This week on Kell on Earth, it’s hard times. Kelly travels to LA to get some new business and while she’s away, Skinner and Goth fall in work love.
LA Kelly – Just add sunglasses.
We’re back at People’s Revolution and guess what? There’s a crisis! It’s a real one though – they are running out of money. Kelly tells us that their billing has dropped by 30%. “We’re picking up a $5,000 check,” Skinner tells her. I’m sure that sounds like a lot the wizened old veteran of the working game, but it’s pretty much nothing. “That keeps us in business for one day,” confirms Kelly.
How many patchwork housedresses will it get you?
Then she decrees that they need to be paid in full the day before the show happens because if not, then they never get the money. Listen, when it comes to collecting your money, you have to be an asshole and you have to get it up front. Maybe Kelly should focus more on that and less on the optimal geographic location to cry. Empowerment doesn’t pay the bills.
She makes a big deal about taking people to small claims court for her money. So, here’s the facts about that. The maximum you can sue for in small claims court is usually around $5,000. Assuming you win, you then have to collect. Considering the loser usually has several years to pay, and considering they didn’t care about stiffing you in the first place, you probably have to hire a collection agency to get your measly $5,000. They’ll take half. Well, something’s better nothing I guess, but if they have this many clients that don’t pay, I think it’s time to just hire an accountant.
To further the point of how poor she is, Kelly makes a big deal about flying coach on her upcoming trip to LA. She’s got five new client meetings. California’s big for “lifestyle” stuff. I still don’t know what that is.
And then it’s finally time to replace Steph V. Who, for the record, quit and was not fired. Oh, and Tandrew, who also quit. Random Michelle has brought in a former colleague from another firm, Mallory. Kelly busts in mid-interview with a box of headbands. Well, hello. She tells us that Robyn / Emily took away her interviewing privileges because she kept freaking the candidates out. “In one interview, I meditated,” she tells us proudly. Having seen the competence level of the employees who did make it through the interview process, can you blame her?
Oh, and speaking of headbands, Robyn is wearing inexplicably wearing an Addidas workout one. Did she just finish washing her face in Kelly’s water fountain after spending the night in Kelly’s closet? Or is she just off a workout?
FYI, conducting to a job interview covered in workout sweat is far more offensive than meditating in one.
And still on the topic of headgear, Random Michelle has accessorized with a hat and it’s a mistake. She also says that there’s no backstabbing in their office. Oddly enough, with all the women and gay men working there, that actually seems to be true. Kelly warns Mallory that if she doesn’t like swearing, it’s the wrong place to be and then makes her exit. She tells us that Robyn, who can’t seem to do anything herself, has a good synergy with her. Mallory is pretty but bland. “I’m excited,” she deadpans.
Then it’s off to Skinner’s lair! She lives in a tiny apartment downtown. She tells us that Goth Andrew’s closet is bigger then her whole apartment. Her place is tiny and completely normal. She pays $1,550 a month. Considering I didn’t see any rodents scurrying around during our brief televised time there, I say she’s getting a deal. NYC real estate is hell. It once gave me a nervous tic.
Skinner has a boyfriend named Alano. They’ve been together for a little over a year, she tells us. They met at a club, where she was partying with her then-boyfriend. She saw Alano, gave him her number written in eyeliner and they’ve been together ever since. Skinner’s a heartbreaker! Who knew? Alano seems cute and nice and has the most amazing cheekbones ever. He gets annoyed with her for being on her Blackberry the whole time they’re hanging out, but praises her breakfast for dinner skills. They decide she real future in egg scrambling.
The next day, we get a visit from GW! That’s George Wayne, of inappropriately hilarious Vanity Fair interview fame. He wants to throw some kind of party and he needs Kelly’s team help. They all sit down with him, because he’s Kelly’s sort-of notorious friend, but Kelly is suspiciously absent from the meeting.
