Oh, Gallery Girls. We hardly knew ye. In just eight episodes, you wowed us with your hipsterness, entertained us with your twisty mouths and your bird couture, and annoyed us with your French press coffee and your senses of entitlement.
But did we really know you at all? Last night's finale suggests we did not.
Hey, y'know what I'm not going to miss about this show? Its theme music.
For one final, bittersweet time, we fake lomography our way into coffee with Maggie and Amy, and already this is too weird. Have we seen Maggie speak to Amy ever? It's the two ends of the Gallery Girls spectrum -- the most and least emotive people on the show -- in the same place, and acting civil to each other, and I think maybe the Mayans were right about 2012.
Maggie apologizes for being cold to Amy. Apocalypse confirmed.
Over at EOC, Claudia's increasingly frustrated with her business partners. They are once again discussing money (yawn), and Claudia finally stands up for herself. Badass Claudia's back! But then there's a weepy confessional from her immediately following -- "I thought they were my friends!" -- and I thought it was just a fluke. Little did I know what was coming.
Bizarre clothing change scene featuring Angela. I hadn't noticed until I read this post, but wow, we see a lot of the Gallery Girls in bras, don't we? It's not especially sexy or even presented as exploitative -- it's just regular (well, relatively regular) girls dressing themselves. Why, Bravo?
Anyway, next Maggie gets a job interview -- as in, an interview for an actual paying job -- at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery. This will not go well for Maggie, despite the dazzling work of performance art that is her twistymouth. Earlier this week, ArtInfo learned that Amy got a job at the same gallery. I was all excited to watch Amy sabotage Maggie's chances or some other crazy reality show drama. Little did I know what was coming.
Claudia meets with Angela for drinks and to vent about Chantal. She goes off about how Chantal is a pathological liar and ditched her for Paris and doesn't care about all the money Claudia invested in EOC. Angela has news of her own: She bought a Givenchy handbag! She announces this with the excitement normal people reserve for having a baby or winning the lottery. Claudia's not having it. She's thinking of leaving EOC, and taking her money with her, which would essentially close the store.
Why not let Chantal keep running the place, Angela asks? To which Claudia answers, "I think I would want to see it burn." The look in her eyes suggests she's speaking literally; I think I saw actual flames reflected in her eyes. Badass Claudia's back! I immediately fantasized about a Dexter-esque scene where she douses the place in gasoline, giggling to herself the whole time, muttering about red lipstick and "where's your yoga now." Little did I know what was coming.
Next, it's Maggie's trial day at Bernarducci Meisel, and girl is blowing it. She says she studied modern art in school, but after a tour of the gallery, she can't even recall the names of the two exhibits it's showing. When the gallery owner sends her into his office to retrieve business cards, she can't find them and returns empty-handed. And she can't operate the espresso machine, which seems like not a big deal, but the story editing makes it seem like this is the greatest flaw a Gallery Girl could possibly possess.
The gallery owners, meanwhile, go into mean girl mode and make fun of her behind her back. If only they knew Maggie! She can mean girl with the best of them. Also, I pray for poor, sensitive, needy Amy, who only wants to be loved and would probably have a full-on meltdown if she learned her boss was rolling his eyes at her.
Hey, remember Kerri? Me neither. She's still working. Zzzz.
Predictably, Angela reports the details of her bitchfest with Claudia to Chantal. Chantal cries, but she's also drunk, having happily declared earlier "I have a drinking problem." Yes, alcoholism is hilarious!
Snark aside, there's enough material in this season of Gallery Girls for an entire thesis on substance abuse issues. Liz has a history of abuse, which has caused problems when Maggie and Amy have gotten drunk around her. We've seen Chantal falling off chairs and being too hungover to work at EOC. We've seen Claudia and Angela buying drinks instead of saving up for their business ventures (or just to fix the cracked screens on their iPhones). Look, I'm not saying it would be a thesis worthy of writing, I'm just saying the ingredients are there.
Okay, Bravo. We're almost halfway through the show now, and Liz has had exactly zero screen time. Unacceptable.
Amy calls Bernarducci Meisel Gallery to follow up on her resume, and when she identifies herself, I learn that I've been mispronouncing her last name for the last two months. It's PO-lo-koff, not the way more difficult phonetic way I'd been saying it. Oops.
Maggie, not seeing into the future like we do, quits her unpaid internship at Eli's. This would be more of an "oh no" moment if she were actually giving up something valuable, but it's a dead-end payless internship with a smarmy, low-level perv. You'll be happier unemployed, Maggie.
Claudia goes to Chantal's apartment and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SHE'S GOING TO BURN THE PLACE DOWN. Sorry, no, that was just my Badass Claudia fantasy. She's actually going to sit and have a rational talk with Chantal, which is less exciting. The line Bravo's been teasing -- "It's one thing to work really hard, and it's another thing to be totally out of your mind" -- isn't actually the harsh put-down it sounds like when it's said in context. She's just saying they're all out of their minds to think that the business could get on its feet financially. Disappointing. She should've brought gasoline.
Chantal's apartment, by the way, is the saddest of all the Gallery Girls' apartments. It's tiny and cramped and barren inside, like Chantal's very heart.
Amy gets an extra-Fawcetty haircut for her trial day at Bernarducci Meisel. She takes notes. She makes coffee. She poses for a staff photo, though we don't see her using any props like the one in the photo that's on Bernarducci Meisel's staff page right now. Amy gets the job, gets genuinely adorable and squeal-y in her excitement about it, and just when I've decided she's my new favorite gallery girl, she says "Baller!" and my whole face implodes with defeat.
Forty-five minutes into this hourlong show, we finally see Liz. She's attending an opening at Eli's gallery, but not socializing at all with any of her co-stars. Maybe she considers them a threat to her sobriety, but it's still pretty rude of her to talk shit about Maggie and her boyfriend Ryan behind their backs. Ryan says hi to Liz, and she acts as if he just took a dump on her shoes. I'm so disappointed in her that I feel like Angela's dad.
The next day, Maggie shows up at Bernarducci Meisel because nobody told her that they're not giving her a job. Seriously, what kind of jerks are running this place? Amy's sitting behind the counter and looking genuinely mortified at the whole situation. Bernarducci tells Maggie that she seemed unenthusiastic and not that interested in a job in the art world, and Maggie, uh, does not take it well. She immediately starts crying, and her baby voice reaches way up into the highest octaves, and basically she's just a mess. It's a relief for us all when she gathers up her coat and goes to cry with Amy.
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Remember the series finale of Six Feet Under -- the montage of scenes showing each character and how they ended up? The end of Gallery Girls is just like that, by which I mean it ends with sad music. We see lonely Liz leaving a message for her dad on the phone; Kerri talking to Sharon about -- guess what -- how overworked she is; Maggie riding in a cab home from her firing; Amy happily at work; Angela taking photos; Chantal drinking somewhere; and Claudia closing up EOC. Exactly zero questions have been answered, exactly zero issues resolved. Because this is life, man, and it's not always so cut-and-dry.
"And also because this show's sooo not getting renewed so why try." --Bravo