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'The City': It's all about who you know

October 28, 2009 |  7:09 am
The-city-18 This week's episode of “The City” shows that who you know can make all the difference. That difference, though, may not always be a positive one.

Take Olivia Palermo, for example. It’s no secret that she knows everyone who’s anyone in New York City. The problem is she doesn’t know quite when to use that to her benefit. When Erin Kaplan tried to brief her on the charity event, she couldn’t get through two sentences before Olivia interrupted her to name-drop. If it was annoying for me to watch, I can’t imagine what it was like for Erin, who had to live through it. Wait. That’s not totally true. One of the reasons I love watching Erin is that everything she’s feeling shows on her face. In fact, it’s when Erin isn’t talking when she’s the most entertaining. I’ve mentioned before that I love watching her fume silently when Joe Zee compliments Olivia. Tonight when she was telling Olivia about the event, Erin’s eye rolls, raised eyebrows and exhalations reached a whole new level of frenzy.

At the charity event, Olivia had the perfect opportunity to use her connections in a way that could prove her worth. You can say anything you want about Erin’s feelings toward Olivia (and you’d probably be right), but Erin is serious when it comes to her job. It was pretty genius to have Olivia direct the photographer on who should be photographed, since she would know exactly which guests’ pictures would attract the most attention to the event. Instead, Olivia saw it as outside her job description. After all, to paraphrase Olivia, she’s not PR; she’s accessories. I guess that means she could stand around and look like a pretty ornament. It would have been nice for Olivia to see this as an opportunity to impress Erin. Instead, she opted to blow air kisses at people.

In a surprise twist, Roxy Olin was there to catch the ball Olivia dropped. In fact, she was kind of endearing in this episode. I’m not going to say I was wrong about her, because there’s still a lot of “The City” to go this season. But in this episode I wasn’t mad at her.

For Whitney Port, this week wasn’t just about who she knew, but who she was about to know....
It seems that Whitney and Freddie Fackelmayer are now an item. I have to assume they’ve seen each other a few more times since their date on last week’s episode. That’s the only sane explanation for Freddie referring to her as his girlfriend and inviting his father to meet her for dinner. By the way, alliteration seems to be a family tradition. Freddie’s father’s name is Fridolin Fackelmayer. Say that three times fast.

When Whitney arrived for dinner and saw the two suited men at the table, her face registered the ambush. The dinner, in Freddie’s own words, was awkward. Let’s just say it wasn’t love at first sight, or after the first course, even. I have it on good word that Fridolin is a hoot, but in this situation he came off as this kooky rich guy with very little to say to Whitney except tell her that he would advise someone not to invest in a start-up company like, say, her new fashion line. After Fridolin left, Whitney made it clear to Freddie that it may had been too early in their courtship to meet the parents.

Later, Freddie showed up to the charity event with Elle. It was clear he was going for a clean slate. Dressed in a pink striped button-down, it seemed he was trying to assuage Whitney’s fear after that disastrous dinner that she may not fit into his and Olivia’s moneyed world. I think the more dressed-down, yet still dashing, version of Freddie worked. Whitney seemed swept away by him. I love how she just doted on him while Roxy, of all people, hurried back to work.

The good feelings didn’t last long. Whitney agreed to meet with ex-flame Jay, who wasn’t happy to hear that she not only attended a party at his place, but brought some “Wall Street” guy along too. Even worse, Jay heard that Freddie ran around in the same circles as Olivia, whom he detests. I’m not sure how much moral ground Jay stood on, since, hello, he was partying with his ex-girlfriend last season at the same time he was crashing at Whitney’s pad. Nonetheless, he warned Whitney that she’s making a mistake getting involved with Freddie and his circle.

Whitney wasn’t having it and while she apologized for bringing Freddie to Jay’s place, she let him know that she didn’t have to explain her choices to him. “It’s my life,” she said right before Jay left her sitting alone at the table.

Do you think Jay was right about Freddie? Next week, the ladies are off to the Hamptons with Freddie, where they may find the answer to Jay’s question.

-- Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)

Related:

‘The City’: Erin Kaplan defends Joe and Roxy, but Olivia? Not so much (with exclusive video)

‘The City’: Be careful what you wish for

All ‘The City’ coverage on Show Tracker

Photo: Whitney Port is all smiles on a date with Freddie Fackelmayer on “The City.” Credit: MTV
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