This week on Kell on Earth, everyone’s still stressed out and overwhelmed but all they’re very empowered about it. This was actually the best episode yet. We have a lot to cover!
It’s called Vicodin.
Nighttime in the city – sometimes I really miss that place. Kelly and her lackeys, Emily and Robyn head out for cocktails to celebrate the end of NYC fashion week. And to tell us that London fashion week is right around the corner, so it’s really fashion month. Because Kelly’s there, no one dares whine about how stressed out or overwhelmed they are. They do compare how many unread emails they have on their Blackberries, because everyone knows the more people you don’t bother replying to, the more important you are.
“It’s weird to look at us at the table ’cause we look like power bitches with our Blackberries,” Kelly brags. Nothing screams POWER like leggings, t-shirts and greasy hair. And my housekeeper, who takes the bus to her toilet scrubbing job, also has a Blackberry. Cache’s not really there like it used to be. “This is why guys don’t like to go out with us,” says Kelly. Well, it could be that, or it could be that you look like shit and proudly identify yourself as mega-bitches.
Without the phone they’d be knocking down your doors, ladies.
Although, I did appreciate the moment away from the office, because two seconds later, we’re back at the office and hearing from the minions about what “like, a huge deal” something they’re doing is. It turns out to be a party hosted by a company called Alternative Apparel. It’s only because of my adoration for Kelly that they get name checked in the recap. Kelly informs us that they’re a huge brand worldwide. They make t-shirts, which is very, very special work that no one else on earth does. But, because they’re Kelly’s client, we get the whole speech about how important they are. I was listening, I really was…but they’re fucking t-shirts. Anyway.
They have once again made Steph V. the captain of the team, which means we are once again hearing from every, single person in the office how inept she is and how she keeps messing things up. Emily has taken up her very favorite activity, yelling at Steph V. No one likes how she does things, but they just keep giving her more to do. Finally, after listening to Emily bitch at Steph for long enough without getting anything at all resolved, Kelly once again saves the day by asking Steph V. if she needs help. “I’m a good delegator,” Kelly offers.
This is so HAAARD!
But of course all Steph V. wants to do is whine that she’s overworked and overwhelmed and working in a fashion sweatshop. Steph insists that she’s already done the delegating, some intern named Elide insists that she’s done the work Steph gave her to do…and yet, nothing’s done. We’re in for another lashing from Kelly. Grab your popcorn. “I want to make this clear about seniority. I see girls dressed pretty and running around, you seem happy and healthy and the senior staff doesn’t. I don’t need my girls getting burned out on basic shit,” she announces to the office. I don’t really notice Steph V.’s response to this, but the intern Elide seems a little flippant about it. “Sure, sure,” she says.
Well, somehow Kelly makes it out of the office and to the Alternative Apparel event, which is “out of the city” she tells us, but is no more specific than that. She takes a helicopter to the elusive destination – which I’m sure is going to be the Hamptons, because where else would a guy who sells glorified t-shirts throw a bash? She takes her writer with her on the chopper, because she is writing a book, she tells us. First of all, we already know that. But second, she didn’t write it herself? And third, and most important, she tells us the book is for “empowered young women. Like the girls that we raise at People’s Revolution.” Is she serious? Since when did whining about how stressful everything is and thinking being a bitch to people is the only way to get things done become “being empowered”? Maybe I need to write a book.
True self empowerment is having the power to hire other people so you don’t have to write books yourself.
And so, off to the event we go, which is indeed in the Hamptons, and Steph V. wastes no time grabbing herself a glass of champers and chatting with some other pretty young things about how pale she is. Omg, like, I have to be inside an office all day and there’s like, no time to tan! It’s so stressful! And overwhelming!
Kelly is running around in a tribal headdress, which she should wear every day. It totally fits her. She spies Steph V. having fun, and is not happy. She tells us that partying’s a real temptation in fashion, and the only way to make it in the business is to not be taken down by it. “We bring staff to service us. You need to be able to hold your liquor and keep your dress on,” she tells us. Well, that’s good actually excellent advice for empowerment. Too bad no one on her team takes it.
Back at the office, Ativan Andrew is tasked with booking some ticket, and Robyn needs to know as soon as it’s done because it’s very, very important. I don’t know what Robyn’s doing in that closet she lives in, but I have a feeling she might be the ringleader of a band of homeless children who she sends to the Dollar Store to steal makeup and then draw it on her. The printer in the office is broken, and it’s up to the Andrews to fix it. It just occurred to me that the really sucky thing about working in fashion is no straight guys to fix office equipment.
