New MTV show alert, ya’ll. With the departure of longtime ratings cash-cow Jersey Shore, MTV is frantically throwing shows at us in hope that one sticks. And as sad as I am to admit this, I don’t think Washington Heightsis the one. It premiered last night, introducing us to seven? nine? vaguely-aged young people. They look like they’re late high school, but they’re also drinking and smoking in front of MTV producers, so I assume they have to be at least twenty-one. All I know is that they seem a little younger than me and live in my same neighborhood, so I was expecting to have A LOT in common with them. Like best friend level. Wrong.
First there’s JP. He’s an aspiring rapper who goes by Audubon, and he is ye olde narrator for this grand experiment. Very chill guy, no girl issues or friend drama so far.
Then there’s Reyna. She’s a bleach blond girl who’s pretty enough that I’m sure she’s used to getting her way. In this episode she gets in a hair-pulling fight with this other girl who we’ll talk about later. You know, hair-pulling fights. How all conflicts are resolved up in the Heights.
Jimmy is MTV’s wild card, you can tell. He has an arrest history for dealing drugs, a dad locked up upstate, an outsider girlfriend Eliza (of hair-pulling fight fame), and he’s getting scouted for some sports team. I don’t remember which one. It was a goddamn two hour finale, get real. Regardless, he’s got a lot going on, and I’m predicting he cracks. Eliza is a good influence on him, according to what he says, but she’s from Jersey, so no one takes her seriously. I like her, though. She held her own when the drunken she-beast by the name of Reyna inexplicably tackled her to the sidewalk, so what more can you ask?
Taylor is the token white girl — the rest of the cast is Latino — but nobody seems weird about it and everyone acts normally around each other. She’s into Rico, god knows why, and it seems like the two of them hook up on the semi-regular, but neither of them want to make it a thing. As far as I can tell, Rico’s only defining characteristic is the fact that his penis is somewhat fond of Taylor.
Then we have Frankie. She’s an aspiring poet who has absolutely no problem busting a slam poem out during a hangout in front of her friends. She gets a slammin’ haircut in the first episode, and thinks Ludwin is beautiful, although he’s ‘hot and cold’.
Ludwin has a girlfriend, Diana, because of course he does, but he’s also flirting nonstop with Frankie and asking her if he should break up with her, so I predict they’ll be together for another…thirty seconds. Conservatively.
There’s also some other guy named Fred, but he’s done exactly nothing so far, so I’m not sure why he’s hanging around.
So here’s my issue…why are we watching these kids? They’re not crazy boozers like the Jersey Shore cast, and they’re so young that I don’t relish the idea of them getting all hooky-up-y like they do on Real World, so…what’s the point? And since I live in Washington Heights myself, I was excited to recognize some of the behaviors of the cast members, or at least some of the sites in the area, but I think I have to acknowledge that either I’m uncool, or this show is uninteresting. Or both. In my free time, I don’t go take my new significant other to meet my dad in jail upstate, or get a tattoo, or try asparagus for the first time. I don’t “celebrate life for making it through another day in the Heights”, or throttle one of my girlfriends with her own hair. I sit on my bed and watch Netflix. Sometimes I eat a snack. Usually I sleep in my own laundry. Is this the moment where I’ve out-lamed reality TV? Oh woe is me.