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TV Tonight: They'll Take Manhattan

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Bravo Photo: Giovanni Rufino

Time for a TV SAT test! The O.C. is to The Real Housewives of Orange County as Gossip Girl is to __________.

If you guessed The Real Housewives of New York City, you’re right. If you guessed by looking at tonight’s TV listings, that is cheating and it will go down on your permanent record.

The premise and setup of TRHNYC is the same as TRHOC: fabulously shallow women spending their own, or often someone else’s, money in a show that supposedly gives you a peek into the social mores of upper-class life but is really just designed to make you feel jealous and superior at the same time. (It is educational, though! For instance: “If you marry a count, you become a countess. Which, you know, there’s the whole prince/princess, duke/duchess, kind of this echelon of the aristocracy.”)

Just as Gossip Girl is a more uppercrust, old-money vision of rich-kid life than The O.C., so does TRHOC focus on more of a social-register view of the moneyed life. But it has the same irrestistible appeal, which is to say, it will make you a little bit sad that the communists lost the cold war, and also you will want to buy a giant SUV.

Also tonight: I’ll be reviewing the final semifinal boys’ round of American Idol, and some lady and some dude will be having an election against each other.