Has Freeform (finally) found its next Pretty Little Liars?
As seen in Tuesday’s premiere, Famous in Love — from PLL mastermind Marlene King — follows Paige Townsen (played by Bella Thorne), a young actress whose life changes overnight when she lands the lead role in a big-screen adaptation of the popular Locked book series. And as far as Freeform dramas go, FiL pretty much checks off every box imaginable: Secrets! Scandal! Sexual fluidity!
Perhaps the best way to begin a dialogue about this show is to examine the various groups of people in Paige’s life — groups which, as you can imagine, will soon overlap:
THE ROOMMATES | Every young actress needs a support system, and for Paige, that system comes in the form of her roommates: Cassie (Georgie Flores), the cutie with a secret, and Jake (Charlie DePew), the aspiring filmmaker with incredibly distracting abs. Speaking of which, why is it so hard for Paige to admit she’s hungry for more than just Jake’s burgers? And why is Cassie paying visits to sketchy millionaires’ houses under the pseudonym “Lacey”? (Spoiler alert: If you’re thinking she’s a prostitute, you’re not totally off-base.)
THE MOVIE STARS | The only thing more dramatic and complicated than the plot of Locked — which you can read more about here — is the goings-on of its stars. Rainer Devon (Carter Jenkins) and Jordan Wilder (Keith Powers) have a nasty little history, one that began in friendship… and ended with Rainer punching Jordan for sleeping with his girlfriend, R&B superstar Tangey Turner (Pepi Sonuga). Rainer is currently sober, and has been for more than a year, but given how many secrets are being kept from him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him reaching for a little liquid comfort down the road. Also in the mix is Alexis Gleen (Niki Kloss), an equal-opportunity sex kitten who’s willing to screw anyone over — or, you know, just screw anyone — to get back on top.
THE ‘ADULTS’ | Like all good teen dramas, the adults on Famous in Love tend to act more like teenagers than responsible guardians — and for that, we thank them. Case in point: Nina Devon isn’t just a producer on Locked; she’s also Rainer’s mom, and as such, is willing to stoop pretty low to protect her son’s image. In the first episode alone, we saw her literally grab a gossip reporter by the balls before calling him to share a dirty secret about Jordan and Tangey. Oh, and how could I forget — she’s sleeping with Jordan!
To say that Famous in Love is weaving a tangled web would be an understatement, considering all of the above occurred in the pilot alone. But here’s a question: Will you continue watching Paige & Co. on a weekly basis? Will you, instead, choose to binge the entire 10-episode season right away? Or was one trip to La La Land enough for you?
Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.