Million Dollar Listing New York, "The Shark, The Smooth Talker and The New Kid": we are the one percent

Quick Take: Million Dollar Listing New York, "The Shark, The Smooth Talker and The New Kid"
"My motto is 'Expansion: always, all ways'." - Ryan 

Review: Million Dollar Listing New York, "The Shark, The Smooth Talker and The New Kid"
(S0101) Bravo's new reality program, Million Dollar Listing New York, feels like a holdover from a bygone era; an era of excess, of luxury, of ever-increasing property values. It's 2012 -- the housing bubble popped long ago, the economy has been on life support for nearly half a decade, and everyday American's are struggling to stay in their homes -- but Million Dollar Listing New York seems like something that would have aired in 2005. Million Dollar Listing New York follows three young real estate agents as they help clients buy and sell posh condos and regal lofts in Manhattan's trendiest buildings.

To say that I disliked the show would be an understatement. There is something almost vulgar about it. There is a scene late in last night's premiere, "The Shark, The Smooth Talker and The New Kid", that made me want to throw my remote through my television screen. Michael, a snot-nosed little brat of a Realtor, is trying to negotiate a deal to buy a condo worth more than I am likely to earn in my lifetime on behalf of a client. Before he closes on the deal, another buyer swoops in and buys the condo out from under him. Michael's client has the audacity to whine about losing the condo and claims that now she will be "homeless." No, bitch, you're not going to be homeless. You're going to stay in a suite at the Four Seasons for a couple of weeks until Michael finds you a new multi-million dollar condo to buy.

It's hard to watch a show that goes out of its way to make it impossible for the viewer to identify or sympathize with any of the characters. The Realtors are just as douchey as their clients. Michael, whose father is the chairman of one of the biggest real estate brokerages in New York, boasts about his vacation homes in Nantucket and Miami, but has yet to sell a single piece of property himself. Fredrik, a former gay adult film performer from Sweden, tries to poach clients from other brokers and brags about his "one billion dollars in sales last year." And Ryan, a 26 year old failed actor, shaves his forearms and sexually harasses his secretary.  

Real Estate shows aren't really my cup of tea in general, but I get the appeal of programs like House Hunters and Property Virgins. These kinds of shows feature normal(ish) people, and the audience can either relate to them because they've been in their shoes, or aspire to be like them someday. I can't imagine anyone but the most shallow, materialistic viewer would ever aspire to be like the people on Million Dollar Listing New York. Perhaps Bravo is trying to capture a share of that elusive "one-percenter demographic." Me, I think I'll I stick to shows geared toward the lowly 99 percent, like Shahs of Sunset, perhaps.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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