May 16, 2017 at 10:47 pm PDT | by Robert Williams
Video: The reality of what happens at The Abbey

The Abbey cast with David Cooley, the club’s owner. (Photo by John Boatner)

David Cooley celebrated the premiere of his new show What Happens at The Abbey with a party featuring the show’s cast at The Abbey on Sunday night. The Abbey staff and budding reality stars featured in the series walked the red carpet before watching the first episode in the crowded bar that remained open to the public. Cooley appears in the show with an assortment of his hottest staff, including Nick the Gardener of Ellen DeGeneres fame, whose real name is Billy Reilich.

“I am excited to show what [The Abbey] brand is, that I had a dream 26 years ago to open a small coffee house and now here we are with a show on E!,” Cooley told The Blade on the red carpet.

The show, airing Sunday nights at 10 pm on the E! network, is as much a behind-the-scenes look at the personal lives of The Abbey employees as it is a narrative of what is happening at The Abbey. The show promises naked hard bodies, gay drama, straight drama and characters with evolving sexual identity, many of whom are following dreams while slinging and sometimes throwing drinks.

Previews of upcoming episodes show gaymous West Hollywood couple Murray Swanby and Cory Zwierzynski getting into a particularly heated alcohol induced argument and a drink being lobbed to the others face. We don’t know what fueled the martini baptism yet but it’s safe to say it was probably one of them flirting/kissing/sleeping with another, possibly someone of the opposite sex.

Zwierzynski told The Blade his family is thrilled for him to be on the show but he is nervous for them to see him “doing a lot of shots, yelling and saying a lot of things he shouldn’t say.”

Asked what makes a good reality show star, Swanby said, “You have to be likeable obviously but I think you have to be able to bring a little bit of drama and excitement to the show. A boring character is never very fun.”

Some critics argue shows like What Happens at The Abbey and Logo’s recently debuted Fire Island portraying gays living a party lifestyle undermine the gay community by ignoring rights abuses the LGBT community faces from the Trump Administration and atrocities like the mass murder of gays in Chechnya.

Asked to respond to this criticism, Cooley said, “The news is all about Donald Trump, we need a break; we need some laughs; we need some hope.”

And this reporter agrees.

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