Gallery Girls, Episode Six: An Art Basel Homecoming for Liz and Amy
After five long, eye-rolling, twisty-mouthed episodes teasing a trip to Art Basel, the girls of Gallery Girls finally made their way to Miami in last night's installment. And the result was pretty much what we expected: the Brooklyn girls trying way too hard, Liz Margulies revisiting her daddy drama, and lots of misleading scenic montages trying to convince viewers that Brickell and Coral Gables are located somewhere on South Beach.
But just because we saw it coming doesn't mean it wasn't embarrassingly enjoyable to watch. And the Bravo producers did surprise us with a few gems -- including a photo from Amy Poliakoff's preppy past that basically explains her whole off-putting personality.
Previously: Angela's show was very popular, not so profitable. Maggie's finally fed up with Eli. Liz gave Amy the gift of her brutal honesty. Liz has daddy issues with her high-profile art collector father.
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We kick off the episode with a Sushi Samba dinner with Liz and her mom, in which Liz threatens to force-feed her mother tequila. Mrs. Margulies looks like the kind of reserved person who really goes insane when she's drunk, but since Liz has all that substance abuse in her past, it's probably best that Mama Margulies turns her down.
Instead, we get another rehashing of Liz's feelings of abandonment over her father, who in case you had missed it is a very busy and powerful man in the Miami art scene. She's going to Miami for Art Basel, but worries he won't make time for her. It's a sympathetic story and all, but it's also putting me to sleep.
Next, we go to Sharon's office, where the woman is becoming my personal hero by firing Amy in the most polite, professional, calm, yet firm manner possible. It's like watching an instructional video on how to best terminate a person's employment. And that's extra-impressive, because Amy's doing everything she can to come out on top. First, she makes her I-know-what-you're-talking-about-but-I'm-going-to-pretend-I'm-flabbergasted face, almost like she's going to deny she gave Kerri that extra work in episode five. Then she remembers that Sharon is an omniscient art goddess and will see through that scheme, so she tries to pass it off as a joke. Sharon's not having that either, so Amy curtly thanks her for her educational experiences thus far and leaves the office without a job.
"It didn't matter how hard I worked or what I was going to do. She basically told me that she didn't like my personality. And that is what hurt me most," Amy says. How Amy was able to squeeze a personal insult out of "you broke the rules and delegated work I assigned you" just crystallizes her own broken psyche.
Later, Eli Klein has a pre-Art Basel party at his apartment. Maggie asks Ryan if she looks cute as they head out the door to attend, which is silly, because Ryan's head is full of meat, not opinions about fashion. At the party, Maggie and Ryan run into Eli's brother David, who looks exactly like Eli but more business-smarmy instead of pretentious art gallery owner-smarmy. He's surprised to hear Maggie works at "our gallery." Aaaawkward.
Later, Liz and Maggie spot each other and do the girly, squealy hug thing. I don't use this word ever, about anyone, especially not the girls on this show, but the only word that accurately describes this meeting is: adorbs. Liz has hinted that she and Maggie have a breakup coming later in the season, and I'm hoping it doesn't last long. The only other girl Liz seems to like on this show is Angela, she of the bird outfits and cellphone snobbery and "her gays," and I just can't. Liz invites Angela to the Margulies Collection, snubbing Chantal and Claudia, which of course pisses them off.
Later, on a trip to the Brant Foundation, Amy confesses that she went on a date with Eli once. She says they made out, but Claudia thinks that "they had really dirty sex and then he didn't call her the next day." Other things happened during this segment of the show, including Amy offering to help set up an End of Century pop-up event in Miami during Art Basel, but all of America was too busy blacking out from sheer disgust to notice.
Back at End of Century, Claudia pitches Amy's pop-up idea to Chantal, who says "I don't want any part in it." Claudia tries to make a case for the project, but Chantal starts crying, which so weird and out of character that it makes no sense, even in the senseless universe of Gallery Girls. Claudia, at least, is not having it.
