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MTV’s Downtown Girls stars five twenty- and thirty-something real life women impersonating various degrees of Sex and the City stereotypes. Watching the program produces the same sort of malaise a marathon of The Hills might, which makes sense, since both shows are essentially teaching young women the same things about themselves: Put a lot of money into your wardrobe and you’ll still end up with crappy relationships. On this week’s episode, cast member Victoria Eisner, who is straight, “decided” she wanted to go on a lesbian date. And by “decided,” we mean, “Producers told her to do it while cameras rolled.”
Because men suck so much, why not date women? So goes the thinking of this crafted plot line. And it’s not entirely out of left field; I have a couple forty- and fifty-something lesbian friends who, after growing tired of dating men, OR WHATEVER, found themselves in love with a lady. And I really like the idea of MTV putting it out there that young gals should be totally comfortable seeing if there’s something else out there besides heterosexuality.
But seeing it played out on a reality show that is clearly manufactured — and c’mon, don’t play stupid and insist the scenes on this show aren’t orchestrated by writers — seems a little … cheap?
And then I start thinking, Who am I to judge what a straight gal wants to do with her romantic life? Try out the girl-on-girl thing. Maybe it’ll stick, maybe it won’t. Sexuality is fluid, particularly when alcohol (and television cameras) are rolling.