Here is too beginning my fall previews for the coming season that really starts next Tuesday. I have seen every pilot airing in the fall (sans a completed The Forgotten). Over the next weeks, I will cover all the pilots with my basic thoughts and plot summary. Also, on the day they will premiere I will offer so more insight. Starting off with CW and The Beautiful Life….
The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cut-throat competition. Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Mayer (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left“), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line“), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy.
When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen (appearing in a cameo role), she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja Stone (Mischa Barton, “The O.C.“). Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel. While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by an agent at the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson, “Friends“).
At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera. That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl“), Isaac Taylor (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical 2“) and the current alpha-male-model known as Cole Shepherd (Nico Tortorella, “Twelve“).
At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career. However, after an ugly scene with an agent, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame.
The Good: Nobody can argue that this is not a good pairing with the veteran America’s Next Top Model on Wednesday nights. I am all for a series about models as long as it is interesting and well done, and I believe this is and could be something that is big for the wealthy “Gossip Girl” fans that are rich and love themselves way more than they should. The main reason I enjoyed the pilot very much was that the chemistry between the two leads, Sara Paxton and Ben Hollingsworth is undeniably great. When you watch the two you are just happy because you know that it is going to turn it to nice young love.
Another reason that this show should succeed is the fact they are not holding back. You have seen Corbin Bleu before on HSM but you have not seen him with a older lover played by Jamie Murray (Dexter), I want scandolous stories and I do not care wether or not they feature Mischa Barton who really does not good or nothing bad in the pilot.
The Not So Great: I can really tell you something that I did not hate about the show other than the fact that the acting was not tremendous and the writing was not spectacular but it didn’t need to be. The atmosphere and energy is what really made me enjoy it to watch the next episode.
The Beautiful Life (I refuse to be the TBL behind it) airs on The CW starting Wednesday, September 16th at 9/8c.