This can’t end well.
And let’s take a moment to appreciate their ensembles – Ativan Andrew is wearing a yellow, lumberjack shirt and Goth Andrew is in overalls. It’s Deliverance meets pharmaceutical cocaine. Goth tells us that while the whole ‘misery loves company thing’ has ultimately brought them together, at first he wasn’t really a fan of Ativan – Ativan’s got Britney Spears lyrics tattooed on his arms, for crying out loud. I think he’s joking, cause Goth Andrew’s kind of droll and witty, but then Ativan pops on the screen to proudly show us “Stronger than yesterday” on one forearm and “Nothing but my way” on the other one. Sadly for me, I can confirm that these are indeed lyrics from a Britney song. I’m all WTF-ing just like you are, but I have to tell you, there’s something about Ativan that I like. If I can be more descriptive about what exactly that might be, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, let’s just relax and thoroughly enjoy the spectacle of two gay guys in farmer clothes trying to fix a printer.
Empowering arm tattoos seen only when being held up at gunpoint.
Two days after the Hamptons post-fashion week event – sorry, only one plug per episode – Kelly returns to the office in what she describes as “some really cheap beach tone”. She does look slightly further away from death with some color on her face. And there’s scandal! The Page Six kind! Finally! Someone at the hotel where they were staying stole some liquor, and got caught. And it turns out that the troublemaker is someone intern Elide knows. Steph V. tells us that now she’s in a bind, because Elide actually told her that the guy stole the stuff, and it’s kind of vague, but it seems like Elide might have been in on it too. Or at least knew about it.
“Oh, I was hanging out with my two friends and he was there,” is flip Elide’s explanation of the theft. Robyn’s all over this one. First she snaps about how embarrassing it is. Elide says she’s so sorry. Then Robyn tells her, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and flounces out of the room like a…well, like a girl. Sorry, ladies. We’ve all done it. But only the really empowered ones do it at work.
Then it’s time to get Emily involved in the drama, which has now overtaken any work that was being done. In my perfect world, Kelly would have just been like, “Unacceptable. You’re fired. Please leave now.” Oh, but I spoke too soon! Upon hearing the saga of the intern who used a professional opportunity to help some thugs rob a hotel – and some really stupid thugs too, according to Page Six, they were caught red-handed on camera – Emily says they’d be better off without her. “But she’s twenty-two,” Robyn waffles. Tough shit. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Emily doesn’t waver.
You really think I’d go the whole recap without showing you the overalls?
They bring it to Kelly who votes yes on firing the stupid intern, but tells them they have to do it themselves because she’s going to a Jonas Brothers concert with Ava. It’s really too cute. “It’s not working out, really,” Robyn feebly informs her. Kelly points out that Steph V. can’t get good assistants. That is a problem. Ava stops by on her way to the big JoBro event, and Elide sucks up to the boss’s kid with some swedish fish. Although swedish fish are awesome, she’s still fired. Kelly explains to Ava, “I know you like her, but it was too much energy for her.” Ava doesn’t really care. There will surely be another intern with poor work quality and a drawer full of candy. Ava’s no dummy.
And then it’s time for the big dramatic termination meeting. Elide is told to come up to the 5th floor which I guess is the important floor? Everyone stops what they’re doing to watch. Dead Intern Walking. “Kelly trusts our decisions,” Robyn / Emily brags. Seriously, she’s an intern. You don’t even have to inform payroll. Does it have to be such a production? It’s reality television, it’s entertainment, I know, I know, but I’m pretty sure this is how they would have dragged it out even if the cameras weren’t there. You know who Robyn is starting to remind me of? Dwight, from The Office.
“So, we need to discuss what happened,” Dwight tells Elide. And by discuss, she means spend a long time telling Elide in a really condescending way what she did wrong. Elide tries to save herself, but ends up even further down the well of fallen fashion interns by trying to lie her way out of it and telling Dwight / Emily that everyone is under the mistaken impression that she was the one who brought the thugs to the hotel, but it was actually a huge cluster of drunk morons stumbling through the door of the hotel where PR was paying the bill, and she just got caught up in the shuffle. Heehee. Just a silly misunderstanding.
No one trained me to not steal booze.
