Life imitates sitcom in the new reality series cooked up by WE: Women's Entertainment. The network's summer series, Single in the City, is an unabashed homage to HBO's Sex and the City. Unfortunately, real life has a pretty weak story arc and lacks snappy writing.
The producers found 11 women who patrol the Manhattan dating scene, targeting men with the intensity of crotch-seeking missiles. But unlike the women in the HBO series, there isn't much back-story to humanize these party girls. After viewing three episodes, this reviewer found it hard to like any of the subjects enough to care about what happens next.
The show might be more compelling if the episodes explained how these women could live like this. Though most have jobs (model, bartender and the like) that allow them to sleep in, perhaps every day, a couple have intense, nine-to-five jobs. Where are the 7 a.m., dragging-their-butts-into-work shots? Interview a few of their bosses. That, my friends, would be interesting.
The most troubling aspect about the series, which will run over eight episodes, is the reinforcement of the man-eater stereotypes. Yes, the show exploits a lifestyle fictionalized in Sex and the City, but are all single women in New York City piranhas? And what's with the lingering boob shots? Isn't this a network for women? There are segments where the woman's head isn't even in the picture. Okay, I know now I probably just sold men on watching the series.
Four of the dating divas are so Sex-y that a suspicious mind might wonder if they weren't put together for the series for their "See, it's true!" factor. They call themselves "The Barracudas" and wangle invitations to multi-million dollar mansions in the Hamptons and yachts on the Hudson River for July 4. They're not the bed- 'em-and-forget- 'em type; stringing 'em along seems to be the goal.
Viewers will also meet personalities like Leoni, an exotic beauty in the Angelina Jolie-mold, who lures young male models when she's not working as an undercover decoy out to nail unfaithful lovers for an investigation firm. Lauren is a former attorney with a personality so strong she needs to find the male equivalent of a Mack truck to stand up to her. Natasha's a banker with a great laugh and enough stamina to juggle three suitors in person, while others continue to call her cell phone.
Phew! Makes one glad to be in a committed relationship. As Leoni says of the Manhattan dating scene, "It's all about attitude — if you don't have it, you shouldn't be here."
Single in the City
debuts on WE July 7 at 8 p.m.