Paige's jerk dad and her fangirl mom came to town on Famous In Love Season 1 Episode 2, and things were (briefly) not looking so good for her fledgling acting career.
For all of the drama surrounding her dad's disapproval over her choice to pursue acting, it was rather weirdly wrapped up in a neat little bow in the final two minutes of screentime. What an odd quick-fix that was.
"A Star Is Torn" centered on Paige's anxieties about her newfound fame. As she told Cassie and Jake in the stylist scene, she can hardly enjoy all of the amazing things happening to her because of her worries over balancing school and dealing with her dad.
Oh, how sad. Woe is Paige. (Note: This is sarcasm. Everything she complained about is basically the definition of first-world problems.)
Paige even whipped up a spreadsheet in an attempt to prove to her dad that she could do both school and Locked. Of course, the spreadsheet told her exactly what Nina told her in their meeting – school and being a movie star at the same time just isn't going to work.
I mean... duh.
But no, Paige continuously insisted that she could do both. Clearly, that's going to fall apart rather quickly. But despite that, this plot couldn't be less interesting.
After all, we've already seen future Paige as a massive star on the Famous in Love Series Premiere, so we already know that she chooses the movie over school (if it comes down to that choice). (Obviously it will come down to that choice.)
To top it all off, Paige's dad was an absolutely terrible and unsympathetic character, so I couldn't scrounge up a scrap of concern about whether their relationship would be wrecked by Paige's decision.
First, he basically slut-shamed Carrie Ann Inaba for wearing a halter top in Los Angeles (as if Carrie Ann Inaba cares what some random Midwestern dude thinks of her).
Then, he was a complete dick about Paige's movie news, even when her mom was legitimately excited for her. He only came around when a fangirl approached Paige and said she'd written an A-plus paper on the character Paige is playing in the movie.
The whole thing made little-to-no sense (especially him so suddenly coming around about the movie thing), like much of this show so far.
Mixed in with all that, we got more of Paige's babbling "charm," when she tried (and failed) to babble her way past the security guard on the studio lot when she forgot her ID. It led to this deeply cringe-worthy exchange:
Security Guard: You know her, Mr. Devon?
Rainer: This is Paige Townsen. She's going to be a big star.
Security Guard: Whatever you say, Mr. Devon.
I have a new favorite character, and it's Roberto, the security guard who somehow managed to not be charmed by Paige! High-five, Roberto.
Meanwhile, drama unfolded at various points elsewhere on the show. There was actually a lot of drama, but it was all just about equally unexciting.
First, Alexis attempted to sleep her way into a supporting role on Locked. Instead, the director (at least, I think he was the director) asked her out on a date – because he genuinely likes her and wants to date her. What? Alexis was as surprised and unenthused about this as I was.
At the same time, she ran into an old fling, Rachel, who'd just come back from New York (being a ~Broadway star~) to try to make a career in Hollywood work again. There's a lot of vagueness surrounding their history, but essentially, Alexis did something shitty to Rachel, presumably when they were once dating.
I'm guessing Alexis cheated on her (based on, y'know, everything we've seen of her character so far), but maybe it's something more interesting than that. I can hope, at least.
Also weirdly: Alexis and Dakota's relationship was a known thing. Which is very odd, because Dakota specifically said that she hated that they needed to keep their relationship secret on the Famous in Love Series Premiere. Yet somehow, Rachel immediately knew that they were together.
Is there a secret Hollywood lesbians network on this show, or was the relationship not actually a secret after all?
It was also more than a little bit clunky that Alexis and Dakota ceased to be a thing at some nebulous point in between the premiere and "A Star Is Torn" – because Dakota is, according to Alexis, "a bitch."
The way Dakota was hastily written off makes me think the actress must not have been available to continue on with the role or something, because the way that ended felt really odd and poorly thrown-together.
Clearly, though, there will be plenty of drama on-set between Alexis and Rachel. Will Alexis be attempting to woo Rachel back, while actively dating the Locked director? That would be strange.
