What’s there to say about the stars of “#RichKids of Beverly Hills” that’s not already expressed in the title of their E! Network reality show? Each one’s greatest accomplishment is having hit the genetic lottery, and each one’s greatest delight is in spending Daddy’s Benjamins. Most important, however, is the fact that each one is currently member to a clique of the wealthiest 20-somethings in Hollywoodland. It’s this select group around which “#RichKids” revolves, cataloging joint texts and Instagram selfies as well as individual purchases, status updates and tweets. Ultimately, the show is a direct reflection of the group itself: as flashy as a Mirrorball trophy and as substantial as a Dyson vacuum.
Of course, every self-respecting clique distinguishes its queen bees from its worker bees, and the “#RichKids” are no different. Although the show highlights multiple personalities, it gives special focus to Dorothy Wang, a “funemployed” size-zero who’s supported by her father, a billionaire CEO; and her BFF, Morgan Stewart, a fashion blogger whose father made his fortune designing high-end department stores. Both are self-obsessed half-wits with less of an ability to stand on their own two feet than a squid with one tentacle. To them, opening a wine bottle is “like, the hardest thing ever.” They’re joined by a real estate mogul (Brendan Fitzpatrick), a wannabe-singer (Jonny Drubel), a self-proclaimed “Persian princess” (Roxy Sowlaty) and an aspiring fashion mogul (EJ Johnson). All are well-connected, and that’s all that’s needed to win the battle of getting on air.
Still, it’s not having connections, but the ability to keep making a connection that wins the war of staying on air. And it’s because these “#RichKids” are more suited to mirror-talking than engaging in any real discussion that their show has a shot in hell of surviving. Take the irony of the title as special proof. Hashtags have a specific purpose: to catalog similar conversations between users on social networking sites and facilitate the growth of online communities. However, these “#RichKids” are out to prove one thing: Their conversation is beyond the scope of comparison. For the duration of the program, they’re showing without connecting and making it known that they are indeed superior beings.
Within the show’s first 10 minutes, for example, there are myriad flashes of luxury products, such as Chanel dresses and brand new Ferraris as well as mentions of Berkin bags and Louboutin heels. In the same time frame, two “#RichKids” proudly tell how they get in their cardio by walking down Rodeo Drive with designer bags full of trendy purchases. It should be enough to make viewers—especially full-time students who make near-hourly treks up Bascom Hill with Target-bought backpacks full of textbooks—twinge with envy. Maybe that feeling (and the desire to keep watching) would be sustained if only the “#RichKids” returned to the same footing as their viewers every once in a while.
Even if they did, it’s unlikely that anyone within earshot of the show’s airing would reasonably desire any lifestyle that seems to come with such fixed terms as a nasal blockage during speech and an indefinite, inappropriate attachment to the word “like.” From content to tone, the way in which the “#RichKids” speak fulfills every stereotype in the book. “I like to be within a five mile radius of Barneys at all times,” Dorothy remarks, uttering the words with rising intonation at the end, as if they came together to form a question. After organizing a blood drive, her sales pitch for donating (“Honestly, if you’ve had a needle in your face, you can put a needle in your arm and save three lives”) is less selfless than it is overly self-aware. She admits, “I started donating blood in high school because it was just a way to miss history class.” The sentiment obviously stuck. As she later relates, it’s only because it made others see her as a good person that she continued to donate. Her intent both wasn’t and isn’t to be altruistic, but to be held in others’ esteem.
Ultimately, “#RichKids” is nothing more than a shameless vehicle that enables a select group of self-important do-nothings to flaunt their unearned wealth and appease their insatiable appetites for public attention. Hopefully, viewers will pass up on the opportunity to endorse their endeavor sooner rather than later.
“#RichKids of Beverly Hills” airs Fridays on E! at 9 p.m.