Disney-alum Bella Thorne puckers and pouts as a guileless student named Paige who attends her first big movie audition and turns into a huge movie star overnight – because this is Freeform and your first role is always in the “biggest book series since Harry Potter.”
Based on Rebecca Serle’s YA book series, and adapted for television by Serle and producer I. Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars), Famous In Love follows the cutesy can’t-walk-in-heels-nervous-babbler as she stumbles into fame in a town where people have names like Rainer and Tangey and contour like the Kardashians, only to discover it’s not all glamorous photo shoots and wardrobe fittings. But wait, it actually is.
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Paige’s biggest concern (other than having multiple attractive men vying for her affections) soon becomes the fact that she doesn’t have time for her econ homework and, despite a hefty paycheck, she’s not willing to take a year out from her studies. One of the show’s biggest problems is that the characters’ issues are simply unoriginal: Students can’t afford the rent on their shabby chic apartments, but drive classic convertibles; movie heartthrobs have hidden pasts that could jeopardize their success. They’re also unrealistic and predictable. Those dull dilemmas make up the majority of the show’s drawn-out storylines and none of them are quite compelling enough to make it worth your investment.
Too annoying to binge and not addictive enough to warrant waiting a week between episodes, Freeform’s decision to offer up the the full season on digital platforms simultaneously with the linear premiere isn’t particularly appetizing. Nonetheless, the people and places are pretty to look at, and there’s a high chance you’ll come away with eyebrow envy.
Yes, you’ve seen this story and its fairly flat and uninspired characters a million times before, but, as Hollywood teaches, sometimes a shiny surface is all you need. B-