Olivia on “The City” is quite possibly the most clever person I have ever seen on television. All throughout the first season, she sets Whitney up like a set of bowling pins, only to knock her down repeatedly, mercilessly, with no regard to her feelings whatsoever. And she enjoys doing it. I know she does.
“You seem a bit down, is everything all right?” she asks Whitney, batting her doe-like eyes.
And you just knew that Whitney was about to fall for the trap.
“Well, my boyfriend just broke up with me and I am a little upset.” Whitney responds, clueless to the calamity that would shortly befall her.
Confident with her setup, Olivia replies with a cutting remark that left even the strongest viewers gasping for breath.
“You need to keep your work and personal life separate. I think you are very unprofessional.” Olivia shrieked, with the cold-blooded callousness of a prairie hunter.
Whitney gave the same response she gave every other time she was knocked to the ground by the fashion genius. She responded by doing nothing. And Olivia would walk away, again triumphant, again on top! How cruel to trod on an opponent in such a merciless manner. I thought Whitney's boss was tough. But this is new territory.
When Whitney and Olivia were given the assignment of pulling outfits for a very important magazine spread, Whitney picked the perfect outfit. Olivia said, “No, that outfit is hideous. It will never work. There are too many of the same colors.” But when the magazine chose Whitney’s outfit for the cover, Olivia took all the credit! I stood, dumbstruck, along with the entire world, as Olivia gave Whitney no credit whatsoever. And we all know what a trooper Whitney is. She packed up from Los Angeles, and went to New York to realize her dream of being a Fashionista. The opening sequence says it all, as Whitney exits her cab and looks up at the skyscrapers with the simple-eyed wonder of a backwoods inbred.
Again and again Olivia outwits her opponent. When she takes a job at Elle Magazine, she mows down the competition without remorse. When she leaves Joe hanging without the names and costs of the garments shown on NBC’s morning show, she blames Erin! I couldn’t believe it! She knows how to outplay her opponent. She leaves them hanging, and when the whip comes down she pleads ignorance. “I wasn’t given proper guidance, Joe” she whines. “If Erin would have given me the information I needed, we wouldn’t be in this predicament, Joe” she whispers. And Erin is left saying “It’s her or me, Joe” at the end of episode 22. Way to go, Olivia. That’s the way to play your opponent. You beat them by getting into their head. And when you are there you stay. You stay there and you do some damage.
I have always had a keen fashion sense. Perhaps I will move to New York and start my own business. Now that I know how the game is played I think I would do well. But there's no way I am working with these people. I would be toast.