It soon becomes clear why – GW is on another planet. He wants to throw a bash in less then a week. “Have any of the guests been contacted?” asks Emily diplomatically – oh, newsflash. Emily is kind of growing on me. And the answer to her question is no. But he helpfully adds that the invite should be ready within the huge window of the day before the event, oh and by the way, he doesn’t have any money. Soooo, going for a flash mob on a street corner kind of theme? I know I’m no publicist or anything but that’s the best I can come up with.
GW also flips out on Random Michelle during the meeting, when he says that he’d like the mayor to attend his event and she texts her friend in the mayor’s office to try and make it happen. Well, I see both sides. Yes, it’s rude to text mid-meeting, but she was doing it to help him. She should have mentioned what she was doing first, but since he’s asking them to throw him a party for free, I’m giving this one to Random Michelle.
In Kelly’s part of the office, she’s answering a call from Ava’s friend from school’s uncle who heard she was a genius and wants 15 to 20 minutes of free advice. There is no such thing as free advice. You give someone 15 minutes for free, you give them a license to keep calling you. This is not the Kelly Cuttrone Charitable Foundation for People Without A Clue.
Or is it?
Kelly’s not down with it either. She seems like the kind of person people are always asking for advice. “How did he get my number?” she wonders. She thinks she should give out an hour of advice on the internet every day and charge for it. That’s not a bad idea. “I’m generous with my knowledge and connections, but I get paid to talk,” she says, “Helping people for free is not going to save our company.” Save the company? How dire. But the important lesson is – nothing is free. “I’ve got to protect my team!” she declares valiantly.
Back to the GW situation, the troops are reporting back to Kelly on the proposed party. Random Michelle tells Kelly he’s “the most obnoxious, disgusting person I’ve ever met”. Wow, way to make an enemy. He is Kellly’s friend, Random. Emily is more diplomatic but still strongly worded. She tells Kelly that he’s expecting them to do everything for free. Kelly says she’s not doing favors, they’re not helping anybody except themselves. “We need to tell him,” says Emily. “Can I do it?” asks dopey Michelle, eager to further piss off a friend of Kelly’s.
The next day, Robyn is looking for the New York Post. It’s like music to my ears. If it’s in the Post, it’s got to be good. And by good I mean scandalous. “Mallory is in Page Six today,” she reports. Well done, Mallory! She immediately starts needling Random Michelle, who immediately tries to distance herself. “She was just my former colleague,” she simpers. Turns out, Mallory’s in the Post for stealing about $97,000 worth of jewelry from her prior employer. I’m sorry, does no one do a background check?
“You know why Mallory didn’t call Robyn back to accept the job at People’s Revolution? Cause she was in the clink,” Kelly informs us. But she lets it roll off her, like everything else. Everyone makes jokes about it except Skinner, who tells us in her very serious voice that she did not think it was very funny. Of course not. “Why can’t it just be me? And Andrew? And interns?” she wonders. Well, it might have a thing or two to do with your daily declaration of how many peoples’ jobs you’re doing.
I can’t be expected to do the job of everyone if you hire more people.
But she actually does leave work while other people are still there, for once. She meets up with her boyfriend for drinks, but the minute she sits down, she’s texting non-stop. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy that this is a 24-7 business for all these people. They’re helping people with clothes, not solving world peace. That whole Blackberry addiction is a mask of self-importance covering up a fundamental lack of organization.
And lack of any kind of social life whatsoever. Because who does Skinner just happen to spy across the street? Emily. She waves her over to join her date, and Emily accepts. She even makes a comment about interrupting their date, but that doesn’t stop her.
They are so texting each other.
Kelly’s at home with Ava getting ready for her trip to LA. We get a little PR history – Kelly started her company in LA, became bi-coastal in 2001 and moved to New York shortly thereafter. Ava brushes her doll’s hair. It’s super cute. Oh, Kelly was on Ryan Seacrest’s show the other morning, and it turns out Ava’s a big fan. So Kelly brought Ryan a note from Ava. She offers Ava chamomile tea before bed. Kelly is the definition of a cool mom.
