This is a typical pilot episode. It introduces the main characters and sets up the initial conflicts. Dealing mainly with Sophie and her new school the other plot lines involve the older sister Karen who finds out that modeling in New York is far more competitive than it was in New Mexico. Sophie and Karen’s mother Lynn is not without her own drama. She is recently divorced and not looking for a new romance. However, a boyfriend from twenty years earlier reenters her life in the form Of Julian Fiske father of another Brighton sophomore.
The series title, Beautiful People, has a dual meaning. First and foremost it is a derogatory term used to describe The Brighton School’s ruling social clique. This is interesting outside the context of the show. All the students in the show are sophomores. It is more likely that seniors and juniors would run the school’s social life. The second meaning was used in the promotion of the show. Physically beautiful actresses play Lynn, Karen and Sophie Kerr and that fact was used in the promotional spots prior the airing of the pilot.
Another beauty that brings fire to the story is Jordan Madley who plays the evil Paisley Bishop. A stereotypical villainess Paisley has quickly taken on the new girl who she sees as a rival for her boyfriend Nicholas’ affections. Not above using sex to gain an advantage, Paisley is still rather two-dimensional. In fact most of the characters are not well developed to this point. Other than Sophie and her mother, character development was left for future episodes. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Gideon to realize that Annabelle is waiting for him to grow up and realize that she loves him. In that way they are reminiscent of Xander and Willow in the early years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also look forward to learning more about the other students who are yet undefined or even named.
Older sister Karen is obviously headed for a case of bohemia. Maybe she and Paisley can occupy adjoining stalls. Last but not least is the adult story of Lynn and Jordan offers another conflict. Past friendship probably is not sufficient to describe their former relationship. However, Jordan is married and Lynn is too recently divorced to be interested in reuniting with her old college flame.
Beautiful people merits further viewing especially in an August filled with junk reality shows and reruns.