make this happen.
Do: Give your fashion staff specific guidance. Joe holds a meeting ostensibly for Fashion Week prep (most outlets get on this weeks in advance) and tells his employees, “Comb the city.” What does that even mean? It’s Fashion Week and events are all over the place — of course they will comb the city.

Lesson 3: Showing your boss how much you care.
Don’t: Tell her you don’t care what she thinks about your Fashion Week seats. In her dark People’s Revolution backroom pen, Whitney — who is not putting on a show and therefore wants to see and be seen — tells Kelly she doesn’t think it matters if she sits third-row at Fashion Week. Kelly says she’ll look like a loser. Kelly’s right. Whitney disagrees, but she should know this by now after putting on shows for so long.
Do: Tell her you’d rather work than sit front-row at a show. Samantha gets Whitney a front-row seat at Charlotte Ronson’s show, and Kelly asks Roxy if she wants to go, too. Roxy says no, she’d rather work on the David Elfin show. It’s unclear whether this is true or whether Samantha just didn’t invite her to Ronson, but it was the right move.

Lesson 4: Meeting a girl who dated someone you dated.
Don’t: Tell her you dated him, too! Whitney’s encounter with evil City villain Louis Roe at Fashion Week is so strange. Why would Whitney tell her she dated Freddie Fackelmayer too? This is only worth doing if the guy is super-hot, or if the guy is super-hot, has an eight-pack, and is still dating you. Otherwise she’s not rubbing anything in.
Do: Tell her you dated him when he had a girlfriend you didn’t know about. Whitney feels threatened because Louise is pretty. She has to mean-girl the conversation and somehow one-up her. A good thing to say might have been, “Oh yeah, I dumped Freddie when I found out he had a girlfriend.” Then Louise can huff off and wonder if Freddie cheated on her with something more than his tanning bed.

Lesson 5: Defining your clothing line.
Don’t: Say something different every time someone asks you who you design for. Whitney goes to Maybelline to schmooze for a sponsorship and tells them she designs for a career girl who likes to dress up at night. Last episode she was trying to convince everyone that her line was edgy and she was the next Alexander Wang. She doesn’t even know what her own point of view is.
Do: Take a hint from where you get to put on fashion shows. Whitney can’t show in New York this season, but she can show at Miami Swim Fashion Week! Miami is much better suited to her line because there, iridescent lace leggings mean something other than "ew."

Lesson 6: Holding down a job.
Do: Get your ass to Fashion Week. After Olivia fails to get a backstage interview at Marc by Marc (boy, was it a bad sign when that publicist was blurry), she doesn’t show up to Badgley Mischka because she overslept. She doesn’t get wasted and she doesn’t understand when she royally fucks up, so we can’t imagine she got trashed out of depression the previous night after Marc Jacobs refused to do an interview with her, and forgot to set an alarm.
Do: Actually try if you have a job a million people want and can perform better. Louise comes off as some brilliant on-camera reporter when she’s asked to fill in for Olivia at Badgley Mischka because she says things like “menswear influences” and makes “jokes” about Studio 54 and celebrating “the butt and the boobs.” Whatever, lady. Badgley Mischka always delivers lovely, tight, sparkly evening gowns. Erin and Joe think Louise is brilliant because Olivia, sadly, would never be as chipper or come up with such mighty references on-camera.

Our feelings shocked us this episode, because we felt bad for Olivia when she finally dragged her ass in from the rain, her hair matted, her fur coat possibly ruined. Maybe the sadness was a fear that when Robbie Myers told Erin she’d “make a call” at the end of the episode, she really was about to fire Olivia and we’d never see her again. But Louise is a terrible replacement for her! She has a good attitude! And there's nothing fun about watching people on TV with good attitudes.