They have a Graceland in Tribeca?
Kelly leaves for LA amidst a flurry of last minute packing. She can’t find any of her black t-shirts. In NYC, Robyn meets with another prospective employee, Grace who was recommended by an editor from NY Magazine. That sounds like a legit reference. Grace seems like a great candidate, experienced and competent. “I’ve always, like, wanted to, like, hire someone who knows what they’re doing,” articulates power girl Robyn. Well, there’s a novel idea.
Kelly’s in LA! First she meets with a musician about putting recording studios in malls. She’s brought some miscellaneous kids with her. She says that she’s trying to take on new stuff besides fashion. She likes the idea and it looks like they have a deal. “If we agree on terms and money,” she cautions as she exits. It’s all a very exciting concept in your living room, sir, but Kelly’s no dummy.
Back in New York, Kelly’s away but they’re still working sixteen hour days. Goth finds some Givenchy couture headbands that he calls “ridiculous by my standards”. He eyes Skinner and tells her, “You wear headbands.” Then he whips off some of his bondage jewelry and makes it into a headband for her. He’s always making stuff for her, he tells us. “She’s like my little mannequin.” Then we get a girls just wanna have fun type montage of Goth and Skinner prancing the city streets like besties. He tells her she’s beautiful. “You’re just saying that cause I’m all in black,” she replies. Then he says he loves Skinner “but I’m just into dudes right now.” Goth’s awesome. He was just born cool. And rich.
Gay guy, straight girl, garbage bag lined streets….it’s a lower east side love story.
Zipping over to LA, Kelly meets with another one of her friends who’s “genius, visionary, legendary”, Rick Ross. He owns a record label and place called Freak City where he holds events. It looks like a big warehouse, but according to the artistic people, it’s a house of music, style and art. He jokes about putting Kelly in a recording studio. “Did you know I used to have a recording contract?” Kelly asks, totally seriously. Oh yeah, turns out she used to tour with some band back in the day. I love all this fabulous Kelly trivia that she just throws in the convo.
She leaves Rick Ross promising they’re going to make a ton of money. He tells her she’s all business now and no fun. “I’m a Mom, I’m just trying to make money, babe,” she tosses off as she leaves. She calls Ava from the car, and then makes her way to the LA office of People’s Revolution. This is where we first got to know Kelly, by the way, when Teen Vogue broke up with The Hills and Kelly came in and scooped up the free marketing. Oh, by the way RIP, The Hills. But you really had no chance without Lauren.
Kelly meets with the guy in charge of the LA office, who she tells us has been with her through divorce, breaking up with a business partner, having Ava and firing everyone. Point being? I don’t really know. She’s still worried about money. “The mantra used to be change the world, now it’s bring in clients and reduce overhead,” she says. Eh, that was always my mantra. The world’s never gonna change.
One of the shiny LA interns interviews Kelly for a school project. She slurps a fast food soda and matter-of-factly spreads the doom and gloom. “It’s a depression and if people don’t call it that they’re lying to themselves.” She thinks we have between five and twenty years to get out of this mess. Wow, thanks for that spot-on prediction.
At that, the intern smells trouble and asks her about the future of her company. “Well, hopefully we won’t go out of business but you never know,” she says zen-like as ever. She thinks they’ll make it though. People have to wear clothes, she shrugs. Then she makes another statement about how fashion people are different – they don’t like depressing old reality, they just want to go to Barneys. As opposed to the rest of earth, who are enjoying the economic downturn immensely and looking forward to doing as much Dollar Store shopping as possible.
People will always need black t-shirts.
Back in New York, Goth is in his best ensemble yet, a black turtleneck and lots of gold chains. It’s very…Undercover Brother. I love it. It’s the new girl Grace’s first day, and she wins me over immediately with the statement that she wants to establish herself as someone who gets results. Robyn trains her, Skinner sets up email for her it looks like we might be crisis free for a quick minute.
