Saturday, September 26, 2009

An Ugly Death for the Beautiful Life

So it's an ugly death for The Beautiful Life . The new CW show was cancelled already after only two episodes. Poor Corbin Bleu got naked for nothing. We knew that show was doomed to failure sorry but we're a little surprised that they cancelled it so quickly. We never even got to write our "this show will probably be cancelled" review. So instead, here is our postmortem review.

The first tip that it was going to fail... they tried to artifically force a nickname for the show instead of letting it happen naturally. (The show's official title was actually The Beautiful Life: TBL. Sorry, but no.) You have to let that happen organically. Even if you are going to force it, you don't name the show the nickname... unless of course, the show is 90210.

The next tip off? The cast. Very beautiful, relatively talented, but something just didn't work. I'd imagine that the bulk of the audience of this show are teens who have aged out of Disney and are looking for something with the familiar faces but a little more "grown up". So the network probably thought they had the perfect combination of new faces and familiar favorites, but something was just... off. It wasn't believable and the chemistry just wasn't there.

Viewers of a certain age just weren't ready to see Corbin Bleu as anyone but Chad Danforth from the High School Musical trilogy. It sucks for him, but it's true. The fact that his character on TBL was a former child model who just couldn't break into the modeling scene as an adult... was appropriate... but let's face it, he's no model. And while Sara Paxton is pretty good at playing the sweet ingenue (Aquamarine and Return to Halloweentown) her actual fans surely love her more as the bitch (Sleepover and Sydney White). And yes, I've seen all of those movies so I know what I'm talking about (fuck you, don't judge me.)

While Mischa Barton of The O.C. is no stranger to playing a "troubled" character - on and off screen - I don't buy her as a bitchy model with a secret baby. The rest of the cast members were also caricatures... It seemed as though they were putting together a formulaic list while writing the script: Bitchy but beautiful female model? Check. Bitchy but beautiful male model? Check. Straight-off-the-farm clueless newbie? Check. Druggie bad boy? Check. Domineering agency head? Check. Famous fashion name-dropping and cameos? Check.

And lastly, the truth is that there are a ton of fashion/modeling shows we've already seen. At least three are on the air right now as I type this: America's Next Top Model and Lifetime sister shows Project Runway and Models of the Runway. Does America really want to see actors and actresses pretend to be models when they can watch the real thing? (Or really, why would the CW want to pay actors and actresses to pretend to be models, when they can get the real thing for practically free?) And if viewers just want to see beautiful teenagers in expensive designer clothes, they can watch Gossip Girl.

The show was apparently so bad that the CW dumped it before even finding a suitable show to run in its place. Word is that they will temporarily fill the slot with re-runs of Melrose Place and perhaps run the dramedy Life UneXpected as a mid-season replacement (you know, when Melrose Place is also ultimately cancelled). The network is also in talks about picking up two reality program - a show following New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer and another about flight attendants, called Fly Girls (not to be confused with the PBS doc of the same name about Women Airforce Service Pilots, although that would be interesting.)

Before we go, we thought we'd give you all a little something to remember the show by... so here's a nakie Corbin Bleu one more time...

No comments: