I caught last night's two episodes (new in the US) on the DVR. One apparent success story and one not so successful.Nicole
(another Nicole, is this Nicole No 2, 3 or 4 for this show?) had a serious shopping addiction. It was very clear that she got a big endorphin kick from shopping - online or in stores. She had a higher-than-average income for this show; at age 25, as an office manager. she earned $55K annually. Which was a nice change from the more typical princess subjects who've earned from zip to maybe at most $35K, but usually something like $11K to $25K.
Nicole was one of the more mature (or less immature) subjects, who seemed to have some insight into her own behavior. She also had a serious (and apparently somewhat new) girlfriend who despite her infatuation was tiring of being Nicole's Sugar Mama. There's also a "friend," who was a second "Sugar Mama," and I don't get it. This "friend" apparently has opened her own wallet to finance some of Nicole's extravagant shopping, like hundreds of dollars at a pop in a store, for stuff Nicole doesn't need. (I kept thinking, friends with benefits, or that the friend was carrying a torch for Nicole.) And as usual Nicole has maxed out her own mother's credit card.
I was dubious, but by the end of the episode, Nicole had stopped her "retail therapy," unloaded a ton of unused clothing (donated to charity what was left after her sisters had gone through it and taken their pick of stuff), and apparently quit freeloading off her two "Sugar Mamas." I felt I was watching adults interact on that episode. And kind of interesting adults at that.
Then the second episode. Ariana
, the 20 year old University dropout. What a waste of space. I'm no mental health expert, but her self-absorption, lack of empathy, dishonesty, manipulation skills, and lack of conscience all whisper "sociopath!!" to me. She spent her parents' money extravagantly (mostly with their consent but not always), to the extent that her younger brother and sister will probably have to find college funding elsewhere than their parents (this STUNNED me). She is neither working nor in school, sleeps late, hangs around the house, and thinks that keeping her own room clean is sufficient contribution to the household on her part.
Her head was so firmly up her own rear end, that as she went through some of the motions to respond to Gail's challenges, you could see that it was an empty game to her.
Gail took her car keys (very nice car, paid for of course by the 'rents) and handed her a bus pass. In front of Mom, whose voiceover said with some alarm, how much Ariana hated taking public transportation. It was so clear just by that, what a sure hand Ariana has as she works her mom like a puppet to get what she wants.
I was damn near cheering when at the end, Gail slammed the little Princess good and proper for her failure to change, and handed over three checks, each payable to one of Ariana's siblings for $1000, to cover Ariana's theretofore empty promise to pay them back at least symbolically for her pillaging the family's resources to their detriment. It was also quite interesting to see the shock on Ariana's mom's face in that final scene when Gail said words to the effect of "She [Ariana] is quite the manipulator, isn't she?" - and then Gail went on to call out Ariana's dishonesty as to applying for work, lazy attitude about the volunteer work she was supposed to do if she couldn't get a job, etc.
I figure Ariana will continue to manipulate her way through life. She's a low-energy type (no career ambitions or the like), so all she needs to do is just keep finding people to provide the money so she can sleep late and shop and drive around in a nice car. She's almost sucked her family of origin dry, although her mother is still firmly under Ariana's control. I'd love to see a follow-up program on her in a few years.
Edited by Suz at Large, Jun 3, 2012 @ 6:20 AM.