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Scott D. Pierce: The CW's 'High Society' is about as low as you can go

Published: Wednesday, March 10 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Tinsley Mortimer is the "star" of The CW's "High Society."

Jsquared Photography, The CW

High Society" is absolutely reprehensible, and everyone at The CW should be totally ashamed for putting it on the air.

The professed goal of this network is to appeal to female viewers in their teens and 20s. And this show goes out of its way to glorify horrible people behaving in horrible ways.

It's a bad show, but that's not the worst of it. It's just plain irresponsible.

The CW calls "High Society" (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., Ch. 30) a "docu-series," but it should in no way be confused with a documentary. It's an exercise in self-indulgence that follows the adventures of Tinsley Mortimer. She is, we're assured, "New York's most talked-about 'Park Avenue Princess.' "

In other words, she's not famous for anything other than being famous. Which, in this post-Paris Hilton world we live in, is thought to be enough in some quarters.

In the first couple of episodes, Tinsley doesn't seem like a bad sort. We're supposed to feel sorry for her because she's in the midst of divorcing her ?ber-rich husband, Topper.

(He's obviously not happy about this show. When he appears, his face is digitally blurred — he didn't sign the release.)

Tinsley doesn't seem like the smartest socialite in town, but she's portrayed as a nice young woman. Of course, she's also an executive producer of "High Society," so do you think she'd be portrayed any other way?

It's the people around her who run the gamut from bad to worse. Two in particular are pretty much Satan spawn.

Paul Johnson Calderon — labeled a "Page Six scandal boy" — proudly displays his substance abuse.

"I've been to rehab twice. I'm still drinking," he says. "I do whatever I want."

He's also a thief and a liar. He wheedles $25,000 out of his mother — whom he calls "Mussolini" to her face — and then proceeds to blow it on ridiculous excess.

Calderon is in a feud with Jules Kirby, who's described as a "trust fund partier." And she's a piece of work.

In Wednesday's premiere, she tells viewers, "My friends do tend not to be homosexuals, fat or Jewish people and black guys. And I only like white guys.

"I use the N-word sometimes, and I really think it should be OK to say."

Jules adds, "My dream is to work for the United Nations."

According to Paul, "Jules faked cancer because her parents had cut her off and she needed money."

And she mistreats people left and right.

Jules and Paul are horrible, horrible people who are getting their slice of fame because they're horrible, horrible people. Courtesy of The CW.

They're not the only ones, though. Tinsley's mother, Dale, is a horror. She's awful to her daughter — clumsily trying to reunite Tinsley with Topper in the most awkward, insensitive ways.

And she, too, is a bigot. She thinks it's "tragic" that Tinsley is dating Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, but not because he's a jerk.

(And he is seen acting like a giant jerk in the second episode of "High Society.")

No, dear old Mommy has another reason to dislike Casimir.

"I know that the German people are lovely people," she says. "But, let's face it — their history, it's not good."

"High Society" isn't even trashy fun, it's just trash. And it proves that money can't buy class. Or even simple decency.

But it does prove that if you're an awful human being, you stand a better chance of ending up on TV.

Great message. Gee, thanks, CW.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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