Did you catch the new scripted drama that premiered on Lifetime last night called Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp? It follows the life of Bristol, the daughter of a former vice-presidential candidate, as she moves from a small town in Alaska to the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles and — get this — she has to bring the baby she had when she was 17 along with her. Her baby's father is a mythological tundra monster called Levi Johnston, who left Bristol raise their offspring alone while he went off to pose for Playgirl and do a couple reality shows (as is typical for the Levis Johnstus species).
Luckily, Bristol has a big family to help her out and, boy, are they a cast of characters. She has a 3-year-old brother named Tic-Tac, an 11-year-old sister named Pippen, a 17-year-old sister named Branch and an older brother who just signs his name with an X. Then there are her parents — her dad is played by a felt goatee glued to a popsicle stick, but really it's her mom who's the best. Her name is Sarah and she's played by a drunk Dana Delaney. She talks in a nonsense accent, speaks only in boring platitudes, and is always wearing reflective sunglasses to hide how bloodshot her eyes are. The craziest part however, is that, in this fictional world created by the writers of H-Wood, Sarah was actually the VP candidate for the Republican party in the 2008 presidential election. What will they think of next?
Bristol decides she needs to get out of Alaska and experience something new so that she can grow into the miraculous firebird of a woman that she knows she's meant to be. She decides to go to Los Angeles where a "family friend" (the location scouts at Lifetime) will let her stay in their barely furnished rococo-style mansion, and where another "family friend" has found her a job at a charity. She brings along her sister Branch to act as a babysitter for her baby Tripp (his name is Tripp, by the way), because what else could a 17-year-old girl want to do than sit in an empty house all day and take care of her sister's kid?
Though Bristol has help from her sister, leaving Alaska isn't all easy. Bristol is on-and-off dating the Wasilla town simpleton, Gino Calzone, who has no desire to move to California and she has to leave behind her entire family ("Adventuuuure!" slurs her mother. "A girl's gotta have adventure," she says before falling asleep face down in a bush). Then there are the people of LA themselves, with their whore clothes and liberal lifestyles, who need to let her know exactly what they think of her.
The S really hits the F when Bristol takes a couple of friends to the Michelin-starred Saddle Ranch Restaurant where, after riding a mechanical bull, she gets in a very natural and not at all staged altercation with a bar patron who calls her mother a whore and the devil. Bristol confronts him and, you know what, he can't think of a single reason why her mother is a whore or the devil. The man looks pretty stupid, but then Bristol says that he probably only hates her because he's a big dumb gay and now everyone looks pretty stupid. (It's so cool when writers are willing to make their characters this unlikeable — really Mad Men-esque.)
Bristol then goes to the parking lot and sobbingly calls Gino, crying about how mean everyone on the other side of Canada is. "I can't talk," Gino Calzone replies. "The people of Wasilla are restless and need someone to throw fruit at. Who knows what they'll do if I'm not there. Tear someone apart, probably." Bristol nods and lets him go. She understands Wasilla culture and that makes her miss it all the more.
The blows don't stop there. Branch, fed up with being Bristol's wet nurse, decides to go home to Alaska. Instead of asking her to stay nicely, Bristol is a real bitch about it until Dana Delaney calls and tells her to humble herself. Bristol then begs Branch to stay and weepingly tells her how much she cares about her. Branch is moved, but she already called a cab — and if you don't know this, I don't know what rock you've been hiding under — canceling a cab is punishable by death in Los Angeles. Branch has no choice but to leave Bristol alone with her baby, a sad isolated angel in a city that's supposed to be full of them.