The boys and girls of MTV’s faux-reality-TV universe — Laguna Beach, The Hills, etc. — are given the chance to create their on-camera identities from scratch (though, as they move from Laguna Beach to Hollywood to New York, drama from previous shows is bound to follow them). And The City, the latest Hills spin-off, which transplants supporting cast member Whitney Post to a new fabulous locale, is no exception.
When Whitney arrives in New York, she stays with her friend Erin Lucas. Given the opportunity to define herself for the viewing public, Erin’s MTV page simply describes her as a downtown party girl who loves life and confesses to dating three guys at once” — but (however much I might wish otherwise) it’s hard to make that work as a career, no matter who you are.
Figuring out Erin’s mysterious backstory has become a pet project for Gawker and other blogs. The one thing conclusively known (at least, no one’s removed it from Wikipedia yet) is that Erin is the daughter of AC/DC’s
Gary Cliff Williams — a rumor confirmed by a photo seen in her apartment. Little surprise, therefore, that The City isn’t the former NYU student’s first on-air experience — pretty girls with famous fathers have a way of finding themselves on camera, after all.
Erin didn’t get her start in the public eye milking cows on Fox, like a certain hotel heiress I’m not going to exploit for SEO purposes — instead, she was the host of the fashion web series Style Lounge, which ran briefly in 2006 on the obscure podcast network podcastGo. (Only five episodes appear on the web site, while the iTunes feed hosts an additional two.)
Style Lounge is so old that it’s not even available as an embed, and the episodes are pretty disposable — three minutes of pretty-girl-talks-about-how-fashion-is-awesome content. Every episode features Erin’s off-the-cuff, uh, bon mots: In one episode, when she finds a shirt that says “Looking for Something,” she laughs, saying “Yes I am! I’m looking for something in particular — anything fabulous.”
While the show would have benefited from better production values and some writing help, Erin is photogenic and comfortable in front of the camera. She just shouldn’t be expected to sound like an expert on any subject other than herself, which makes her a perfect fit for The City — a magical land where if you’re young, rich and gorgeous, you can be anything you want to be. Including past-less.