"The Catalina," a new reality TV series pinned to be the next "Jersey Shore," premieres Tuesday night on the CW network. And unfortunately for Miami, a city constantly trying to shake its reputation as a hedonistic party town with no substance, it centers on the bikinis, boozing, and brawling at a Collins Avenue hotel in South Beach.
Creator of the show and co-owner of the hotel, Nathan Lieberman, recently told the Miami Herald “Listen, I’m just trying to sell hotel rooms."
The hour-long infomercial disguised as a reality show follows the hedonistic bartenders and hotel managers on staff.
Over 6 episodes, they spend their days trying to make debauchery at The Catalina more memorable than that in Vegas and their nights partying harder than any of the hotel guests.
Spun as a "true representation of young adulthood in South Beach," "The Catalina" features "exotic Latinos, middle-eastern delights as well as suave native Americans of home-grown talent, never fail to reveal their well-groomed looks and embellishments among colleagues, hotel guests and neighborhood beach-goers alike," according to a recent press release.
The Catalina Hotel is part of the South Beach Hotel Group, the same company that famously welcomed Snooki et al to stay at their Mertropole Hotel during "Jersey Shore" Season 2 while other local establishments like Mansion banned the cast.
Lieberman, the 33-year-old hotelier who was raised in Miami Beach, is the target of much flack surrounding the show.
After watching an advance of the premiere, a Variety reviewer noted that "Lieberman, -- in his direct-to-camera interviews -- can't even play himself convincingly. Whatever his business acumen, the made-for-TV version of the dude sees nothing wrong in complimenting his GM for her 'A-plus cleavage' or chasing around the female staff and spraying them with champagne."
But despite possible turning off viewers as a "'Jersey Shore' wannabe" or for centering on a culture "one step above Sodom and Gomorrah," to quote Variety, network executives hope natural curiosity will draw eyes and ears.
“I’ve always been curious about what goes on behind the scenes there," Kristen Vadas, the CW’s senior vice president for alternative programming told the Herald. "What are the people who work there like? Do they date each other? What do they really say about the guests after they check them in? What kind of weird calls do they get at the concierge?”
The Catalina premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CW. Watch the video below for a preview.