Privileged: Not Fantastic, But Shows Promise

Regarding the new fare on The CW, I actually enjoyed Privileged a little more than I did 90210 (which, I didn't quite enjoy).

It's pretty much The Nanny Diaries meets Gossip Girl (yes, it seems The CW has decided only rich people are interesting).

Privileged introduces us to Megan Smith (Joanna Garcia), a recent Yale grad who, like many recent grads, is struggling in her career endeavors. Megan wants to "write about people that matter" (what a sweet, naive thought), yet is working at a tabloid magazine in New York.

An apartment fire here (and please, a moratorium on the use of "vajayjay"; that phrase has been killed) and a lucky connection there and Megan is back where she came from...Florida.

Megan will be tutoring some spoiled, rich brats who live with their billionaire grandmother (who looks surprisingly young) for $1500 a week plus room/board and a sweet car. Problem is, Megan has to get the girls into Duke (because billionaires can't just donate a library, it seems), but they are more interested in photo shoots and core work than some good old F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Power struggles and shenanigans ensue, including Megan's very own family troubles (a boyfriend-stealing younger sister), who conveniently live in some yet-to-be determined location that is likely around the corner.

Random thoughts

-I watched this entire episode thinking it was taking place somewhere in southern California only to learn afterwords that it was supposedly in West Palm Beach, Florida (apparently somebody mentioned this during the pilot). Ummm, I'm from Florida. That was no East Coast.

-The best supporting role was definitely the chef (and are gay chefs the new trend character or what?...see True Blood)...who proclaimed himself Megan's fairy when she had to get ready for the ball. He also was mouthing hilarious things in the background when she was meeting hot neighbor, Will.

-I think Lucy "sometimes Kate" Hale (the short-lived Bionic Woman, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2) is a star in the making. Not only is she completely adorable, but I think she has definitely demonstrated some acting chops.

-The sappy interjections by Megan ("I love you, room") need to be toned down. Too cutesy...kinda excruciating.

-Poor Michael Cassidy. Always a groomsman never a groom (not a saying, but maybe it should be)? This dude seems to have gotten pigeon-holed as the "go-to guy for supporting roles on young people shows" (see The O.C., Smallville, the short-lived Hidden Palms). Also, I noticed some other people commenting that they thought he was gay until the end. I tend to agree.

-Megan's sister looked like she was 30. Sage also looked to be identical in age to Megan.

So why'd I like it more than 90210?

Granted, one of my biggest criticisms was that 90210 took an age-old theme and did nothing new with it. One could argue that Privileged has also been done and redone before.

I think one element that is a different spin is the whole "relationship between sisters" angle. This is something that isn't present in sister shows 90210, Gossip Girl, etc. There's obviously the interesting dynamic between Sage and Rose (good spices, as Megan pointed out) as well as the tension between Megan and her own sister, Lily.

In general, I also feel that Privileged showed a little more overall promise and heart. The show had me rooting for Megan and the sisters (especially Rose), whereas in 90210 I just didn't care.

Perhaps it's also because the show is written by Rina Mimoun, who is one of the brains behind one of my all-time underrated favorites, Everwood, that I have faith the show will grow and avoid the 'totally predictable' route in future episodes (plagiarism on papers, drunken parties that Megan must take responsibility for).

We'll see.


1 comment

Default avatar cat

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Sep 10, 2008 7:02PM EDT

lol, here i was about to go write a review for this show after learning that so many people actually preferred 90210 to privileged [what is wrong with this world, anyway?] but here you've summed up all of my thoughts! i have to admit that there was something decidedly refreshing about this show [at least as refreshing as possible when dealing with the CW as of late] in the sense where it didn't focus SO much on the money, but also on this cute little dynamic between the sisters [how are they twins anyway?!] and, for once, actually had the prerequisite hot guy. will by far trumps and CW guy [well... other than Ackles--he fights demons, that's just too sexy] and is admittedly a bit trite and hackneyed by being so perfect, but the show's not that realistic as it is so i suppose it gets away with it...
sorry for that rambling mess, you spurred a lot of random thoughts with that review and this was my piss poor attempt at penning it, not too good, i know.

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