Is there just no end? On the heels of Upper East Side women being insulted by the tome Primates of Park Avenue (documented in an earlier Our Town column) comes its TV doppelgänger, Bravo’s Odd Mom Out, written by Jill Kargman, author of Momzillas, upon which the show was loosely based.
Kargman’s character is “normal” and the other Chanel-wearing, nanny-scolding, tutor-mongering, success-obsessed, frivolous, shallow, neurotics are everyone else. In one interview, she called her show “a love letter to New York.” Even though we’re supposed to identify with her, I’m not really feeling the love when each episode pits mothers against each other. Do we really need another vehicle promoting an us-against-them attitude?
Books and shows like these used to upset me. Now, quite frankly, I’m just bored. It’s all the same stereotypes, the same dialogue we’ve heard before, and the same recycled “insider” tales.
I feel like we’re stuck in some societal time warp with people who still pretend every section of our city is different: the rich people are on the Upper East Side, the bohemians live downtown, and the down-to-earth reside on the Upper West Side.
Have you been down to “bohemia” lately? Chanel, Kate Spade, J Crew. There are enough designer shops to make you think you’re on Madison Avenue.
Long ago and far away, someone made money delighting the underprivileged, as well as people who live far from New York City, but who are fascinated by it, “exposing” how the Upper East Side crowd were unhappy and/or crazy. Since then, many have jumped on the bandwagon and cashed in on the same clichéd and tedious story of the rich man’s wife, who does nothing but eat expensive lunches (then throws up to remain svelte) and shops, when she’s not drowning her wealthy people problems in booze, and obsessing over whether her child will get into the right school. Give me a minute, I need to yawn.
Not only is every tale the same, but so is every protagonist. Whether it’s an outsider like Wednesday Martin or Kargman, who was born on the UES, they always portray themselves as “of this world, yet not a part of it.”
To prove their point, they live the life, for which they have just the right amount of disdain, rolling their eyes, mocking and complaining about “those moms,” as they fill out the same private school applications, go to the same play dates, and attend the same $1,000-a-plate fundraisers.
Since people like this set themselves up as a breed apart, you’d think they’d form a club or something; but no.
I read that at the Odd Mom Out party, guests were maligning the Primates book. Isn’t that the Birkin calling the Kelly bag excessive?
You know, it’s not like we’ve got an electrified fence around our area and we won’t let anyone leave. If it’s so ridiculous, over-the-top, competitive and mean, move.
No Upper East Side moms were harmed in Lorraine Duffy Merkl’s novel, BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.