Robyn proves herself not completely incompetent by correctly pointing out the simple fact that being one of the drunk morons coming in at 7 am during a work event is reason enough alone for her to go. “Well, I made a bad decision. I take responsibility for it.” Ahhhh, a graduate of the Steph V. School of But I Wasn’t Trained. “This was work, it wasn’t a social experience,” Robyn tells her, impressing me with her professionalism for once, only to completely ruin the impression two seconds later with an “I just don’t think we can continue having you work here?” I’m sorry, was that a question? And “you don’t think”? Well, are you certain? Are you awaiting Elide’s approval on her own firing?
“It is what it is,” pipes in Emily. Wow, thanks for taking time out of you day to provide that brilliant insight. “We just can’t keep you here,” says Robyn. Oh, now she’s sure. This is such an empowered firing. They send Elide downstairs, where Robyn then meekly (how else?) inquires if she can help Elide pack up her stuff. Elide acts too cool to care about any of it. Steph Skinner says Elide got what she deserved. Steph V. protests Elide’s innocence, declaring it all a case of wrong place, wrong time.
And, so begins the fall of Steph V. It start with some ominous spelling mistakes. On a list, naturally. Steph V. tells us she feels it in her gut that a lot of people are mad at her. Well, they’re not really trying to hide it, but if it makes her feel better to think she’s intuitive then fine. People’s Revolution is not for the meek, it’s a fast paced business says Kelly.
Steph V., adorable in a summery yellow dress, which is of course a big part of the problem, heads into some closet that may or may not be Robyn’s hobbit nest, and calls her parents for advice. I will be honest, I feel for Steph V. She was in over her head, which wasn’t totally her fault because whatever line she sold them on, they fell for. As Kelly pointed out in the case of Steph V. hiring Elide, it’s important to make good hires. So, in that respect it wasn’t all Steph V.’s fault. And she did stick it out for a little while, knowing everyone hated her. That takes guts.
This is the part where we train you on how to get your ass fired.
Then Steph V. tells us that she works hard and she’s intelligent. Now she’s losing me. She tells us nobody could have survived this unless you were Superman who took amphetamines all day. Or don’t mind looking like death disguised as Steph Skinner. Finally, she has made her decision. She heads out of the closet and over to Robyn / Emily to tell them that she knows she’s getting fired, so she’s just going to make a list so everything’s done. “Never in my career,” says the aghast Emily. What, quit before you could fire ‘em? Hahaha, I’ve done that and it feels great! Go Steph V.
As far as I’m concerned, game set match Steph V., but Emily’s going to make a last ditch power play. Or, should I say, an empowered play. “I’d rather talk all together after Robyn gets off the phone,” she tells Steph V. Talk all you want honey, she still quit on your ass. “She knew she was close to the chopping block,” Emily grasps desperately. Yeaaaaah….but she chopped you off first. Of course there’s the case of the lost unemployment compensation, but it looks like Steph V.’s got rich parents.
Our unlikely hero Steph V. gets into a conference room with Emily and Robyn, who are reeling from the lost opportunity to play Mrs. Big Pants and fire her. And off they go. You should have been hired as an assistant, they tell her. Well, whose fault is that? They say she misrepresented her qualifications. Well, you bought it. They tell her that because of her ineptitude, everything spun out of control and made it worse for them. Then they whine that they had no support system. Then they tell her accusingly that they told her it was a high pressure job. Steph V. just sits there in her yellow frock and lets them have their moment. What does she care? She already quit. Before they fired her.
Are you guys done? Cuz I still quit. I can let you rehire me and fire me properly if it’ll make you feel better but that will require paperwork and you know how I am with that.
But Emily STILL refuses to accept it. “It’s not working out,” she sniffs to Steph V. Ummmm, yeah she covered that already when she quit, remember? Get it though your head sister. You’re not going to get to fire her. “We had a lot of high hopes for you. I think you’re a good person,” Robyn / Emily simpers. And Steph V. doesn’t lose her cool. “I’m sorry for the way things ended,” she says in, ironically, the most professional moment of her tenure. “Okay, I have to go,” says Robyn snottily as she makes another empowered teenage exit from the room.
Kelly, who does seem fond of Steph V. personally tells her she’ll make sure she gets paid for the day. But she was onboard with the firing. “She can’t handle it,” she says simply. Immediately, Steph Skinner’s up on her high horse, announcing to the office that all Steph V.’s calls are to be directed to her. I could never, ever work with all girls.
