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'The Hills': First look at Whitney Port's MTV spin-off 'The City'

MTV just released the first trailer for Whitney Port's new series "The City" -- and so far, the two-minute sneak peak is more exciting (and certainly more promising) than last night's blah episode of "The Hills." Here's the rundown:

Whitney hugs a tearful Lauren goodbye and jets off for Manhattan where she's greeted by an adorable brunette friend, who instantly became my favorite character on the spin-off after she cheerfully complained: "I have like an invisible tattoo on my forehead that says "Make out with me!" and only guys who live on futons can read it." Which of LC's friends would whine with such wit? Not a one. It's only been a few seconds but adorable friend could possibly remind me of a younger Lorelai on "Gilmore Girls" or a distant casually dressed friend of Blair and Serena on "Gossip Girl." I'm getting ahead of myself, but the girl's got potential.

Whitney's also upgraded to a fancy new job working for Diane Von Furstenberg. Good riddance to People's Republic, the bowels of L.A. fashion and Kelly Cutrone, who makes a cameo in the trailer giving Whitney dating advice (!!!) and hopefully nothing else. A working life is a definite plus -- it's doubtful Whitney will be trapped in a merchandise closet or herding models with DVF -- because watching jobless Lauren lounge around has been a study in watching paint dry. (What? It's true. We don't see or hear about her fashion line on "The Hills.") There's even a possible professional rival in seemingly sweet Olivia, whose greetings and friendly smile turn into an icy glare once Whitney turns her back.

Funny friends, a real career, a (possibly backstabbing) work rival? Loyal fans of "The Hills" might very well implode with all this action. (Again, I'm commenting a trailer and for all I know those long meaningful stares "The Hills" now subsists on might be in full effect on "The City." But I can hope.)

And let's not forget about the love triangle between Whitney, her "personal Australian tour guide," and Alex, whom she met a few weeks ago when Cutrone forced the pair on a blind date. "Tour guide" might possibly turn out to be a Justin Bobby in disguise after Alex accuses him of cheating on Whitney, but both men are already better spoken and better looking than any of Lauren's boys. Sure, it looks like a verbal -- or even physical -- rumble might be brewing between the two, but they're still a hands-down improvement on the Jasons, Spencers and Brodys of Lauren's world.

What do you guys think? Can Whitney survive without Lauren (to react to)? Can she carry a show on her own? Do you like the look of her shaggy-haired Australian mate? Is Olivia scary to anyone else but me?

-- Denise Martin

     
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