Aspiring fashionista Whitney Port may be sufficiently blond and likable to pass as a reality TV star. But everyone agrees she's no Lauren Conrad.
That may be trouble, not only for Port's fledgling show, The City, a spinoff of the hugely successful The Hills, but for the whole documentary-soap genre that Lauren and her cohorts pioneered, according to the UK's Globe and Mail.
Lauren Conrad will return for her fifth season of The Hills this spring, but her show is clearly nearing an end: Last fall's Season Four ratings were down 25 percent, and LC herself has indicated she may be tiring of being filmed.
Therefore, The City, which was renewed for a second season this week, may hold the future of MTV's flagship franchise in its fumbling little hands.
The new show has certainly struggled to keep the format alive.
Last week, Whitney Port and her gang were getting together at an art opening, knowing that model Alli would be in the same room with the same woman who had allegedly kissed her boyfriend while she was out of town on a fashion shoot.
But as Whitney dutifully discussed the tense situation with her colleague at DVF, Olivia Palermo, and then with her Aussie rocker boyfriend, Jay Lyon, nobody really seemed all that interested in this manufactured City crisis.
Moreover, Olivia Palermo even interrupted Port midstream to tell her this was, like, TMI, a ghastly faux pas in this celebrity gossip-dependent genre.
âJay doesn't know why [Whitney Port] cares, and Olivia doesn't care at all,â offered Jessi Cruickshank, co-host of The After Show, an MTV Canada series devoted to dissecting the lives of the apparently real people on these youth soaps.
So can MTV trust Whitney Port to carry this show - and people to watch?