Hey look, it's Kerri! We all forgot you existed. She's headed to Long Island, where she'll talk some more about how much work she's doing. Hard work: It's a noble pursuit, but really crappy entertainment. It's gonna take more than this to wash the visions of Amy and Eli out of our minds, Bravo.
Finally, the girls head to Miami. A scenic montage shows us lots of Art Miami signs, then a sign for South Beach, and then the girls walking into their digs at Brickell Urbano, which is nowhere near South Beach. It really is no wonder every tourist in this town looks so lost.
Claudia, Chantal, and Angela go to the beach in the most hilarious getups we've seen thus far. Angela looks like Morticia Addams in swimwear, and Claudia has this gigantic hat that we imagine she saw someone wearing on an rerun of Miami Vice. And the crazy outfits continue: As they prepare to attend more Basel parties, Angela tells Claudia that in every ensemble she wears, she includes one LAMD: a "look at me device" such as "silly big hats, or pink pants." "Or nipples," Claudia chimes in. Have I mentioned I love this new Claudia?
Later, at Art Basel, Liz and Amy interact like human beings. "I have some sort of heart buried deep down inside here," Liz voice-overs. "I'm not like totally evil and hating her for life." Later, the Brooklyn girls go to Art Miami and there's more discussion of the pop-up, and how Chantal doesn't want to do it, but will probably take credit for everything if it's a success.
Salon outtake! There's one in each episode, for some reason, and this week it's Liz, who heads to M Salon for a hair appointment but gets talked into a waxing session as well. I cannot believe some producer convinced Liz to let the cameras into her bikini wax session. The waxer says, "So, we're gonna do something with your....?" "Va-jay-jay," Liz's stylist chimes in. If your bikini waxer can't say the word "vagina," you probably have a problem, but Liz sticks it out, going all sailor-mouthed when things get painful. The hair-ripping sound alone has us all feeling her pain. As Liz' beautician says, "Shamma-lamma-yank-yank-yank."
At Amy's parents' place in Coral Gables -- which is also not in South Beach, Bravo producers -- we see a similarly intimate, but far less uncomfortable, side of Amy. Claudia, Chantal, and Angela stop by to discuss the pop-up, and unearth a photo of Amy's parents. They wear polo shirts and huge glasses, mom with perfectly styled blonde hair and dad with a distinguished amount of male pattern baldness. They pose with their shi tzu on the deck of their yacht named Lady Carolina. They look like they came straight off the set of Caddyshack.
This, finally, is the moment at which I fully understand Amy. With parents like these, and photos like that to live up to, she could not have turned out any different. It's an honest to god, Oprah-style "a-ha" moment, and it is tragic. Especially as Chantal gets all whiny about the lack of soy milk at the free breakfast Amy prepared for them all, and Amy just sits there smiling like a puppy. Leave Amy alone, you guys!
There's also a whole bit where Claudia tries to smoke her first cigar, and the whole world has already made its lame blowjob jokes about it so I'm just going to leave it there.
Later, the EOC girls settle on Cafeina for their Art Basel pop-up, despite having no walls to hang art nor any budget to rectify that situation. Then they crash the party at Margulies Collection to which they were pointedly not invited by Liz. Claudia says it's like "the Bloods and Crips -- I've crossed over into the wrong land, and I'm going to get shanked." Yes, Claudia, it is just like that. There's some bitchy, passive-aggressive politics, followed by Liz's dad telling her how busy he is. Art Basel's a pretty busy time for art collectors in Miami, so it's not really a shock that he's having trouble scheduling her in at the last minute. But Liz takes it as another sign her father doesn't love her, and geez, this episode has been a real downer, huh?
Coming up next: More Art Basel! EOC's show looks great! But nobody shows up. Maggie and Ryan piss off Liz! (Nooooooo!) Amy's getting evicted! And more crying with Claudia over EOC's money troubles.
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