Television Review: Privileged, "Pilot"
by R.J. Carter
Published: September 9, 2008
Reba's Joanna Garcia headlines this dramedy as the educated yet naive Megan Smith. Megan's a graduate of Yale, stuck working in New York for a tabloid press. But her story sensibilities quite glaringly don't make her a good fit for the job, and within the space of a single day she's homeless and jobless -- and sporting the world's most godawful red dye-job.
But in Megan's world, when God closes a door, he opens a window. In this case it happens to be a picture window, looking out on the landscaped lawns, audacious automobiles and impeccably dressed hardbodies that are the primary components of Palm Springs. It seems Megan's ex-editor wasn't totally unsympathetic to Megan's situation, and knew of an extremely lucrative -- not to mention, challenging -- opportunity.
Enter Laurel Limoges (Anne Archer), the widowed figurehead of a cosmetics conglomerate. She's seen her share of tragedy, including the death of her daughter, which left her responsible for two teenagers, Sage (Ashley Newbrough) and Rose (Lucy Hale), whom Laurel is determined to see make it into Duke. Which is where Megan comes in -- her job is to tutor the girls and see to it that they're accepted into the North Carolina campus. In exchange, she gets use of the grounds, the car, a stipend -- and complete and total coverage of her student loan.
Privileged People. Brian Hallisay as Will, Lucy Kate Hale as Rose, Anne
Archer as Laurel (seated), Ashley Newbrough as Sage, JoAnna Garcia as
Megan, Allan Louis as Marco, Michael Cassidy as Charlie, Kristina Apgar as Lily
PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Ecclesine/ The CW ©2008 THE CW NETWORK.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Sure, educating the unwilling can be frustrating, but really, how hard could it be? Well, for starters, Megan's introduction to Sage comes at the business end of a taser. It seems nobody, but nobody, awakens Bitchy Rich before noon. Sage's twin sister, Rose, is far more nice and agreeable, but is lacking in the self-sufficiency department when it comes to cow-towing to her sibling's every demand -- such as posing with her for a photographer whose tastes in clothing and poses is more questionable than Miley Cyrus's Vanity Fair cover.
With at least one heiress determined to see Megan destroyed, by hook or by crook, our Little Miss Sunshine definitely has her work cut out for her. Thankfully, there's the cute boy next door (Brian Hallisay) to distract her, and the house chef, Marco (Alan Louis) to extend a friendly hand now and again.
Originally titled Surviving the Filthy Rich, Privileged comes across like a "Legally Blonde" meets "The Nanny Diaries." The characters are engaging, the plot is straightforward, and there's enough of a "mysterious backstory" to Megan to keep viewers coming back for a while. And, hey, any Yale graduate girl who quotes Spider-Man's uncle Ben to a sulking juvenile delinquetante is aces in my book!