September 19, 2009

TV: The Beautiful Life (CW, Wed 9)

I am in no way a part of the CW's target demographic. I am a kind of shlumpy-looking guy, no longer young, and have never been part of the in crowd. Every now and then, I admit, I find myself thinking how much easier life would be if I could only be young and beautiful. Well, thank goodness, I have the CW, and The Beautiful Life in particular, to disabuse me of that foolish notion.

It is hard to be young and beautiful. Just look at the horrible lives these young models lead. There's poor Isaac (Corbin Bleu), who used to be a successful child model, but is now forced to sleep with an elderly fashion designer (she must be all of 35!) in order to get work. There's the tragic case of Sonja (Mischa Barton), who returns for her first runway show after a mysterious six-month disappearance, only to find that she can't fit into the dress because she's gained two pounds.

Weep for Raina (Sara Paxton), who has run from her horrible jailbird father, whom she never wants to see again. (Now if it were me, I would think that staying hidden would be best accomplished by not becoming a fashion model and having your photo appear in national magazines, but then, I suppose they don't read a lot of Vogue in prison.) And saddest of all, there's Chris Andrews from Iowa (Ben Hollingsworth) -- he's called "Chris Andrews from Iowa" so many times that you begin to believe it's actually his full name -- forced to turn to modeling, I kid you not, in order to help save the family farm.

Even by the low standards of a CW soap opera, The Beautiful Life is an incoherent, babbling mess of a show, with little more to offer than eye candy. None of these people can act (you know you're in trouble when Elle McPherson offers the show's richest characterization as the owner of the agency for which everyone works), and the writing never even tries to rise above cliche. We haven't seen a show this pointless in many years.

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