To watch “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” is to be disappointed. At least if your expectations were impossibly high, as mine were (and for obvious reasons). To be clear, the show has potential. But overall it’s heavy on the beach club and light on the LiLo, which effectively renders it a lesser version of “Vanderpump Rules.”
The pretense for LLBC is thin, and that’s always a recipe for reality TV mediocrity. In order to develop a show around the Lohan Beach House in Mykonos, MTV cobbled together a crew of nine fame-hungry American bartenders and club promoters and conscripted them into serving as the club’s VIP hosts/brand ambassadors for the summer. In a unique twist that’s never been tried by any network before, the boozed-up twentysomethings are forced to share luxurious living quarters as well.
Tasked with supervising the cast, Panos, Lohan’s beautifully bronzed business partner, is a bright spot, suited perfectly to the genre with his propensity for biting one-liners like “Everybody is replaceable” and “That’s not a cool blazer for the beach.” Upon greeting the crew, he doesn’t even remove his headphones, a subtle but effective projection of shade and superiority.
The highlight of the premiere came when producers (presumably) plied the barely acquainted group with alcohol then had Lohan drop in on them at their house unannounced. Their scramble to sober up and get out of the pool was effortlessly amusing. Assembled for an impromptu get-to-know-you meeting, Lohan lays into one of the cast members for wearing only a bra (hilarious, because she didn’t really have much choice given that Lohan surprised them mid-swim session), and savagely quips, “I think you want your own show, so you should focus on that.”
The show’s central conflict is an obviously preconceived tension between the staff’s urge to spend the summer partying and Lohan’s hardline insistence they’re only in Mykonos to work because she of “Herbie Fully Loaded” fame is now a serious business woman. Very believable.
It would be difficult to deny there’s nothing compelling about Lohan’s ostensible transformation and her self-imposed exile to Greece, away from the withering gaze of insatiable paparazzi. But the purpose of the show is clearly an attempt to solidify her image as a changed woman, meaning she’s hyperconscious of her words and actions. That’s a great way to make a boring reality show. Sure, it’s amusing to watch her play a younger, more eccentric Lisa Vanderpump in confessional interviews. But it’s not enough.
On top of that, the show looks set to be driven more heavily by crew drama, including a budding romance between Sara and “alpha male” Brent, than Lohan herself, suggesting a lack of strong LiLo content. Unless this cast of run-of-the-mill reality wannabes proves to be exceptionally interesting over the course of the next few episodes, LLBC will basically be a cheap “Vanderpump Rules” knockoff with no James Kennedy, MTV’s reliably cheesy editing (which worked well for “Jersey Shore,” but that’s another story), and a buttoned-up version of Lohan.
I expect the show to produce a few memorable LiLo moments over the course of its run. But I’m not sure it’s enough to keep me tuning in for full episodes. Like water seeking its own level, the best Lohan content always finds its way onto social media, after all.