Last night’s episode on Bravo was titled “Courtney Loves NYC.” In it, Courtney and her bestie Tori venture to the Big Apple for Fashion Week — though, from what I can tell, they only stayed for two days, attending just one actual fashion show. Let’s break it down.
We open in Courtney’s apartment, where she makes travel preparations. Courtney says, “This is my first year to go to Fashion Week as, like, a full-time blogger. Last time I went, it was like a vacation. Now it’s legitimate work.” Spoiler alert: if you are expecting that Courtney will do some welding in New York or wait tables or drive a UPS truck, you will be disappointed.
Cut to New York. There are many establishing shots. Courtney and Tori check into their hotel. They both wear the crap out of aviator sunglasses indoors. Ensconced in the room they share, Courtney looks out the window and observes, “It’s hard to get a cab in Dallas. And here they’re freaking everywhere.” This is absolutely true. It would be hard for anyone who has ever been to New York to disagree. New York has more cabs than Dallas. I don’t have any data to back this up. It’s a strictly subjective assessment that I happen to share with Courtney.
There follows an extended unpacking scene in the hotel room. Then Tori proves her bestie-ness. “I don’t want you to be intimidated,” she says. “Because you are amazing at what you do.”
“I know,” Courtney says, opting for honesty over modesty. “And I appreciate your support.”
Tori continues, “I want you to bust out of this, like, Texas bubble and, like, bring it here.” She does not mean that she wants her friend to bring the Texas bubble to New York. She means that she wants Courtney to bring it. I didn’t want there to be any misunderstanding about that.
To attend her first fashion show as a full-time blogger, Courtney chooses a lace-panel shirt dress and red heels. Her semiotic take on the ensemble: “This outfit says I might be from Dallas, but I’m here, and I’m legit.” To me it says: “I got this for free.” But what do I know? I wear orange socks every day so that I don’t have to worry about matching them with my shoes or pants. Tori selects a tight pair of red pants and worries about her “camel toe.”
Courtney and Tori arrive early at a Carmen Marc Valvo fashion show and quickly find the champagne. Courtney says, “I’m just, like, like, totally humbled that I even get to be here.” This misuse of the word “humble” is one of my pet peeves. A performer, for instance, will give an awards acceptance speech and say that he is humbled to receive the honor. No, he is the opposite of humbled. Take away that singer’s success and make him do bar mitvahs to pay the rent. Then he is humbled. What Courtney meant to say was “I’m just, like, like, totally aggrandized to be here.” In any case, Courtney and Tori watch the Carmen Marc Valvo fashion show with expressions of such amazement that you’d think they were making first contact and the alien beings turned out to be talking bears who could succinctly explain quantum gravity. Either that, or they wore expressions of such amazement that you’d think they were seeing the end of The Usual Suspects for the first time. I can’t decide which is funnier.
After the show, Courtney meets Carmen Marc Valvo himself, who has kicked colorectal cancer but still seems to struggle with hyperhidrosis.
Then something wonderful happens. As everyone else leaves and our girls are helping to soak up the last of the champagne, a flamboyantly gay tuxedoed man named Lei Marco, whose accent is so thick that he needs subtitles, approaches Courtney to take issue with her belief that the lace-panel shirt dress says she’s from Dallas but she’s here and she’s legit. Courtney brushes him off, but Tori sticks up for her friend, telling Marco that he is rude. Marco tells Tori that the way she applied her eye makeup is rude. Please, Bravo, give Lei Marco his own show. If you did, I’m sure he would be humbled. I would definitely watch Lei Marco Loves Cleveland. Just picking a city at random. Your call. If Cincinnati works better, that’s fine.
Then we’re back in the hotel room, where the girls are retiring for the night. That’s it. One fashion show. After all that legitimate work, Courtney is pooped. It would seem a perfect opportunity for the girls to shower together, as is their wont. Instead, they order a room service meal of cookies, ice cream, and French fries. The Bravo per diem is humbling.
The next morning, Courtney heads off to a business meeting with the ladies at Bauble Bar. She wears a leather skirt and declares she is “on fire.” She has no trouble catching a cab. She does, however, have trouble opening the glass door at the Bauble Bar office, trying to push rather than pull it open. Or pull rather than push. Whatever. Humbling. I actually felt for her here and thought it was funny. The meeting goes well, and Courtney enters a vague arrangement wherein she will have to pick or design or approve of 64 pieces of jewelry.
Eight hours go unaccounted for.
Courtney returns to the hotel, where Tori is waiting. They again do not shower together.
Then comes the strange part of every episode of Courtney Loves Dallas when Bravo returns from commercial and gives us a 30-second scene before hitting more commercials. In this scene, Courtney and Tori go out for cocktails. They drink said cocktails. Let’s hope the per diem covered them.
In the final scene, we find Courtney back in her Dallas apartment, sitting in bed, pecking away at her laptop, exhausted from the legitimacy of all the work she has done in the cab-rich city of New York. And then — cue dramatic music — Matt Nordgren, the ex, calls. He tells Courtney that he misses her. They agree to meet Wednesday for a talk. As they hang up, Matt throws in an “I love you.” As I was watching this, I said out loud, “Whoa.” No exclamation mark or anything. But I did say it. Again, aloud. What the holy hell is wrong with me?
I have now watched three episodes of Courtney Loves Dallas. You can probably tell from this recap that I have not enjoyed the experience. And yet there I was, 90 minutes into this adventure, whoa-ing. Does this mean I care? It certainly means that I now have information in my head — Courtney’s dating history — taking up space that could be better used to store something more important. Yu Darvish’s stats from last season, the date of my last oil change, the Gettysburg Address, my father’s birthday, the name of that guy, whether I’ve paid my property tax. I came to work this morning and had a conversation with a co-worker about what Matt’s “I love you” meant. She thought it was a garden-variety “I love you,” just a way to wrap up the phone conversation. I disagreed. It sounded to me like a “I love you and want to reacquaint myself with the legit lady parts hidden by your lace-panel shirt dress.” AND SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD FOR ENGAGING IN THIS DEBATE!
This is how it happens. Human beings are hardwired to absorb stories — even when those stories are rot. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t at all care about whether Matt and Courtney reconnect on Wednesday and wind up sucking each other faces. Because I do. A little. And that’s, like, like, totally humbling.