07 January 2009
Rina Mimoun has written for some of my favourite TV shows. She’s given voice to Lorelai Gilmore, Ned the Piemaker, Ephram Brown and Dawson Leery, and what voices those were. But what Ms. Mimoun can’t seem to do is run her own show.
Privileged is so uneven that it sometimes makes me dizzy. The casting is a bizarre mix of perfection (Joanna Garcia, Lucy Hale, Michael Cassidy) and disaster (Ashley Newbrough, Kristina Apgar, Anne Archer); the plots range from fun (Rose and Sage plan a $10,000 a plate luncheon so Sage can flirt with her crush) to lovely (Rose struggles to follow her dreams without letting her sister down) to boring (Laurel decides to reconnect with her long lost lover) to stomach churning (anything involving Lily); and the characters flipflop between lovable and horrible on a regular basis (Megan makes an impassioned speech in which she quotes Spiderman then tries to get Will drunk so he’ll sleep with her, Charlie gives Megan a shoulder to cry on then abandons and ignores her for a couple of weeks).
Despite some rockiness in its first couple months, I though that Privileged had finally arrived on stable ground with their pre-Christmas finale. But after tonight’s winter premiere it seems as those there’s no shore in sight. Megan is still a time bomb, walking the thin line between sweetly quirky and sadistically selfish. Sage is involved in what could be a lovely romance if she weren’t so heinous. Charlie’s made a move towards self-improvement by applying to college but seems to be letting the women in his life pull him in whatever directions they want. Marco, out of nowhere, is getting some stories, but, sadly, not very interesting ones. Rose, of course, continues to be adorable, if a little two dimensional.
The development that inspired this post, however, is Mandy’s 180 on the Megan issue. Only weeks ago I praised Mandy for how freaking cool she was. She was coping with her boyfriend’s female best friend far better than most women would (particularly TV women). Her understanding and self confidence not only made Mandy an engaging character but it also made her a real prospect for Charlie to stay with. But this week, one can only assume for the sake of drama, Ms. Mimoun threw poor Mandy to the wolves and brought the green-eyed monster to call. Mandy threw an unprovoked jealous fit to rival the best in TV history. Way to take the one thing about a character that I really loved and sacrifice it for an episode’s worth of forced-plot. BOO.
Privileged has enough elements that I genuinely like that I’ll really be upset if it never finds stable footing.