Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Only England Can Reform America's Bitches

Illustration for article titled Only England Can Reform Americas Bitches

Have you ever wondered what Ladette To Lady would look like as filtered through the mind of Executive Producer Donald Trump and run through the MTV/VH1 social re-education reality show factory? No? Well, unfortunately, thanks to the premiere last night of The Girls Of Hedsor Hall now you know.

These girls are sooo bad America, with her amber waves of grain and plentiful fields of reality shows about reforming bad girls (Bad Girls Club, Charm School, etc.), can't possibly help them. They need a British reality show, namely Ladette To Lady. The problem is that Hedsor Hall is a poor imitation.

If you're unfamiliar with Ladette To Lady, which airs here occasionally on the Sundance Channel, the thing that makes it so engrossing is that it doesn't indulge in the same reality competition tropes as every other reality competition show in America. On Ladette To Lady, there's no perfunctory host;  no melodramatic rose or clock ceremony; there's no prize other than the school diploma; and, in a refreshing twist, there's no sniping about the other contestants in interviews, obviously in response to producers' attempts to sow the seeds of drama. In truth, it feels more like a documentary about modern, though loud and wild and binge-drinking, girls trying to complete a 1950s finishing school curriculum, complete with icy, matter-of-fact, often hilarious nature documentary-style narration. In that way it's closer to Colonial House than Charm School.

Hedsor Hall, however, is basically Charm School: England: a former Miss USA is the host and apparent role model; Each girl is given a string of pearls as a symbol of her aspiring ladydom which she must melodramatically relinquish at the elimination ceremony (one astute girl named Brianna said last night, "I don't really care about the pearls. It's bullshit. It's our attitude. It's not about some freakin pearls around our necks."); the winner gets a $100,000 grant and probably the great honor of shaking Donald Trump's hand; and, obviously, the girls cannot stop bitching about each other in interviews. In short: it's nothing you haven't seen before, which sucks because it could have been something much better that you had maybe seen before a few times on Sundance channel.

Advertisement

Although the part where one girl introduced herself to the group Next bus style ("I'm Margie. I'm from Los Angeles, California. Check the ass.") was pretty funny.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter