Welcome to the CW, where you can get glimpses of lifestyles that you can only dream about. The latest new series on this network depicting the lives of fabulously wealthy teenagers is here, and it's called Privileged
begins in New York, where our idealistic young protagonist Megan Smith (Joanna Garcia), a recent graduate of Yale, loses her unrewarding job at a tabloid magazine, has her apartment burned down and dyes her hair a screaming orange-red all in the same week. The trifecta of misery. Her boss at the magazine, feeling sorry for her, tells her of another job opportunity down in Palm Beach, Florida. Megan doesn't know exactly what the job entails, but she is familiar with Palm Beach, having grown up nearby.
Megan, her hair now a tasteful auburn, arrives at a fabulously well-appointed villa down in Palm Beach to meet her new employer, Laurel Limoges (Anne Archer) a cosmetics mogul. Megan is awfully cute when she's nervous, rambling on about her fear of snakes, sharks and terrorism after shaking hands with Laurel. (Megan says apologetically, "It's like I have Tourette's," the next time she starts babbling.) Laurel has led a tragic life, losing both her daughter and son-in-law, which means that she is now the sole guardian of her twin teenage granddaughters. Megan's new job, therefore, is to tutor these strong-willed girls, get their grades up, and get them both into Duke. The girls are obviously a handful, since the family has gone through three tutors already.
Megan isn't thrilled at the prospect of being a tutor, but the benefits of the job are enough to convince her to try her hand at it. During the day, when the girls are at school, she'll be able to spend time writing, which is what she wants to do. Plus, she'll have room and board, a fancy car and $1500 per week. If she succeeds in getting the girls into Duke, then Laurel will pay off the remainder of her Yale loans. The thing is, though, the girls are billionaires! I hardly think they'd have a difficult time getting into any school of their choice, regardless of their GPA.
Megan's tenure as tutor begins inauspiciously. She tiptoes into the girls' room, but gets tased by the bitchier of the girls, Sage (Ashley Newbrough). Lucy Hale plays the nicer one, named Rose. Rose and Sage spend more time gossiping and gallivanting off to photo shoots than reading The Great Gatsby
, so Megan's got her work cut out for her. Rounding out the happy home is Laurel's flamboyantly gay personal chef Marco Giordani (Allan Louis), who is just delightful.
Megan's platonic best friend, Charlie Hogan (Michael Cassidy) lives nearby, but you can tell that he's poor because he has to work as a lowly waiter. You can also immediately tell that he has secret feelings for her, which will surely come into play later on down the line. This is the CW, after all. Megan, meanwhile, is blissfully unaware because she can't stop excitedly squee-ing that Laurel Limoges might become her new mentor. Through their conversation, we also learn that Megan's father and sistery Lily live nearby as well, but she's not on good terms with either of them and wants to keep her return to Florida a secret from them. (Their mother left the family when Megan was seven, leaving their dad a sad mess.)
While the girls are off at their photo shoot, Megan meets her new next-door neighbor Will Davis (Brian Hallisay). He's a wealthy trust fund dude, but he aspires to be a sports photographer. Megan is immediately taken with him, but their day getting to know each other is interrupted when Sage calls her for an emergency. Megan rushes down to the beach and Sage tries to bully her into signing a waiver for them to appear in the photo shoot. However, Rose secretly signals to Megan that she doesn't want to do the shoot, so Megan refuses to sign. Uh oh, she's on Sage's blacklist now.
That night, Rose thanks Megan for taking over at the photo shoot. Rose admits that she doesn't always like to do the things that her sister does, but she can't say no to her. What she really wants to do is get into Duke. Shortly after their talk, Megan is summoned downstairs and summarily fired after Sage tattles on her to Laurel. Megan goes off on Sage for dragging her sister down the wasted heiress route with her. She makes a hilarious Spider Man
("With great power comes great responsibility. Shout out to Uncle Ben.")
The next day, instead of kicking Megan out of the house, Laurel rehires her because she was so impressed with how she handled Sage, and invites her to a big charity event happening that night. Megan is Cinderalla and Marco is her fairy. Hee.
At the big, fancy party, Megan runs into Will, giving her a chance to flirt with him some more. Unfortunately, she also runs into her sister Lily (Kristina Apgar). It is not a happy family reunion. Turns out, Sage invited her to the party solely for the purpose of causing trouble with Megan. I foresee a whole season of conflict between Sage and Megan on Privileged
, and I'm looking forward to it!
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)