Elsewhere, Tangey Turner came back to town, and she's basically had it with Rainer and his nonsense.
You still don't get it. You know, Jordan's ten times the man that you are. And you lost me way before I slept with him. You're just too focused on yourself to realize it.Tangey
As if Rainer couldn't get more annoying/less interesting, he's got that whole "What?! I'm not a good guy?!" thing going on. Something that the show is clearly setting up to be magically "cured" by Paige's good, pure influence.
There is no TV or movie trope I hate more than a shitty guy being "saved" by the love of a good woman, with no accompanying character development to make that at all believable. And that seems to be what's happening now.
The supposedly explosive chemistry between Rainer and Paige is meant to be the driving force behind the show. But it's not working for me, at all.
I mean, don't get me wrong, Bella Thorne and Carter Jenkins don't have bad chemistry. But it's certainly nowhere near good enough to warrant Rainer very suddenly changing his womanizing ways because she's just so darn quirky and adorable and, my least favorite, not like other girls (barf).
But Paige and Rainer is happening, and it's happening fast – they already shared one kiss in the Locked audition, and another outside of Paige's apartment (before they were interrupted by Paige's dad).
That leaves poor Jake, who purposely distanced himself from Paige in an effort to "simplify" her now-hectic life, out in the metaphorical and non-existent Los Angeles rain.
Cassie: For the record, when you told Paige you'd rather be friends, I didn't believe a word of it. But I know why you did it, and it was a pretty cool thing for you to do.
Jake: I just wanted to simplify her life. But I didn't see that guy coming.
This... is so dumb. SO DUMB. I don't really have other words to describe Jake's rationale for pretending he only wants to be Paige's friend. What a doofus move.
Also, his claim that he "never saw [Rainer] coming" made no sense. On the premiere, he already looked distinctly uncomfortable when Paige missed his play to get coffee with Rainer. So he did, in fact, see this coming.
Nina also had her own, separate problems, aside from her leading lady wanting to juggle movie star duties with mundane college girl problems.
Her biggest problem was her sexist, ageist asshat of an old boss, Alan Mills, who I immediately recognized as Dr. Daniel Jonas from Days of Our Lives.
Alan is absolutely awful. I'm not exactly a fan of Nina, who still feels to me like a bargain bin version of lookalike Constance Zimmer's character Quinn on UnREAL. But between Alan's crude comments about how he'd once thought she was hot and his snide Boniva prescription joke... ugh. He's just terrible.
Are we supposed to be titillated by the two of them facing off, now that Alan has taken over as the head of Gold Brothers, the studio financing Locked? Or is he a legitimate villain? I can't really tell, but I'm not into it either way.
- I admittedly laughed out loud at Cassie throwing the bottle of Febreze behind a couch pillow when Paige's parents knocked at the door. Because that made sense.
- "A Star Is Torn" is, obviously, a reference to the famous movie A Star Is Born (and all its remakes). That's a much better telling of a young woman who is catapulted into the spotlight.
- Cassie's big subplot is that she's a topless maid going by the name "Lacey," which is apparently a real thing. Is this going to be a major arc this season? I mean, really?
- Also, Brody is a flippin' idiot. Why on earth would he ask Jake if he's another client of "Lacey's" at the Locked party? Why would you be going around making small talk about how you regularly use the services of a college student working as a topless maid?!
- The one great moment in an otherwise very whatever installment: Paige picking up Jake's phone when Alexis called him and pretending to be his outraged Spanish wife. That was hilarious.
- Someone from Jordan's past called him Jordie and texted him an old photo of him in a football jersey. I'm intrigued about this and what he could possibly be attempting to hide. Apparently, Nina knows about his past, so she may or may not have leaked that, just as she leaked the Tangey stuff.
What did you think of "A Star Is Torn"? Share your thoughts by commenting below. Remember that you can watch Famous In Love online anytime here at TV Fanatic to relive the star-studded adventures of Paige Townsen Without the D.
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.