pretty wild

Before You See the Bling Ring, Watch the Crazy Reality Show That Helped Inspire It

Sofia Coppola’s new movie The Bling Ring is officially based on a Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales. But there are so many moments yanked directly from the short-lived E! reality series Pretty Wild that you’ll wonder whether the movie was secretly inspired by some sort of late-night Netflix Instant binge Coppola is too embarrassed to cop to. Pretty Wild, which aired in 2010 (and was produced, oddly enough, by Chelsea Handler), was intended to follow 19-year-old Alexis Neiers as she lived a glamorous party-girl life on the fringe of the Hollywood club circuit. But then real life intervened: In the very first episode, Neiers is arrested for crimes connected to the Bling Ring, the gang of larcenous teens who stole from celebrities like Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom.

Suddenly, the manufactured reality of these Kardashian-emulating lifestyle shows begins to rub up against the very definite reality of a teenager’s descent into criminality: At the same time as Alexis is grappling with a heroin problem and screaming at her mother about her court case, her little sister has to get a job at the pet store and she doesn’t wanna, wah-wah! It’s insane, and you need to Netflix it immediately, is what we’re saying.

In Coppola’s movie, Harry Potter star Emma Watson plays a character based on Neiers, while Leslie Mann plays her mother, a former lingerie model obsessed with teaching her daughters The Secret. Read on for a look at some of the craziest scenes from Pretty Wild, many of which Coppola has Watson and Mann quote verbatim in her movie.

In this first clip, both Neiers girls (and their “adopted” sister, Tess Taylor) are homeschooled by their mother, Andrea Arlington-Dunn. This involves (we assume!) plenty of algebra, chemistry … And a discussion of role models who display “good character.” Like: Angelina Jolie.

“Girls! Time for your Adderall!”

Thanks to The Soup, perhaps Pretty Wild’s most well-known moment, recognizable to even those unfamiliar with the rest of the show, is when writer Nancy Jo Sales’s wonderful piece, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” appears in Vanity Fair. Alexis, very upset with her portrayal, takes it upon herself to give the writer a piece of her mind. Straight into her voice mail.

But perhaps the saddest member of the Neiers clan is the youngest sister, Gabby, whose older sisters are not the best role models. She seems to be slowly figuring that out.

In this final clip, Alexis requests a calm-me-down Adderall while driving, which she promptly drops into her crotch. (This is just a really good show.) And that witness called to the stand? It’s Detective Brett Goodkin, the cop who’s now in hot water. By giving Coppola so much intel for her movie — and actually appearing in the film as the cop arresting Emma Watson’s character — he may have jeopardized some of the Bling Ring cases that are still working their way through the system.

The Reality Show That Inspired The Bling Ring