Rich and dumber

Nov 26, 2003 at 12:00 am
On my computer is the black-and-white world of a drunk Paris Hilton in full exhibitionist mode, QuickTiming across the screen in various stages of personal degradation. She's very busy. Or at least she seems so, as she can't even get off the cell phone long enough to respond to the ample plow of her pelvic intruder. She hangs up to survey the perfect photo spot for a Hilton-on-top vignette, but then the phone rings again.

"Let me get my phone," she trips over her tongue.

"Forget the fucking phone!" he commands. "I want to fuck you!"

And while all of this is fine and good (even disarmingly arousing, in a heterosexual, at-a-distance way), over my shoulder, MTV is running a minimarathon of the story-so-far. No, not of the Hiltons milking cows or anything as major network as that, but of two less attractive, long-in-the-face debutantes shopping for shoes and saving the world.

"Rich Girls" is my new favorite show.

Unlike the cell-phone humping of their Hilton peers, the "Rich Girls" — Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher — offer stimulating exploitation by means of fishbowling us into their day-to-day. The selective editing may make it look like MTV is poking fun at them, but they totally don't care. They could buy MTV if they wanted to. But, uh, that would be too much work.

Let's just say here that I am a "Rich Girl." Sure, I don't have any money (net worth: $10,000), but I am a bastion of snobbish derision, peppered minimally with little philanthropic asides. I talk like I know everything, and I always know when to leave a party. I drink. I smoke. I cry myself to sleep at night from that loneliness known only to those of us living on top of the mountain that is life. Feel my pain.

Ally describes herself as "creative, spiritual, sensitive, " while describing Jaime as "thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent." Jaime throws it back by describing herself as "intellectual, creative, passionate," and calling Ally "eccentric, creative and deep."

That's three "creatives," two "sensitives" and two "intelligents," if you count "intelligent" and "intellectual" as, like, the same thing, which they totally are. I'm soooo all of those.

As for pet peeves about each other, Ally complains, "When Jaime says, 'Do you know what I mean?' after every sentence."

Omigod, I really hate that, too.

Jaime is similarly annoyed with Ally: "Ally always plays with her ear. It's kind of funny."

My pet peeve about Ally involves the placement of too many long teeth in her mouth, while I hate Jaime for being so big-chinned and ugly. Do you know what I mean? And they just think I'm too pretty. Do you see how dangerous this is?

My hasty descent into "Rich Girl" stupidity comes on the heels of just three half-hour episodes, in which I've witnessed Jaime and Ally do so much and accomplish nothing. I'm convinced that more brain cells have committed dramatic suicide in this 90 minutes than in all of my years of fabulous narcotic indulgence.

Episode one finds our fearless duo pursuing the perfect prom. Jaime wants to lose her virginity, so she chooses a lumpy date who might just put out, although she's secretly in love with swarthy Michael V. Ally's prettier, and richer, so her date is way cute. Anyway, prom is really boring, despite the fact that Ally and Jaime have rented a limo for themselves and their hangers-on. Upon attempting an exit, Jaime realizes that her secret love, Michael V., has taken the limo out clubbing with his friends.

"Where are you?" she cell-phones him. "That's my limo!"

Jaime's lumpy date get sick from drinking too much coffee, and doesn't put out. Eh.

In episode two, things start getting really good, as this is graduation day. ("My hair looked really frizzy," post-games Ally while comparing shoes with the plebes.) The girls both miraculously graduate with honors, and are treated to a fancy celebration dinner hosted by Ally's gay dad, Tommy Hilfiger.

"You're never around!" whines Ally. "How do you know I don't study?"

At the party afterward, Michael V. is initially a no-show, sending Jaime into yet another cell-phone tizzy ("I want to fuck you!" etc.). Upon his arrival, tensions rise to a feverish pitch. Michael throws on some crocodile tears, no doubt sensing his tentative place on the show's payroll.

Clearly shaken, the girls hightail it to the Hilfiger mansion in the West Indies, hoping to find their moneyed centers. They want to make it the best weekend ever. Jaime contemplates reincarnation aloud (never a good idea).

"Maybe I was Benjamin Franklin in a past life," she drifts off, drink in hand. "You know, the guy who invented the light bulb."

Things take a serious turn in episode three, when Ally and Jaime become aware of the Ethiopian plight by way of the fact that Ally has a crush on an Ethiopian. The girls yawn through a documentary and turn philosophical.

"What's more important," loops Ally. "A $400 pair of shoes, or a life?"

Take the shoes. The girls suggest quilting dresses for the hungry, or providing mattresses to those in need of sleep. Jaime wants to write about it all for a teen magazine to better her "writing" career.

I used to write for a teen magazine. Look at my career.

Meanwhile, it's the Fourth of July in Nantucket, and the girls are on hand to accept honors for a film, Proud, that Ally "produced" with the help of her father. Kim Cattrall and Bill Clinton are on hand, which Jaime supposes is "cool, I guess."

This is also the episode where Ally professes love for her SUV's talking GPS system named Charles, saying, "I want Charles in charge of me."

By show's end, Ally is throwing up over the side of a boat. Perfect. I love them.

And I'm getting fucked while my phone is ringing.

Billy Manes writes for Orlando Weekly, where the full-length version of this feature appears. E-mail comments to [email protected]