July 18, 2011
A Beautiful Mess
Back in 2005, my lovely friend Brenda became smitten with a new ABCFamily show called Beautiful People and suggested I watch it. I didn't take her suggestion, though I don't recall why. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the show was on NetFlix Instant and immediately added it to my queue with plans to right a 6-year-old wrong. That's the kind of friend I am. (That is, the kind who won't take your advice for 6 years and then pats herself on the back for doing so when the universe makes it as easy as it's ever going to get to do so.)
Over the weekend I caught the first 4 of the 16 episodes. I was far from won-over by the pilot but it is getting increasingly more interesting as they focus slightly less on wide-eyed Sophie and her life as a scholarship student at the snobbiest prep school New York City has to offer, and more on aspiring model/cocktail waitress sister, Karen and their newly-divorced mother, Lynn.
I've always thought Daphne Zuniga is great but I had no idea I could find Torrey DeVitto so interesting. Frankly, watching her play Karen on this show has almost convinced me that her portrayal of Melissa on Pretty Little Liars is a choice and not the result of extremely limited acting talent. I'm not saying she's a revelation or anything, but she's getting the job done which is more than I can say for Sarah Foret. Actually, I'm not sure if she's purposely playing Sophie as an over-simple, saccharine, moron or if that's just how if comes off because she's not a good actress. Either way, they show has put most of it's focus on her through these first four episodes and she's the least enjoyable person in the cast. I'd rather spend 1/3 of our time following Annabelle and Gideon around as they play the watered-down, hetero versions of more interesting characters from Mean Girls than watch Sophie be humiliated by her own naivete with Nicky and Paisley three times per episode.
Which reminds me - Paisley? Really, show? I guess the universe wanted me to know that there is a more hateful name than Sharpay.
Next up: I hope to find out what the next move in the teachers bag of stalker tricks is - because that thing where he sat out in front of the club with a cigarette in his mouth blowing smoke out his nose while he watched Karen leave with the modeling agent, really took it to a level I had not anticipated. I'm also looking forward to a developing relationship between Lynn and Donna Martin's ex-boyfriend, Cameron Bancroft.