Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Rachel Zoe Problem
Watching last night's season finale of the Rachel Zoe Project, I realized that Diletantism has a new room mate. On the bottom bunk sleeps Dilecan'ts. That is about a 12-step program away from its big sister. The cliff hanger was more of a free fall. The drama and anti-climax of every commercial ridden scene was more and more uncomfortable to watch. Rachel is the definition of a train wreck, a pile-up of epic proportions. Her sourness seeps into every moment she's caught by the cameras. Even when she's supposedly doing good by her feckless workers, she looks like there's a dead cow decomposing just off camera. She is the Empress of the one-liner: Everything is F*** this and and F***that. Her emotions like her vocabulary stretch from A to B, and that's a huge stretch for her.
I guess because it's a reality show Rachel Zoe is in the middle of everything and every scene, whether she's doing something or in most cases in the midst of walking out. She does an awful lot of leaving for someone so busy and overwhelmed with the pressures of her empire. Every time she comes to the office, she leaves within 5 minutes. In this episode she styled a shoot for V magazine. That kept her in place for what must of been an eternity. Between shooting all of 5 or 6 looks in about 18 hours, all she did was complain about her headaches, nausea and vertigo. Otherwise, she was jumping around saying how fabulous she was, and also the shoot. The moment the last shot was taken she grabbed her battered Berkin , blew air kisses to the models and team and walked out.
Rachel with brain trust, Taylor. (above)
Where does she go, what does she do? I remember now. She had a Valentino party, another grueling trip back to NYC for her fragrance(Red Carpet or Road Kill, it's all a blur), her QVC faux-fur collection, and a quick trip to TJ Maxx to see if that's where she lost her mind.
Rachel's life consists of being tired, angry or ill. She tells us through a heart to heart with her father, who adores and applauds his baby girl, that all she wants is to be a good wife, boss and to build her brand. She's very big on branding. She excels at none of those things. Her marriage looks sketchy, her employees are just waiting for her to lose it and the brand is, well it's mutating. The only thing that looks real is her vertigo. She really looks like she's ready to heave in every scene. I was guess it's like reality , wholly false and a desperate cry for TV-styled pathos.
The greatest line of the evening besides, "these clothes look like s***", was, " I want my empire to be as big as Martha Stewart's". What she doesn't seem to get is that it takes brains, focus and commitment. Of these 3 she she has them all, but they're all skewed up: her brains are fried, her focus is myopic and she should be committed. The public loves a car crash. They all slow in hopes of getting a glimpse of blood and twisted metal. Rachel gives the public what they want. It's all the designer clad broken bones and flaming wreckage one can squeeze into an hour.
Her illness is manifested in her face through the course of the episode. It appears to swell, bags appear below her eyes and her mouth fluctuates between a snarl and a pout.Her husband begs her to take her doctor's advice and slow down but she won't listen.The result is this time lapsed aging we watch as though her face is the window of her neurosis.
Rachel with Brad, her spiritual support and the object of her addiction,besides fabulous Designer clothes. (above)
Rachel Zoe is the face of what's wrong with fashion. She's a female Dorian Grey who forgot to leave the truth in the closet and also forgot the bit about being charming and seductive. She's raw and crass. Did I say she was vulgar and selfish? Well, that too.
At the shows end when we all think that an intervention or the dissolution of her disillusioning business is going to happen, the plot twists in on itself. Husband Roger decides to take over her business, promote Valley girl drop-out Associate Taylor to take charge of the "branding and styling" ( the equivalent of handing a 6 year old a loaded Rocket launcher) when Taylor is late for every meeting, shoot , walks out on every business trip, complains of having to be Rachel's hand maiden, never getting anything she's been promised by Rachel and refusing to remove her sunglasses inside during meetings with said boss. Oh, and she's challenged getting Rachel her Starbucks tea most days. Anyway, she gets the big promotion so Rachel can heal. Brad , the other key member of the team is either spouting superlatives about his legs in short-shorts, driving around L.A. in a big-assed Mercedes or clowning with Taylor on the set of the V shoot playing dress-up. Very grown-up. Very scarey, very over-rated.
Rachel with the man behind her, Roger; her husband and savior.(right)
I love the fact that the blind so willingly drive the blind at hair raising speeds. It's their special Hollywood brand of humanity. There's a sisterhood/brotherhood of the arch Poseurs there that makes New York look tame. I'd like to say we can all learn something from Rachel's example but I can't. This cliffhanger sent a message as large as the Hollywood sign:
If you find that you're a DILECAN'T, for God's sake, DILEDON'T.