From Bradley Cooper’s chiseled physique to Bill Clinton’s infamous intern activities, Georgetown alumni certainly have a reputation for sex. Enter Julia Allison (COL ’04). Sexy and smart, this blogger, former Time Out New York columnist, and all-around media personality is now starring in Bravo’s new reality show, Miss Advised.
After several years working as a blogger and political pundit, Allison finally wiggled her way into the public eye after dating Jack McCain, 2008 Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain’s son. Despite the brouhaha of the failed political relationship and her growing star as a relationship pundit, Allison’s stardom and expertise on all things intimate arose from beginnings as Georgetown’s first dating and relationship (a.k.a. sex) columnist for The Hoya.
In an interview with Vox back in 2009, Allison spoke candidly about the cultural barriers she faced breaching the topic of sex at a school as conservative as Georgetown. Building on her experiences working with the Cosmopolitan and The Hoya, Allison is going the way of the Kindle and moving away from print, voyaging into uncharted territory with a new reality TV series.
In Miss Advised a self-proclaimed bay-area sexpert (Emily Morse), an entrepreneurial NYC matchmaker (Amy Laurent), and a dating/relationship writer and LA transplant (Julia Allison) have the roles reversed, as America gets the chance to scrutinize the dating lives of three smart, successful women hopelessly searching for love themselves. Inherently sabotaging the experts’ “credentials,” Miss Advised is an honest admission and a reassurance that even after spending years of your life studying relationships, these women still don’t have a clue.
Lacking in Bravo’s signature tropes of bourgeois flamboyancy and the premenopausal self-indulgence of the one percent, Miss Advised is actually more of a departure from Bravo’s programming norm than a rehashing of old (excuse me, vintage) material. In the first episode Morse struggles to reconcile her sexual liberty with her long-term desire to settle down. Allison is honest and surprisingly sincere, spouting out rehearsed one-liners in a way that the untrained Bravo-eye would not.
Sadly, Miss Advised is just not that great. These women are not outlandish, ultra-rich, or entertaining on-screen. The show feels disjointed, whipping the viewer from across the country from one forced “plotline” to the next. Allison, though having her moments with witty quips (i.e. suggesting that “the perfect dress for a first date is one that says to a guy, ‘You can take me home to your mom and I might give you a blowjob on the way there’”) isn’t an engaging character . Her calm demeanor and thoughtful articulation belies the quirky blogger and political science major within and is altogether unsuitable for a reality TV star. By stripping away the glitz and the glamor, Miss Advised’s producers have allowed viewers to really focus in on the show’s substance, which is boring. It premiered to poor ratings, particularly for the coveted under-30 crowd.
If you want to cheer on this Hoya in her dating escapades, the second episode of Miss Advised airs tonight on Bravo at 10 p.m.. Let me know how it is, I’ll be busy watching The Bachelorette on DVR.
Photo: Wired Magazine, Issue 16.08
(Assistant) Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post attributed Miss Advised to HBO instead of Bravo. It was an error on the part of an editor. Typos have been corrected.