And with Steph V. out of the picture, it’s time for London Fashion Week. Kelly tells us they’re consulting for the London Fashion Council, and also working on some fashion shows. Kelly packing method is called “Like, Throwing A Bunch Of Shit In Bags And Winging It” says Goth Andrew. She only cares that she has enough black t-shirts. She reminds Ava about her list of chores, and then calls her out of fake crying when she leaves. Then she tells us, “It’s hard to leave now, but when they’re two it’s not such a displeasure to leave the house.”
The girl who cries under pressure celebrates getting more work heaped on her. Moron.
And finally we hear about Kelly’s Baby Daddy. She tells Ava she’ll be seeing him, and tells us that she fell madly in love with him, which was awesome, but now she just sees him in London every once in a while. As she leaves the office, she tells the staff to “make it drama free”. She points out that all the dead weight has already been fired. Sorry, but to be accurate, half of it was fired, the other half quit.
It’s very quiet once Kelly & Co. leave. Steph, Goth Andrew and some girl named Michelle I think are on a conference call with each other, complaining about how – all together now, and I want some harmonies cause heaven knows we’ve practiced 1,000 times – overwhelming and stressful it all is. Then, and this is classic, they complain about Steph V. being gone because now the workload tripled. I’m confused. When she was there, she wasn’t doing anything but when she left the workload tripled? Show me in an equation how that works.
The conference call then trashes the partners. “They left, like, the country. I mean, is that a joke?” No, it’s an opportunity to be a grown up worker. Do you want to try that? They talk about how they’re going to live on cookies for the next few weeks, which sounds like a fine plan to me. Then we move to Ativan Andrew, who doesn’t seem to be in tight with the Goth / Steph V. crew, and he’s, you know it, stressed out! Although, Robyn did kind of leave him with a ridiculous task – to get a lot of last minute tickets to the London shows. Wouldn’t this be where a partner’s clout might come in handy?
“All the lists are closed, there’s no tickets and it’s going to be all my fault. I’m literally gonna have an anxiety attack,” moans Ativan, and now he’s starting to cry a little. Since Kelly’s not there, he doesn’t have to go outside. There’s more babbling about how haaaaard it is to be an assistant, and how everyone cracks. Steph Skinner laughs at the bronzer running down his face. Nice. When she was crying, he offered her pills and did her hair. “You have to pull yourself together,” she tells him through eggplant lipstick smeared all over her face.
If you don’t want to hit this girl in the head with a dodge ball, you’re not paying attention.
In London, Kelly tells us that they have no downtime in her business, so they have to do “disco nap vacations. We work hard, we play hard.” And then we meet Ava’s Dad, Olario. He’s pretty hot. Kelly tells us they met in Paris, he moved to New York, they had a daughter, broke up, but oh well at least now they get to have the charming European Daddy. Cool. They call Ava, but it’s morning in New York and she’s a grumpy morning person. Kelly tells us Olario is too. Robyn seems to have already met Olario, and she breaks out her super phony “Hiiiiiii!”, but Emily looks like a first timer and is practically drooling over him.
“Ava is my greatest love. She’s very sensitive, it’s fun to talk to her ’cause she’s really smart,” Olario tells us, as though he’s reading from a therapy assignment, Why I Love My Daughter. Back at the office, Steph Skinner is in charge and once again reminding us about how terminally busy she is. Goth Andrew is in charge of hiring new staff. “I really don’t know about this,” he says, like he says about everything. We see a montage of a lot of those girls Kelly told us about when she told the story of hiring Goth Andrew, the “I don’t have any experience, but I’m really excited!” variety. Basically, a bunch of new Steph V.’s. You really can’t blame Kelly for going with the ballgown with bondage jewelry. Since none of them know what they they’re doing anyway, may as well hire someone interesting.
There was one girl who seemed like she knew what she was talking about, and Andrew offers her at the job. Steph Skinner, who was obviously paying lots of attention when Emily fired Steph V. after Steph V. quit, gives Goth the okay to hire the girl he just hired. “She knows a lot, more than me,” he admits. Well, I mean, come on.
Never met a button he liked.
Back to London! Kelly’s working with Henry Holland. Never heard of him. But that’s why Kelly’s there, to get him some American press. She tell us he’s “Jimmy Stewart meets Dennis the Menace with a bow tie.” She calls his designs “bright, poppy and quirky, a lot like him.” Henry’s show is in a cathedral. Wow, sounds kind of sacrilegious. I didn’t realize the Pope was so hard up for cash. Kelly reminds us how life or death the cathedral show is for Henry.
