Full disclosure notice: I have not watched E! in probably over a decade. Sure I used to watch E! News Daily and Talk Soup occationally but the channel just got too trashy for me the more the focused on fake famous people. Now that content is king and future libraries are the key to survival and the shelf-life of red carpet coverage and trashy reality shows pretty much end the minute it airs, E! has finally realized that like every other cable network, it is time to start making their own content instead of just talking about every else’s.
E!’s first attempt at scripted programming was successful enough that The Royals is already on its third season and renewed for a fourth. It seemed apropos for the network to greenlight a trashy show about the British monarchy since they go wall to wall with every major royal event. And it also seems right up their alley that their second deals with Hollywood relationship, the kind they fawn about when they walk down the red carpet, but The Arrangement looks what happens when the camera are not on.
The Arrangement is a tale as old as cinema, for better or worse, waitress by day, struggle actress by night who can only seem to get work in vampire doctor shows meets the biggest actor in the world, fall in lust, and he asks her to marry him. Okay the show is not as fairy-tale as that as the title suggests the newly minted relationship has some string attached as the big actor seems to have some deep dark secret and likes to have all his bases covered. And no, it is not that, as he tells the actress, she is not his beard (though I cannot decide if the show would be better or worse had he actually been gay).
The young actress is Christine Evangelista who is a great find for the show as she just fills the screen whenever she is front and center. I was a bit surprised to see she does have a lengthy IMDB page, thirty roles in the past decade and yet the closest thing she has come to a big break so far is a trashy lead on E!. Well I guess there was a quickly canceled ABC show in there that I do not even remember. Really, her hip hop tribute to Shakespeare in a bikini is the single greatest thing I have seen all year.
Unfortunately that is followed up with one of the worst lines I have heard, “I have to kiss you now.” Ugg. Those words are spoken by Josh Henderson (J.R. Jr. in the Dallas reboot) who is about an unbelievable biggest actor in the world as the guy from Entourage. But the series going forward may hinge on Michael Vartan (Monster In Law) and Lexa Doig (Continuum) who play a married couple very close friends of Henderson and run some weird, possibly cultish, science institute. Really, the more evil they turn out to be, the more interested I would become. Well that and more hip-hop tributes to dead writers.
The Arrangement airs Sundays at 10:00 on E!.