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With Bella Thorne’s name more so being associated with provocative pictures and reports of who she is or isn’t dating, there wasn’t much in the way of expectations. However, there is some inkling of hope this can be good. Even if the acting and story don’t create much in the way of excitement.
Three, likely 20 something-year-olds, all want to make it big in entertainment. Paige (Bella Thorne) and Cassandra (Georgie Flores) want to do so through acting, and their friend Jake (Charlie DePew) wants to do so through writing. In fact, he has even made a play which stars Cassandra. As for Paige, well, her parents aren’t supporting her to become an actress but go to school so while she fancies the idea of getting into acting, it isn’t a realistic goal.
However, as usual, she is talked into an audition and, similar to The Arrangement, we just so happen to be following the girl who captures the lead actor’s, Rainer’s (Carter Jenkins) attention and who seemingly gets a crush on our lead. Thus setting up her life forever changing and the seeds of jealousy being planted. Though not just with Cassandra, but those who are friends of Paige’s leading man, Rainer, too. For between his mom Nina (Perrey Reeves) being his manager and an owner of a production company it seems, alongside his storied relationships with past and present co-stars, that will add to the show’s drama.
Specific Plot Topics Seem Made To Just Roll Your Eyes
We have a secret lesbian relationship and someone sleeping with Rainer’s mom. The lesbian relationship seems focused first on tantalizing and then pandering to the LGBT community as they have been for years. Meaning, we aren’t going to see a loving and any semblance of a real relationship. That whole queer plot is just to setup secrets and drama. Nothing more, nothing less. Then with the whole Rainer’s mom thing, which ends the episode, as much as many will like the idea of an older woman being sexy to a younger man, again there seems to be nothing genuine about it. Between revenge or to set up drama, that is all you can foresee based on the tone of this show. Which honestly, at times, seems like a slightly grown-up Disney show. Especially as you watch the scene transitions which bounce from random shot to random shot with recycled Disney Channel music.
On The Fence
It Has Potential
None of the actors really sell this show and if nearly all of them could be replaced, I would be happy. However, the characters themselves are interesting. Paige is someone who you wish was played by an actress with a similar vibe to Christine Evangelista who possessed that sort of fish out of water humbleness. If only because she is presented as a sort of realist. She is studying and going to school since there are 0 guarantees acting can play out. Then, when she gets lucky and gets a major role, there is this desire to really connect with the actor and be happy for them. But something about Thorne just doesn’t deliver.
This issue continues through the rest of the characters since, to me, the focus was more so casting attractive and sort of known actors vs. those who could actually perform. Another example would be the issues which are between Rainer, Alexis (Niki Koss), Dakota (Ana Mulvoy-Ten), and Jordan (Keith Powers). While all the actors are probably nice people, there is something about each and everyone which makes it seem they are out of their element and uncomfortable. Which, who knows, maybe Thorne and the rest of the cast just need some time to get comfortable in these roles. However, based off the last show I watched from FreeForm, Beyond, I have a strong feeling that while the characters, on paper, will remain interesting, their actors will dampen their potential.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
Thus far, the offerings of the FreeForm brand haven’t been that good. The casting directors seem more focused on finding modelesque actors who look straight from the runway than actors who have honed their craft and just need an opportunity. For while many of the actors on here have had past roles, I’d argue that none of them are ready to be leads and have the weight of a show on their shoulders yet.
However, it is but the first episode and there aren’t a huge amount of shows which click well right off the bat. Some take a few episodes, some seasons. Let’s hope this only takes a few episodes to become more than beautiful people looking at one another, kissing, and simulating sex. All the while barely connecting with either each other or their audience.