West Hollywood’s ‘The Abbey’ is supposedly one of the most famous bars in the world, and I must admit I have been there quite a few times. That’s probably because one of my best friends who lives in Los Angeles is obsessed with the place: you can count in one finger the number of times he has missed its famous ‘Sunday Funday’ party, and he probably knows every single bartender there, and surely about ninety percent of the regulars. So why does the bar featured in ‘What Happens At The Abbey’ not feel like The Abbey that I have visited over the years?
I think its because this show wants to be a version of ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ (the show which is se at the restaurant down the block) Here we have these crazy, sexually-charged employees of The Abbey, just like that other show, and we see them go through their hot mess episodes, again just like that other show. The Abbey is (or was) primarily a gay bar, but you wouldn’t know it from this first episode. Barely a gay customer was featured
The cast of characters here include two meathead jocks/bodybuilders who womanize the women of West Hollywood. We also get, among assorted Angelenos, two lesbians, a small basketful of gay guys, and as the heart of the piece – a young woman who moved from Long Island New York to work at the bar – probably cast just for the ‘fish out of water’ angle. I have to say, though, that I am glad they are at least featuring the gay characters here as prominently – it has always been a mystery to me that Vanderpump Rules the show is not as gay as its location.
It looks like we get hot mess storylines alright – the drinks here are free-flowing, with some parties for the staff set up by its owner, David Cooley, himself – more for drama escalation, surely. Just on the first episode, we see two girls (a lesbian and a straight woman) fighting for the sperm of one of the gay guys. There are no hookups yet, but there were some hard tries there.
I’ll be watching it, with a wink. I don’t think the producers meant this to be Masterpiece Hour, and it is just plain trashy fun. So, bring on the rubbish!