Welcome, displaced ‘Reba’ fans and 90210 watchers who forgot to change the channel, to Privileged, the most southern-set of all the teen CW dramedies!
Megan Brown dyes her hair red in her diploma-emblazoned New York studio apartment as she video-conferences with her friend Charlie on a magazine article about clubbing. She soon finds herself stranded on her fire escape clad in only a towel after her apartment – and all its contents – catches on fire. Her editor (come back, Debi Mazar!) fires her the next morning and, as Megan attempts to tell her editor that she wants to write "important" stories, offers her an odd opportunity: to fly to Palm Beach for a job interview at Les Anges, the estate of cosmetics mogul Laurel Limoges. Wowed with views of the fabulous estate, Megan distractedly agrees to tutor Laurel’s twin teen socialite granddaughters, Rose and Sage. If Megan can get the girls accepted into Duke University, Laurel will repay all of Megan’s student loans.
Megan attempts to wake the twins for an introduction and is promptly tased (is it tasered or tased?) by Sage; fortunately, fairy godchef Marco is there to restore her. Rose attempts to apologize but Sage, clearly the leader of the two, dismisses her. The twins sneak out instead of attending a tutoring session, so Megan takes her new car out for a spin and surprises her friend Charlie at the Crab Shack where he waits tables. We learn that Megan is from Palm Beach – ooooh – and that she doesn’t want her father or sister Lily finding out that she is back in town.
The twins work on their cores and discuss boys while Megan tries to interest them in their summer reading. Rose and Sage quickly learn that Megan’s heart was broken when her the love of her life left her for her sister Lily. Megan quickly becomes used to the opulence of her new home and the tutelage of her new mentor Laurel; she even begins taking notes on the family, which as we know from every other television show, book or film in history will in no way come back to bite her in the ass. She meets cute with Will Davis, who claims to be the official omelette taster, but is in fact the next-door neighbor slash publishing scion slash hot rival for Charlie’s affections. All that multitasking! He must be exhausted! He gives her a tour of Palm Beach, including a stop at an art gallery where he reveals that his dream is to become a sports photographer. They are interrupted by a frantic phone call from Sage at a photo shoot who needs Megan to sign a waiver allowing the twins to, ah, expose their twins on film; Rose, on the other hand, silently tries to stop Megan from signing.
That night, Megan commiserates with Charlie about the twins and he accuses her of losing her way. She sneaks back into Les Anges to find Rose awaiting her. Rose thanks Megan for protecting her at the shoot; she admits that she’s afraid of disappointing Sage, and that she really wants to get into Duke. Megan tells Rose that her relationship with Lily is strained because she abandoned Lily with their depressed, alcoholic father. A majordomo brings Megan downstairs to Laurel and Sage, where Laurel fires Megan for having gone out that night. Megan turns on Sage in front of Laurel, revealing Sage’s ulterior motives, and Megan’s grace under pressure.
The next morning, Marco tells Megan that her flight home has been canceled, and that she is attending a fundraiser with the twins that night. Marco and his hairdresser boyfriend dress Megan up like Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" (yes, the Disney one) and she flirts with Will until she runs into her sister Lily. They confront each other and Rose stumbles up drunk to attempt a reconciliation between the sisters. Megan storms off and Lily sets her sights on Will. Megan protects Sage from a group of mean girls before hiding in the bathroom; Sage finds her and tells her to stay out of her business, revealing that it was she who invited Lily to the fundraiser. In the end, Laurel finds Megan and introduces her to the creme de la Palm Beach creme, making it clear that Megan is going to be one of them for quite some time.
Well, I…hmmm. I really enjoyed the (admittedly tissue-thin) chick-lit novel this show was based on, and I really like all of the actors individually – especially Lucy Hale, who is wee and Bilson-esque. But I can’t help but feel that Joanna Garcia is in an hour-long sitcom, and Anne Archer is bucking for an Emmy, and never the twain shall meet. Thoughts? First impressions?