To say I was excited for the premiere episode of Famous in Love on FreeForm is a small understatement. I LOVED the books and was excited to see a story capturing the movie adaptation of a book being adapted into a TV show. Yeah, a lot to get your head around I know. So we’ll start with the beginning, what Famous in Love is all about.
Famous in Love the book by Rebecca Serle came out in October 2014 and both Sophie and I LOVED it! You can read our reviews of Famous in Love & Truely, Madly, Famously (book 2) that we posted when the books first came out. There should be a 3rd book coming out, just not 100% sure when. The basic plot of the book is, it follows Paige Townsen from unknown to major movie star when she lands the lead in LOCKED – a movie adaptation of the hugely popular book of the same name. If you remember the Twilight craze, you can picture what’s going on here. The books by Serle are told from Paige’s point of view and show the ins and outs of going from a regular girl with a dream to the IT girl.
Now on with the show.
The episode opens up with a cover of The Mamas and the Papas’ California Dreamin’ by Sia, that is amazing, playing over Paige Townsen (Bella Thorn) arriving back in LA after the filming of LOCKED. She’s now the “it” girl and the paparazzi are waiting for her as she leaves to get into her car. It then jumps back to 1 year before and we then start to see how Paige got to the point in which we first meet her.
The show has Paige as a college student living in LA. She has dreams of becoming an actress but is being sensible and doing the college thing and studying business or something practical instead. Her BFFs and roomies, Cassandra (Georgie Flores) and Jake (Charlie Depew) are both looking for their big break, and are about to open a play that Jake has written. Days before the play is supposed to open, Cassandra has plans to go to an open casting call for LOCKED’s leading lady August and convinces Paige to go with.
Paige gets a call back for the day of the play’s opening and has an instant connection with Rainer Devon (Carter Jenkins), the actor playing the lead in the movie, and she gets an immediate call back to read with Jordan Wilder (Keith Powers) who’s playing the third lead in the movie.
Okay, a little bit about LOCKED. Locked is a fictional book series that is being adapted in Famous in Love. August, who is being played by Paige Townsen, and Noah, who is being played by Rainer Devon, get stuck together on a desert island after their plane crashed while they were on a school trip. Noah is August’s boy friend’s best friend, she’s not supposed to fall for him. But the island has some secrets and Noah and August’s feelings get mingled with the island’s magic and things go a little sideways when Ed, played by Jordan Wilder, comes back into the picture. Que epic YA love triangle.
Paige lands the part of August and this is where the fun begins. I loved how the show is bookended with the cover of Califonia Dreamin’ and Paige with the paparazzi. And I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
The adaptation of Famous in Love trends a little older than the books. The Paige and her friends are in college, not high school and the show does not stray away from the sexy side of Hollywood. The sexed up aspect of the show will make it a non-whole family show, but I think it fits in the larger FreeForm show line-up. I am glad they aged up the show, the age difference between Paige and Rainer was a little weird in the books, but it made the fish out of water aspect of Paige even more pronounced. The lack of an age gap will probably change the story going forward, but it’s one of the few changes I’m not taking issue with.
So, the changes I am taking issues with. I miss Paige’s nerdy side. She’s a HUGE fan of scripts and has been acting in local theatre for years. The show makes it seem like acting has been a dream but not the thing Paige lives to do. I’m also not sure how I feel about the changes to Cassandra. She has a mystery relationship with a mystery man, and yeah, not sure where this is going or how it plays in with the overall plot, but I’m along for the ride, just skeptical. They also changed Jake. His passion is the environment and is always going protests and such to change the world. So to have him now be a theatre person too, fine, whatever. Again, not a huge deal, and I’m sure this change, and the change to Cassandra, is to keep the two characters in the show a bit more than they were in the book. But again, I’m going to going into the changes to Jake with a little hesitation.
I did totally enjoy the pilot episode and can’t wait to see how it all ends up playing out. The fact that they expanded the story to beyond just Paige’s point of view opens up the whole world and brings in more of the crazy that goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood (imagined or real, who knows, but it makes for good TV). I also LOVE that Mrs. Ari Gold, Perrey Reeves, is playing the producer powerhouse Nina Devon (Rainer’s mom). I wonder if she’s channeling any Jeremy Piven for the role.
So there you have it, not a full blow by blow of the episode, there’s a lot more going on that I didn’t get into, don’t want to spoil too much, my recap for Famous in Love Pilot Episode. I’ll be posting recaps every Wednesday after the show airs on FreeForm’s cable channel. The episodes will air weekly, but you are able to binge all 10 episodes now on FreeForm.go.com or on Hulu.
(all pictures from the show are screen grabs – PTB claims no ownership of these images, they remain the property of the copyright holder)