If Bravo's new reality series NYC Prep "has any say in the matter," said Christopher Rosen in The New York Observer, the CW drama Gossip Girl will no longer be your only window into "the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite." NYC Prep, which debuts Tuesday night, tracks six Upper East Side teens, "all but one of whom attend posh-but-unnamed private schools," and attempts to "capture the same decadent, post-Gomorrah lifestyle" so deftly portrayed in Gossip Girl. (watch a preview of NYC Prep)
It's impossible not to draw comparisons between the two shows, said Jon Caramanica in the Los Angeles Times. But much like The Real Housewives of New York, the NYC Prep kids "have the air of parvenus," and "by whatever metrics the social hierarchy is determined," there are surely "others who rank higher, likely thumbing their noses at this collection of would-bes and aren't-quites."
Actually, said David Hinckley in the New York Daily News, the NYC Prep kids "share more than they think, or maybe more than they want, with kids whose lives include a lot less privilege." Yes, they're "ultra-rich," but they're "also insecure kids coping with the universal dramas of teenagers"—and "that may be the most engaging part" of this new show.