Like you, we watched the premiere of Stylista last night. And probably like you, we were left... unsettled.
Can we be frank? Good. Because this is getting kind of weird. It was all fun and games when Nina Garcia decided to be a judge on a show that used to be genuinely good, and all she did was give her professional opinion while sitting neat and tidy in her director's chair, occasionally trading jokes with Michael and Heidi, which was cute.
Then when Kelly Cutrone joined the Hills cast, it was just like "ha ha" cool, because, after all, she is a publicist - as in, publicist - and she truly did not attempt to act any differently than she does in real life, which on MTV, is admirable. (We're not even touching The Fashionista Diaries at this time - and ANTM never felt shocking since the judges on the show are hardly industry members anyway.)
But now what was once fun and games has hit a bona fide fever pitch, with the Style Channel's new The Stylist, MTV's Model Makers, and of course, Whitney Port's new spinoff, The City, in which she works for an actual designer who'll probably be on camera a total of ten seconds by season's end. But we doubt any of these will hit home the way Stylista did last night.
Because the thing is, everyone knows these people. You've either seen them out, seen their work, worked with them or maybe for them, and you definitely know what they actually walk / talk / look / dress like, so watching them play their own caricature was a little like seeing your little sister's Facebook - disturbing.
(And can we just add here that when it came out that contestant Megan is co-owner of Addict on 12th St, we literally involuntarily yelled, "WHAT?!" to the screen.)
No one expects reality television to be real, so these real, recognized people with real jobs playing their tele-real versions is kind of like getting robbed in your home - you can't believe it's happening, and you keep asking yourself, "is this really happening?" Because dear reader, it's not. At least, not really.