Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rich Girl Poor Girl = Spoiled Girls

Rich Girl Poor Girl, a WB web original mini-reality series, introduces its plot as "Two Girls...One City...Two Different Worlds..." Tarra, a 19-year-old from the rich neighborhoods of the Pacific Palisades, and Angela, a 19-year-old from "ghetto" East LA, swap places to experience life beyond their comfort zones. However, this social experiment fails to live up to its title by a long shot. What was promised to be a shuffle in the lives of teenagers from drastically different socioeconomic backgrounds turns out to be nothing more than the switching of two girls with different personalities.

The first episode, The Switch, tries to outline the differences between the "hood" and the Palisades. Although there appears to be differences among the different homes, they have nothing to do with the income of the families. Tarra lives in a neat, nice home of upper-middle class range. Angela lives in a disorderly home of middle-class range. Both girls have moms who stay at home and cook them breakfast (generally, "poor" families cannot afford to have a stay-at-home parent). Both girls live care-free lives with leisure time to hang out with friends. Both girls own similar computers: iMacs that cost over $1000 a pop. The only difference between the girls is this: Angela speaks with a "ghetto" accent, lacks a sense of personal hygiene, detests organization and structure, and is very outspoken while Tarra is more reserved, orderly, put-together, and polite. These types of personalities are not distinctive to those of "rich" or "poor" people.

It seems that both girls are inherently spoiled in their own ways: Tarra materially and Angela behaviorally. Yes, the switch exposed the girls to a different life, but unfortunately, the show did not film any evidence that the girls' lives were changed "forever" within the 7 days. Angela advised Tarra to be more spontaneous and sleep with the dogs at least once a week. Tarra advised Angela to take her dancing skills to Hollywood. Both girls rejected these "words of wisdom". Neither missed living in each other's homes. The message of this show: appreciate who you are. Does it really take thousands of dollars and 12 subpar episodes to understand that?

1 comment: