The City

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The City TV Poster Image
Hills star moves to the Big Apple for more "reality."

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

While Whitney appears professional and hardworking at her job, the series' primary focus is on her personal relationships -- which often cross over into her work life. Many of the show's conflicts are based on love triangles and some cast members' inappropriate behavior. Gossip and catty remarks are frequent. Olivia and some of her friends consider themselves members of New York's social elite; the cast seems to live a comfortable lifestyle that includes lots of socializing in trendy restaurants and clubs. Not much cast diversity.


Some arguing between friends and couples. Threats of violence are made as men compete for Whitney's affections.


Some strong sexual innuendo. Lots of flirting between cast members; jealous moments and alleged love triangles are a frequent subject of discussion. Infidelity is a problem among some of the male cast members. Hugging and kissing are often visible, but no other sexual activity is really shown. One female cast member dances provocatively at a night club.


Audible language includes words like "hell" and "damn." Stronger words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.


Fashion icons/labels like Diane von Furstenberg and Manolo Blahnik are very prominently featured. Big-name stores like Bergdorf-Goodman are also visible. Throughout the series, music from various bands -- including Paper Route and Automata -- is heard; their music is available for purchase on MTV's Web site.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The cast is often shown drinking beer, wine, champagne, and cocktails at meals and at parties, bars, and nightclubs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this spin-off of hit MTV series The Hills follows former cast member Whitney Port as she starts a new life and job in New York City. While there's some discussion of career goals and professionalism, the show's primary focus is on Port's friendships and romantic interests/conflicts, which sometimes leads to some innuendo and other risque situations. Whitney's job in the fashion industry also prompts lots of talk about fashion and fashion labels, including Diane von Furstenberg and Manolo Blahnik. Discussions about New York's upper crust (referred to as "socials") are frequent. The cast is often seen drinking; language includes words like "hell" (stronger terms are bleeped).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byalpha1014 June 28, 2009

What's the story?

THE CITY follows former The Hills cast member Whitney Port as she moves to New York City to continue building her career in the world of high fashion. Cameras follow her as she starts a new job at the global design house of Diane von Furstenberg and claims her place in Manhattan's cosmopolitan social scene. She hooks up with former gal pal Erin Lucas while forging friendships with people like socialite Olivia Palermo, model Adam Senns, and new Aussie singer/boyfriend Jay Lyons. But Whitney soon discovers that being an L.A. girl in the Big Apple isn't always easy, and she must quickly learn to play by New York's own set of rules.

Is it any good?

Unlike The Hills and its earlier predecessor Laguna Beach, The City centers on a person who has a specific set of career goals, a willingness to pursue them, and the desire to expand her horizons beyond Southern California. But outside of this, the series offers pretty much the same plot lines as its two sister series: growing and fading friendships, romantic encounters, and contentious love triangles that lead to jealous fears and tears. And of course, these are all discussed during a never-ending series of meals in trendy restaurants, parties, and other social gatherings.

The heavily edited series succeeds in creating a glamorous -- though very sanitized -- view of life in New York City. Port's high-end job connects her to top fashion industry personalities, and she herself always manages to look like a fashion plate. Meanwhile, she travels in what appears to be some of Manhattan's hippest social circles, brushing elbows with musicians, models, and New York socialites. The show might offer some voyeuristic pleasure to teens, but in the end there's nothing very real about it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Whitney an appealing (or unappealing) subject for a reality show. Do you think her success in the fashion world is due, in part, to the publicity she's received as a reality star? Or do you think being on a reality show has hurt her career? Teens: Do you consider Whitney a role model? Why or why not? Families can also discuss what it takes to work in the fashion industry. What kinds of skills do you need to work in a fashion design house?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate