There’s only one way to react to Ultra Rich Asian Girls and it’s as predictable, vapid, and boring as the stars of the show. Well, almost.
I’ve never been one of those people who orchestrate feelings of intellectual superiority when it comes to reality programs featuring the rich and beautiful. “They’ve got every advantage in the world,” these people tell themselves, “And yet they still come across as idiots. How stupid must they be!?”
It’s all jealousy, of course. There is little more galling than when someone has simply everything that you don’t. Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian: Not only are they more attractive than we are, but they’ve also spun that natural advantage into enviable levels of wealth. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. There are many beautiful people but only a few who can demand $2.7 million to be terrible at something.
But just as we shouldn’t easily dismiss the achievements of certain breakout stars, on the flipside, just because a cast is rich and beautiful does not, on its own, good television make. And in Ultra Rich Asian Girls, a Canadian webseries that has found its way onto YouTube, we are presented with 13-minute episodes of exhaustingly glib and uncharismatic ammunition to those reality naysayers.
The success of any reality television show is down entirely to casting—say what you like about Hilton but she always knew her way around a catchphrase—and editing (see: America’s Next Top Model’s unflattering sound effects); both of which are terrible here. The girls have barely met each other before so there are bound to be lulls in conversation but must we linger over every conversational dead-end? This, coupled with an odd sound palate and clunkily-constructed reaction shots mean that our “rich Asians” have tons of ground to make up.
And that’s before we even consider our “stars.” They are horrible. “If I’m beef, I’m wagyu,” begins one of the girls in her attempt to be both boastful and poetic, by comparing herself to meat that is genetically predisposed to intense fat marbling. “We are not limiting ourselves with other people’s standards and we look amazing while doing it,” says Flo.Z, as she drinks wine through a straw. “My goal is to depend on my strength,” elusively remarks CocoParis, who named herself after a rabbit in a book. Later, in the episode’s high point, she is unable to open a bottle.
There’s no denying that there is a certain, morbid satisfaction from watching these people. They are comfortingly average and the waves of jealousy one may expect to arrive after you read the title of the program are never allowed to intrude; blocked time and time again by the lack of enjoyment they are having. It may well be that it has something to do with how the girls live somewhat culturally vacuum-packed lives, and that this is isolating for the viewer. The show apparently takes place in Canada, but really could be anywhere; the girls mostly talk Mandarin to each other and only seem to frequent places where their language is accommodated.
Frankly though, I’m starting to make this sound more interesting than it is. It is tremendously boring and is simply a chore to watch. It is a case where the naysayers of the format have it right—the stars of Ultra Rich Asian Girls are idiots.
Screengrab via HBICTV/YouTube