When we check in with Grace, she says so far, so good. Actually, she says, “after the first two hours, the office is very nice”. Sarcasm? I like it! Then we learn that Kelly has leased out the second floor of the live / work space and now they have to clean it out for the new tenant. Goth offers to sit out with Skinner and some lemonade and sell things for 25 cents each. “Like Tori Spelling!” says Skinner. I love when Skinner’s bitchy.
“We have to be more efficient about how we use the space,” says Kelly, wading through mountains of junk. She doesn’t know what she wants them to do with any of it. They have piles of clothes, accessories, and then someone asks where they should put the dishes. Dishes?
And then, finally, time for the crisis. Grace is helping pack up the second floor, Emily leaves for dinner and when she returns, Grace is gone. Naturally, all hell breaks loose. Emily calls Robyn, who’s not even there, then Kelly calls Andrew who passes the phone to Skinner who tells her that it was she who gave Grace permission to leave, because she was done with her work. Well, apparently there’s a big PR rule that you don’t leave until everyone is done. Skinner keeps insisting to Kelly that she’s just fine doing the job of 9,835 people and you can hear Kelly yelling at her through the phone. It’s awesome.
“I knew what I needed. I didn’t need her help,” Skinner insists defiantly. Then there’s more heated phone arguing between Kelly, Emily and Robyn because that’s how power girls handle little staffing snafus. Even Emily admits “it was a weird loop of communication”.
And then, Grace is back. As she was walking in her front door, she got a call from Robyn accusing her of leaving. She told Robyn that she asked if anyone needed help, and they didn’t so she left. That’s fine, Kelly concedes, but she has to go back. On one hand, I think that’s a little uncalled for, on the other hand…I think it’s just a tiny bit suspicious that Grace waited until Emily stepped out to leave. Just a tiny bit. I still like Grace.
And when she walks back in the door, she’s walking right into Skinner’s attitude. “I don’t understand why you came back,” she says a little rudely to Grace. Um, to make your life easier? Don’t blame the new girl for making Kelly do your delegating for you. And speaking of Kelly, she’s back and she’s pissed. Skinner is now maintaining that she didn’t send anyone home and Kelly’s carrying on about how it’s a “bone of contention” with her. It’s my company, she declares. Yeah, so? There was a miscommunication. Get a grip. It’s not like it’s such smooth sailing the rest of the time. Besides, I’ve come to the conclusion that they need chaos to function.
Kelly wants the story, but she already knows what happened. “I’m sure Skinner was just like, it’s fine, I’ll do everything myself,” she mimics in Skinner’s passive aggressive meek tone. But she knocks Skinner down by telling Grace in front of her, “She’s junior to you, you do realize that.” Whoooah, harsh! Skinner doesn’t take it that well. “Won’t do it again. Got it. Noted.” she says snippily. Kelly thinks Skinner has enough experience to know that she should have made Grace stay.
And in the end, Skinner loses her boyfriend. He just wants to be friends, because she works all the time. It makes her sad. “How come you didn’t call me?” demands Kelly, “Do you want me to talk to him?” Oh please, stay out of it. She’s always trying to meddle in everyone’s love life and she makes it worse. Remember Tandrew’s date that she crashed? Skinner shouldn’t let Kelly within five feet of old Cheekbones. She’ll tell him Skinner will be too busy until the end of time and try to pimp desperate Robyn out for a cougarlicious evening.
His shoes make him look homeless. Robyn will love him.
“It’s just as painful to love as not to love,” Kelly muses upon exit, sweeping her ridiculous African caftan around her as the elevators door close. Goth is the only one who does anything helpful. “Just eat this Cinnabun ice cream, it will make everything better,” he advises. And it was better, for that minute, she tells us.
Well, next week we bid a fond farewell to Kelly and Co. Will we see them again on Bravo?