Gallery Girls Recap: Brooklyn and New Jersey and Long Island, Oh My!
Blerg. I wasn’t going to watch this again, but since my new best friend Maggie replied to my tweet (Hey girlfriend!), I feel obligated to see this through to the bitter end. That means here we are again, ready for our blood pressure to rise at the very idea of girls of privileged means being forced to work *gasp* WORK! for no money and even less respect.
Also, there has been an incident with a real live intern and I think that it can be a teachable moment for young people. Let’s start with the real intern issues before moving onto the fake reality television intern issues.
A friend of mine hired an intern for his graphic design studio. For argument’s sake, let’s call her Princess. And let me start by explaining what an intern in a graphic design studio normally does. When my husband was my intern during the Clinton administration, he did the following: tested magic markers to see which ones were dried out; cleaned the front and back of the glass of the awards; touched up the paint on the walls; brought our conference room chairs in for repairs; printed out promotional materials; created signage for a booth at a job fair, complete with spelling errors; assembled comps and client presentations; and, whenever time allowed, he did sketches for logos and brochures and websites and whatever other projects happened to be going on at the moment. That’s what an intern does. Helps. With whatever they are asked to do.
Princess, on the other hand, does not like the design projects that she has been assigned and feels that her talent is better suited to the more high-profile projects normally given to the senior designers. Consequently, Princess is looking for a new job and my friend is looking for a new intern. So, for as much grief as I plan on giving these Gallery Girls, at least some of them (I’m looking at you, Maggie, Amy and Kerri) appear to be taking their jobs seriously. And lest we forget what a Gallery Girl’s job entails, a talented photographer friend who did her stint as a gallery intern explained it for us:
“I’m one of the ones who went to art school. And I worked in a gallery. It involved spackling, painting, hammering, leveling, fixing recalcitrant toilets, catering, packing and shipping, handling impossible artists and mind-bendingly dim clients and, on occasion, bouncing. It was a fucking miracle if I had time to jam my sweaty self into a black dress for openings. Not so much Gallery Girl; far more like Gallery Grunt.”
Okay. Now back to the show. We start with the non-gallery. I guess I should tell you the name of the non-gallery and provide a link in case anyone has an extra $348.00 lying around and feels the need to buy me a bangle bracelet. It’s called End of Century and is located on the seedy Lower East Side, about a block away from another ramshackle establishment called Whole Foods. I promise that the next time I have to go to Whole Foods to pick up cat food and artisanal cheese, I will pop my head in and give you the full run-down.
Last we left our downtown girls, they had just finished celebrating the opening of their “space.” Because this involved cramming as many people as possible into a tiny area and feeding them copious amounts of alcohol, there is a bit of cleaning up to do. Claudia arrives bright and early at 10:00 a.m. to find the space fairly well trashed and gets to work scrubbing the floors and walls. Nearly three hours later, Chantal rolls in with her boyfriend, woozy from brunch and eager to begin her mid-afternoon nap. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure these crazy kids are going to make it. We may very well see them standing on the street corner in their dip dyed t-shirts, shaking a repurposed bud vase, begging for spare Amex points.
After Claudia scrapes the last grape off of the floor, the girls talk money. They’re making sales, but only half of what they need to stay afloat. Chantal notes that the sale of one painting would cover the rent, but that Claudia has yet to sell a single piece of artwork. In Claudia’s defense, “It’s super hard to sell a piece of art.” To make matters worse, the “investor” money is tapped out. Luckily a local gallery owner takes pity on them and brings some of his clients over. Claudia says smart things to them like and “She ‘literally’ creates texture like on the surface of the canvas.” Unfortunately, the clients were more interested in the clothing than the artwork, and ended up walking out with nothing. I have a feeling that by the time I get around to visiting End of Century it’s going to have changed its name to Out of Business.
Kerri the “lifestyle manager” for “really wealthy people” needs to prove to her boss, Tony, that she can “do it all.” So when Tony asks her to bring a dozen everything bagels to a private jet at Teterboro airport, about an hour’s drive from Manhattan, Kerri jumps into action. She calls a car service, goes to the bagel shop, and hauls her sweet ass out to New Jersey so that she can arrange a dozen bagels on a plastic platter. It’s kind of quaint how Kerri expects us, the viewers, to believe that this is why she was summoned to the private jet. For a dozen bagels. Yes, I know, rich people can make outrageous demands. But if Kerri’s time is so worthless that she can spend two hours (1 hour there, 1 hour back, and we’ll call the bagel stop a wash) messengering bagels around the tri-state area, then I have to assume that she does not earn enough money to pay for that West Village apartment without engaging in a few extracurricular activities ifyouknowwhatImean. And I’m not judging, really. After all, a girl’s gotta eat.
At Eli’s Little Sweatshop of Horrors, Maggie, my new favorite person, shows up and is asked to fill a dog bowl with ice water for all of the doggie art collectors. After that, she is given plastic bags to sort through, presumably to see if the aforementioned art collectors already used them. After the floors are scrubbed and the chimneys swept, Maggie is sent to Brooklyn to pick something up, either badges or badgers. It was garbled, and really, does it matter? No. All that matters is she escaped from Brooklyn alive. Maggie got lost in that scary, foreign land and, after clawing her way back to the safety of Manhattan, called her boyfriend for comfort, referring to Brooklyn as a “ghetto” and telling the tale of how lucky she was to have survived the ordeal. Somewhere, Snake Plisskin narrowed his one good eye and chortled gruffly.
We later learn that Maggie is enduring these hardships because she needs Eli to write her a letter of recommendation saying that she has successfully completed an internship at Eli’s Artwork Emporium and Processing Plant. Eli will not give her the letter just yet, and over drinks we get the impression that Eli may be holding this over Maggie’s head as a way of keeping her around. You see, Eli is a little sweet on Maggie. Which is cute and all since they’re both so adorably pint-sized, but jeez, what a dick move for a boss.
All of the girls attend an auction at a real live auction house where Amy and Kerri’s boss bids on a Damian Hirst piece that is not a cow suspended in Mountain Dew so we don’t care about it. Maggie sneers at the End of Century girls and asks a friend of hers to tell Claudia that her shirt is on backwards. Maggie’s just flat out mean, which I kind of like. Afterwards, the girls go out for drinks. Angela mocks Amy’s lychee martini because it’s “so five years ago,” Chantal thinks it’s sophisticated to say that she won’t drink wine from Oregon, and Kerri can’t deal with the Upper East Side so she leaves early and sticks the others with the bill. This is probably because Kerri is poor, having come from humble means. To drive home this point, we are driven home to Kerri’s father’s house in Rockville Centre, Long Island. It is a real working class neighborhood with some of the best public schools in the country where half a million dollars won’t even buy you a fixer-upper. Bravo, next time you want to convince us that someone comes from humble means, maybe try casting in Staten Island.
And finally, Angela dresses up in a parachute and meets “her gays” for drinks to whine about being unable to find a good man. Apparently every last one of the Brooklyn boys she has dated contracted some sort of STD. At no point did it dawn on Angela that she might be Patient Zero in this borough-wide epidemic. We then learn that none of these disease-ridden men have been able to give Angela an orgasm. I feel like someone ought to make her an “It Gets Better” video or something. Oh, these girls really are so young and so useless.
What’s our take-away from this episode? I’m not sure. But I implore all of you to work hard and do your best, at whatever task you are given. Unless your boss asks you to sort through doggie-doo bags, at which point it’s time to consider another career path.