Tuned In

Hot Properties: Don't Buy It

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Say whatever you want about Hot Properties (ABC, Fridays, 9:30 p.m. E.T.): it strikes a resounding blow for feminism. The brainchild of a female creator (Suzanne Martin), it proves that women can stereotype themselves as well as any man.

Following on the high, pointy heels of Related, this sitcom, set in a New York City real-estate agency, also features a Carrie of female characters. (Carrie [‘kar – ee]  <i>n.</i>: a group of four urban women whose behavior is closely modeled on characters from Sex and the City). But Hot Properties basically turns SATC’s character types and reduces them to pathetic, borderline misogynistic caricatures. They lie about their ages! They’re neurotically jealous! They learn life lessons from Oprah! They read He’s Just Not That Into You!

OK, the SATC women could be like that too (He’s Just Not That Into You was inspired by the show, after all), but at least they had smarts and chutzpah to win us over. These women just have an increasingly desperate laugh track. The most pathetic is Chloe (Nicole Sullivan), an insecure, lonely basket case who longs for a boob job and complains,  "The only time I ever hear from my old boyfriends is when they star-69 me." But it also throws in Emerson, a prissy Charlotte clone (Christina Moore); Ava (Gail O’Grady), a fortysomething newlywed with a past as a big ol’ slut; and Lola (Sofia Vergara), a spicy Latina, the running joke about whom is that she always ends up dating gay men despite having a rack the size of a 3-bedroom duplex.

You could probably make a great, urbane comedy out of Manhattan real estate, with its insane money, cutthroat competition and status obsession. (Ironically, it would have been perfect for Darren Star, who created SATC.) Or you could just go for a lot of boob jokes. Hot Properties chooses the latter, and the result is—sorry—a real-estate bust.