The Night We Lost Chicago: On Bravo's New Show "100 Days of Summer"

The Night We Lost Chicago: On Bravo's New Show "100 Days of Summer"Image via bravotv.com

100 Days of Summer is new reality show from Bravo that chronicles six purported professional types and their work hard, play hard summer in Chicago. The show’s premise is that winters in Chi-Town are so profoundly miserable that citizens hibernate through the cold months, emerge when the flowers bloom, and spend the dog days throwing shade at one another in a bottle service booth at Cuvée. Chicagoans only have three and a half months out of the year to be productive, so the cast of 100 Days of Summer is getting busy.

This is a criminally superficial representation of the city. But it’s also a reality show on Bravo, the network that's basically a digitized Botox injection. So, don’t sweat, this is not a hackneyed think piece about Windy City gang violence as it relates to dudes experimenting with MDMA on the second floor of American Junkie. This show keeps a hashtag graphic in the corner of the screen at all times, which is the bat signal for bottomed out expectations. Pure and simple, this is a discussion of the moment-by-moment fuckery delivered in the first episode. It's a lot of fuckery.

Least likely to achieve his or her summer goals: Ray

Ray says he’s transitioning “from football into modeling and acting,” but his NFL career ended in 1999. In other words, his transitional phase began when Brian Urlacher was still playing safety for the University of New Mexico. Think about that for a second. Fucking Bravo, man.

People who want to be “model/actors” are impossible to root for anyway, but Ray’s especially insufferable. At one point, he actually has the audacity to say, “I played for the Bears for three years, so I still have a little name equity here.”

Bruh, 12 career tackles during the Cade McNown era does not a local legend make. Jay Cutler can’t step foot on Rush Street without getting a bottle smashed over his head, and he’s the best quarterback this town’s seen since Harry Truman was president. So, please fall back.

Second least likely to achieve his or her summer goals: Tara

Tara is one more bridesmaid dress fitting away from burning Chicago down like it’s 1871. She needs to get married, like, now. Her lofty goal for the summer is to move in with her boyfriend Mark. Three problems: they’ve only been dating for a few months, Mark shaves his chest, AND he owns a boat. Translation: her odds of getting a key to hairless Mark’s condo are fucking zero.

She doesn’t do a lot to help herself out, either. This woman fires off humblebrags like she’s carrying a loaded Glock of self-admiring compliments. There’s seriously a scene where she talks about traveling the world, having a trust fund, and being a self-made professional in three consecutive sentences. At one point, she talks to her parents about a potential honeymoon in Africa, even though she’s only dated that bro from The Playpen for two months.

Mark can feel that energy, Tara. This is the behavior of a woman who has had no fewer than three ex-boyfriends change their contact information as a result of never-ending efforts to “work things out.” Chill, bae. You’re being wildly self-destructive.

Token reality show d-bag who’s such an enormous jerk-off he has to be trying: Vince

One of Vince’s earliest sound bites is, “I like them really skinny and ideally with big tits.” SMH. This guy is in his 40s and talks like he’s reading his web browsing history out loud.

Later, Vince smashes through the chode ceiling with another gem, “Couple years ago, I had a summer that was so whored up. I mean, I probably slept with 60 girls.”

Dude, you sound like a sophomore at Arizona State who’s lying to hometown friends about on-campus sexual conquests. Get this baby Gap version of Johnny Manziel TFOH. 

Person who deserves a shout out for seeming to have a real job: Jay

Jay seems okay the first four minutes of the show, which is more than can be said for most of his friends. But, then he started bitching about “not meeting Vince’s lady friend” while wearing red chambray shorts on a yacht. 

Before pigeonholing Jay as a dick, you should know that he rehabs distressed apartment buildings and turns them into luxury living spaces for the types of people who often demand to “see the manager.” His company is dumping $100M into real estate projects this summer, so Jay's under a lot of pressure. Shout out to Jay for having a real job!

Cast member most likely to push a pet squirrel down Michigan Avenue in a baby carriage: Phillips

This woman is wayyy out there. Phillips heads a fashion line called Attention Seeking Behavior, which is—no joke—a brand that makes clothes you can coordinate with your pet. She also claims to be a member of a Mensa. With all due respect to the organization’s chess champions and nuclear physicists, the 98th percentile gets an “L” for this one.

Cast member who comes off okay in the first episode, but will likely spin out later in the season in a very insane way: Pascale

During a group dinner, Pascale says, “[pickup lines] are, like, subliminal now. Someone will be like, ‘You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen in Chicago.’” So, she has no idea what subliminal means, but otherwise she looks like a humdrum restaurant hostess in a sea of crazy. Good looks, Pascale.

Obligatory Bravo-style showdown: Hamidah vs. Pascale

Hamidah (Ray’s girlfriend) and Pascale get into it over dinner, but it’s fairly pedestrian by Bravo standards. Unless arrant bottles of Prosseco and Christian Louboutin heels are being used as weapons, these shade duels between passive-aggressive egomaniacs are a waste of time.

The table blames Pascale for the drama, but—quite frankly—Hamidah went in with a bad attitude and was wild reckless with her eye rolls.

Parting thoughts: Step your game up, Chicago.

100 Days of Summer promises “big parties and bigger drama,” but—in the first episode—these goons just kick it at Nellcote and have one dumb spat at RM Champagne Salon. Vince claims to be the “gatekeeper of Chicago nightlife” and the rest vaunt faux celebrity lifestyles. Yet, they mostly hang out in places that take Open Table reservations. No shots—Nellcote and RM are fine establishments. But, if one of these sociopaths doesn’t swing on a bouncer outside of The Underground this season, Tuesday nights on Bravo will be for naught. 

Sean Evans is a writer based in Chicago. He's incredibly boring on Twitter, but we're obliged to provide his handle @seanseaevans.

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