Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kell on Earth...Be Very Afraid...

Whenever I watch Bravo's reality series Kell on Earth, my heart palpitates, my palms get sweaty, and flashbacks of some of the dysfunctional and difficult former bosses of my past come back in a nightmarish flush. The disorganization, the impossibly hard edged personalities, the ego trips, the insecurity. Work environments so insane that something as simple as printing out labels can be a tragedy waiting to happen. Shutter. Such is the crazy, drama filled world of the glamor biz - whether entertainment or fashion. And so goes Kelly Cutrone, former party girl, single Mom and her difficult cast of hard nosed publicists and frightened, frazzled come-and-go employees of her fashion PR firm Peoples' Revolution.

Cutrone is queen bee of her domain. By her side in her court are Ladies-in-Waiting - Partner Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert, two difficult women who strive for perfection, but never obtain it from their employees. They shout orders and insult the intelligence of their staff, all the while never making clear what they want and expecting people to read their minds. Junior Executives who don't know how to print labels get ridiculed all day long for their mishaps. The office runs on frazzled nerves, mis-communication, Olympic sized snark, fires that rage and need to be put out. They make the heat so unbearable in their proverbial kitchen, employee turn over is high, making their office constantly understaffed and those chained to their desks impossibly overworked.

Meanwhile,Kell, in between kicking ass at runway shows, and showing her expertise in photo shoots, unwinds with her partners by going out to dinner and hitting on cute waiters who are way out of their league. They enjoy laughing over how busy their calendars are by whipping out Blackberrys to compare the work load. Kell's Assistant, a trust fund goth boy named Andrew, really wants to be in creative and plays it cool, while Junior Executive Stefanie Skinner works her brains out so hard, she barely leaves the office. Her drawn face and the constant dark circles that live beneath her eyes are testament to the brutal hours and the avalanche of work dumped on her. There are times when Kell, Emily and Robyn come down so hard on Skinner, it's hard not to conjure an image of the evil step sisters in Cinderella. One member of a reality show fan forum referred to them as the three witches from Macbeth.

This is the scariest show on television, but it also incredibly fascinating. The drama is so silly and the women, sadly, so disagreeable, Kell on Earth does what most candid reality shows do: Make you feel better about your life...and your job.

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