Having watched the 30 minute presentation for the series premiere of The Beautiful Life: TBL two times now, I wish I could say that I was anxiously awaiting a second episode (or even a full first episode), but that’s simply not the case. The show tells the story of the glamorous life of models, behind the scenes, off the runway. You’ve got the stunning new ingénue (Sara Paxton) who is slowly replacing the aging, pill-popping has-been (Mischa Barton in a shockingly familiar role); the Iowa farm boy (Ben Hollingsworth) who is literally plucked from obscurity at a restaurant with his touristy family; the mysterious loner (Nico Tortorella) and the do-anything-for-a-job-including-sexual-favors (Ashley Madekwe); that guy from High School Musical (Corbin Bleu), and Elle MacPherson.
Sure, it’s about these models, and about what happens when the new one replaces the old one, and drugs are available, and model scouts are sleaze balls, and they’re all gorgeous, and to be honest, no one stood out as “terrible” aside from maybe Mischa (I’m sure she’ll get better. She has to, right?). Where it fell apart for me was that the story lines were predictable (oh no, Raina’s dad is crazy, that guy can’t tell it’s a camera phone, Mischa’s character is popping pills and has a secret!) and the dialogue was clunky and forced. And though it shouldn’t impact my view of the series as a whole, Zac Posen, playing himself, has one of the worst cameos I’ve seen in recent years.
I can see why The CW thought this was a good fit, with Gossip Girl Monday, 90210 trying to be the new Gossip Girl on Tuesday, it makes sense that the pretty models in the high octane world would be a sure, but in order for me to tune in to more than 2 episodes, they need to step it up.
Series Premiere: Wednesday, September 16th on The CW 9/8c