Freeform’s freshman drama ‘Famous in Love’ is about an ordinary girl suddenly becoming a huge movie star. While it’s the ultimate dream pandering millennials enjoy to binge, it seems that even with Pretty Little Liars’ I. Marlene King, this drama fails to captivate its audience beyond flashy Hollywood lights and drop-dead gorgeous gowns.
The show opens up with Paige Townsen (Bella Thorne), leading lady in Locked, a fictional book franchise, arriving at an airport. We see Townsen as a typical actress that walks through the sea of paparazzi before getting into a car, just shy of her driver welcoming her home to good ole L.A.
We’re then transported back to one year ago, where Townsen’s ascent into fame began. She has two best friends and roommates, Cassie (Georgie Flores) and Jake (Charlie DePew). Cassie is the daughter of an acclaimed actress and is an aspiring actress herself, while Jake is a film student trying to pitch his screenplay to anyone willing to tell him it’s good despite his screenplay being about a played out love triangle (as viewers soon get the hints within the first six episodes, it’s not that fantastic).
Throughout the 10-episode season, available conveniently on Freeform’s app or Hulu, we get a chance to navigate the Hollywood world with newbie Paige. And while the idea of an unknown, amateur actress rising to the top is cool, the story seems to fall short on the emotional level. Viewers will soon find it hard to actually feel sympathy for Paige as she fails to stop her disintegrating humble friendships by skirting around the real issues with Cassie and Jake. Cassie can’t handle Paige’s growing fame and Jake can’t seem to tell Paige how he feels about her. To be fair though, her “best friends” don’t exactly make it clear to her until the final episodes as to why they start giving her the cold shoulder.
If the best friends-in-love plot wasn’t played out enough, we also get the costars-falling-for-each-other storyline, with Paige and Rainer Devon (Carter Jenkins).
Another love triangle on a TV show. Color me surprised.
While Jenkins’ past roles in movies such as Valentines Day and Aliens in the Attic were entertaining on a comedic level, his minimal effort in delivering lines as the celebrity Rainer don’t help out this already drowning show.
But perhaps the worst part about this show is the leading lady herself. Bella Thorne fails to convince us she’s an on-the-rise actress from humble roots. Despite her many tangents on having teachers for parents or being an economics major, she fails to sway the viewers on her side. I found myself cringing at her delivery of emotional lines because they felt empty and inauthentic. She’s trying to play a normal college girl turned into an actress yet I don’t believe her.
If a second season happens, one can only hope Thorne grows into her role to convince us she’s more than just another Disney kid trying to shed her younger image.