Sunday, September 14, 2008

TV RECAP: "Priveleged" (Ep. 1)

The chronicling of the filthy rich continues with this CW series about Megan Smith (Joanna Garcia from "Reba"), a straight-out-of-college aspiring journalist who gets fired from her tabloid job and referred to a nanny-seeking socialite, who wants her to get her orphan granddaughters Rose (Lucy Hale from "Bionic Woman") and Sage (newcomer Ashley Newbrough) into Duke University in exchange for her loans being paid off. While it seems pretty cut and dry (emphasis on the dry), there were a few interesting moments.

For example, when she broke down in front of her boss after her apartment burned down and she accidentally dyed her hair Kool-Aid red. Emotionally distraught, she whined: "I'm a homeless person with peppermint paddie hair. OH MY GOD everything is bad!" She's kind of spastic when it comes to reigning in her emotions. Sometimes she tends to overshare, like when she divulged that she was afraid of "snakes, sharks, and terrorism" (nice that she prioritizes). She even agrees, admitting "It's like I have turrets [syndrome]." But you have to cut her some slack. While she is the underappreciated tutor of bitchy Blair-Jenny wannabes, she's also interested in getting their grandmother to be her mentor, because she's a successful businesswoman with a certain confidence that Megan seriously lacks. I find it hard to believe that she'll be able to maintain high self-esteem around these girls, especially Sage who told her, "I puke cuter than that outfit."

However, she does have a a circle of friends who'll keep her sane. There's the live-in gay chef, who brings the funny every time he's on screen. Like for example, when she meets Will (newcomer Brian Hallisay), the rich cutie next door with photography aspirations, the chef comically mimes "Have babies with him" behind Will's back. Then there's her best friend Charlie (Michael Cassidy from "Smallville") who is clearly in love with her. He's the one who brings to light her hidden past. The fact that her mother abandoned her when she was 7, her dad became a depressed drunk and she escaped him, leaving her little sister Lily (newcomer Kristina Apgar) behind, when she went away to college. Uh, Lily's kind of bitter. She might actually become even more annoying than Megan's students. But while Rose is puddy in her hands because she really wants to go to Duke and make her mother proud, Sage is hell-bent on rising in the higher echelons of society and keeping Megan at arm's length. I personally think that she has abandonment issues and would rather torture Megan than let her into her heart and risk getting hurt.

Even though Sage seems to be a formidable enemy, having invited Lily to a ball so that she'd find out Megan was secretly back in town, and the love triangle of Will-Megan-Michael might be slightly interesting, the story itself is hardly worthy of an hour or even of skipping FOX's "Fringe" for. The only thing that makes it interesting is Joanna Garcia. Playing dumb on "Reba" for 6 years must've sharpened her comedic skills, because she's not just a pretty face anymore. She's actually very charismatic and engaging. Of course, the great dialogue also deserves some credit. It completely caught me off guard when she quoted Spiderman ("With great power, comes great responsibility") and then proceeded to say "Shout out to Uncle Ben," and then clarified after her speech was over that it was Spiderman's Uncle Ben who said that and not her Uncle Ben. Geeks everywhere swooned. She even dropped a few pop culture nuggets for the TMZ/Perez Hilton-obsessed generation, when she ranted about her sister's payback of stealing her boyfriend, saying: "It is a significant level of betrayal. Brutus, Judas, Brangelina!" I think this generation would agree that all three of those betrayals were on the same level. lol

I'll give it a few more episodes, but if the dialogue slips up and the plot continues to be boring, I'll pass.

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