In New York – “You have to listen to this!” declares Steph V. as she plays on the internet. She’s reading someone’s Twitter, that she found when she searched for People’s Revolution. It includes tweets like, “I know I have this!” and “Going up the elevator in PR now! Keep you posted!” culminating with “I’m part of the cast!” The author is the girl they hired twenty minutes prior. Okay, this might be the most stupid aspiring publicist alive. And having spent weeks watching Steph V. and her team of inept interns screw up envelope stamping, that’s saying a lot.
Steph Skinner’s not okay with this at all. “We deal with high profile people, no blogging,” she states firmly. Then she gets on the phone with her. Doesn’t waste any time with any “Let’s discuss this” crap, simply tells the dumb girl that they saw her Tweeting, and they’re going to have to decline her coming into the office. Well, that wasn’t the most articulate way to put it, but it was short and to the point. Emily and Robyn would have called her back to the office to sit down in the conference room over it. The girl is remorseful. Remorseful, but stupid. Goth Andrew is shocked in his dry way. “Is that a joke, with your five page resume?” he asks, “She’s gonna Twitter ‘So upset’.”
And that night, Kelly says they can leave at four. Ativan takes the opportunity to go tanning, which he tells us he’s been behind on. He tells us being tan is being the color of health and happiness. I wonder what color is skin cancer? In London, Kelly’s getting dressed to go out with her hot Italian ex. They hang out like they’re married, she says. They’re not because once they had a baby, she realized she was with a bossy Italian and he realized he was with a ball-busting American and it was no good. Kelly’s full of little pearls about child raising, and today’s is that “Ava is a rod that tunes us to behaving on a high level in her name.” Well said.
I hope Dr. Laura’s at home watching this screaming at the TV with mascara running down her face.
Speaking of Kelly’s children, Goth is trying to get Skinner to leave the office. “What can I do to help you?” he offers. He reminds her that Kelly said they could leave early, so they should. I guess she’s working on something for Robyn, or waiting for her call, because Goth tells her, “Robyn, we don’t care about. Shhhhh.” Seriously, what does she even do there?
Naturally, Skinner refuses to give Goth a damn thing to do. Look, there’s a fine line between not knowing how to delegate and just not wanting anyone else to know how to do what you do so you can complain that no one else can do what you do. Skinner does do an awful lot of that. I will say this much for the girl, she does have a killer work ethic. It’s past 8 pm on a Friday night and she’s still working away. She tells us she really does love her job, and how she was inspired by the classic “She’s fashion roadkill!” episode of Sex and the City.
Think of all that dating you could be doing! Or…well…er….tennis playing?
Okay, finally time to take care of business in London. It’s Kelly’s job to make sure the American press is there and seated at Henry Holland’s show. She tells us her job there is to “facilitate”, and that when you’re working with another PR company, their people will take precedence. One of the Brits tells her that the show is disorganized. And then she finds out that her seats have been crashed. She busts the seat crashers out with, “This isn’t your seat but you probably know that, yeah? You have to go, this is not your seat. NOW.” Nobody rests their unauthorized ass in Kelly Cuttrone’s seats.
In New York, more complaining about how much work there is and how many emails there are and how stressful and overwhelming it all is. Goth declares a mandatory field trip for him and Skinner to a bar. She’s afraid to go, because what if Kelly calls? They debate about it for a while, and finally Goth settles the issue by informing the office that if anyone calls, Skinner’s at the deli and he’s having a case of explosive diarrhea.
At first, Kelly was excited to “just kick it with Henry, but he needed help,” she tell us, and she jumps right in. And Kelly really is helpful. She doesn’t try and take over, although she totally could have, she just pitches in where needed, finding lost people backstage and helping models. The show is “really young girls in hot lace day glo dresses without bras”. For some reason, it’s a success. He gets not only good press, which is nice, but pick ups from actual stores, which is actual money. Well, until it hits the sale rack because who besides Lindsay Lohan is wearing day glo lace see through dresses?
They head to the bar, and Skinner even applies lip gloss for the occasion. They discuss the cookies and cupcakes she’s been living on, and Goth informs the friends they’re with that they’re not in fashion, they’re in slave labor. It’s just them and the interns and they’re understaffed, we are told. I think I already see the theme for next week. “Want an internship?” they joke, “Must not Twitter!”
I feel for the sad sacks stuck at that community table.
Next week, with Steph V. no longer available to be picked on, Emily moves on to Skinner. Looks like a showdown. But a super empowered one, of course.