There is an audible ripple of "Wha?" as we turn to one another in disbelief. Not our XTV? This must be some obscure cable channel devoted to xylophones or X rays. Looking not that much older than us, Fletch ambles on to the stage in Rock & Republic jeans, a black dress shirt rolled up to the elbows, and Prada sneakers. Okay, this might be our XTV. He takes the mike from Principal Stevens and swings it into his left hand Vegas-style. "Hey, guys." He pauses to flash a big Whitestrips smile. "You're probably wondering what I'm doing here and why I've dragged you away from your calculus and history." We are. Yes. "How many of you watch the show Park Avenue Confidential on the CW?" he asks with a swaggering self-assurance that must play well with the ladies.
Almost every hand shoots up, including mine, sacrificing any potential embarrassment from watching the prep-school soap opera for the sake of dialoguing with Fletch. "Excellent, excellent," he says, pacing back and forth in his snazzy sneaks. "So, you get our inspirational jumping-off point. It's a great show, but it suffers from one thing—" He pauses as we wonder, Over-styled hair? That creepy young dude who's supposed to be the dad? "Writers." Fletch drives the word into the microphone. "It's not real teens talking about real issues; it's a bunch of old farts sitting in a room concocting what they want to reflect back to you as your lives. So at XTV we thought what'd be majorly cool is to create a reality series around the lives of real New York high school seniors dealing with the real world and real issues. And what's more glamorous and fabulous than the Hamptons?"
Oh yeah, you should see me serve Lipton tea to a snowplow driver. Or my mom clean Christie Brinkley's bathroom drain.
I turn to ask Caitlyn with my facial muscles if she, too, finds life in the Hamptons to be a nonstop parade of glamour, but instead I see her nearly levitating with excitement, the corners of her hazel eyes watering.
"I can't tell you any more right now about what we're calling The Real Hampton Beach because that's as much as we know. You will shape the content of the show. Any questions?"
Sylvia Vandalucci shoots her hand up. "Who'll be in it?"
"All of you." All heads whip left and right as we turn to face what were, just moments ago, merely our fellow classmates and are now our fellow cast mates. "That want to be," he hastens to add. "Anyone who doesn't want to sign a release will be given a marker to wear so the cameras will know to keep you out of frame."
"Out of frame?" Caitlyn hisses in horror.