The school-movie balance continued to be the focus of Paige's newfound fame on Famous In Love Season 1 Episode 3.
On the bright side, she wasn't quite as complain-y and dour about being hired to act in a summer blockbuster with literally no acting experience. At least, not as badly as on Famous in Love Season 1 Episode 2.
The "Problem of the Week" was Paige's econ term paper (worth HALF OF HER GRADE, PEOPLE!!!) and Nina's initial unwillingness to have any flexibility regarding Paige's Locked duties.
To be honest, Nina has her issues, and I'm not thrilled with her as a character, but I'm kind of on her side about this.
Paige has the chance of a lifetime to be in Locked, and she's making demands about everyone needing to accommodate her college scheduling? What?
I understand that, as the protagonist, we're supposed to be rooting for Paige. But truly, I'm not very invested in her journey. And I don't find her particularly sympathetic. She's, at best, kind of blah.
The source of that "blah"-ness? The fact that virtually her entire major storyline this week revolved, yet again, around her struggle to balance school and the movie. I feel like we just did that week, so it feels incredibly repetitive to hash this out again.
On the bright side (for Paige, at least), after her initial struggle to make things work (and straining her relationships with Cassie and Jake by enlisting them to help her out by doing her econ research), she did figure it out.
Thanks to a well-timed pep talk from Rainer, who also gifted her the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence Oscars dress that Paige briefly wore during their photo shoot.
Y'know, just casual friend/co-star gifts. Mmhmm.
The gist of Rainer's advice was for Paige to let Nina know how much school meant to her. Which is kind of silly advice, but it worked.
I'm not sure exactly how it worked because Nina is a hardass generally and Paige only gave about a minute and a half of impassioned speech. But it worked nonetheless.
The agreement they arrived at was that Paige, who rearranged her "whole entire school schedule," would get Wednesdays off but would work her butt off the other six days of the week.
Paige: All I need from you to make things work, Nina, is this one day.
Nina: What do I get in exchange?
Paige: Me. 110% everyday, busting my ass for you, on time. Whatever you want August to me, that'll be me.
Nina: Then we have a deal.
Hmm. I wonder how Paige would feel about that if she knew that she (and the rest of the cast, minus Jordan) were getting screwed out of their full fee for the movie.
Sure Paige, Cassie, and Jake squeed with joy when Paige's agent whispered the salary to her. But that's because they're a bunch of podunk college students who gasped at the thought of $36 lunch entrees. (So groanworthy.)
Speaking of which – did that work lunch strike anybody else as tremendously unprofessional and unrealistic? Everything about it was very WTF.
For one, Paige brought two of her random friends to a work lunch, which is weird enough on its own. Then, the agent treated them all to lunch (again, weird). To top it all off, Jake slipped the agent his screenplay. All of this is so, deeply not how the industry works.
I'm not pretending to be a Hollywood expert or anything, but the whole debacle just reeks of amateur hour.
And on the topic of Jake's screenplay – well, this poor guy's had quite a few ups and downs when it comes to his screenwriting career. We're only three hours into the season, and already he's had several false starts.
Apparently, the agent who was interested in him on the Famous in Love Series Premiere passed on his script (which I don't think we saw happen onscreen – the news was just delivered via dialogue).
Now, Paige's agent tossed his script in the trash, and he screwed up his movie pitch and blew his chances of getting a grant to make his movie, all because he opted to help Paige with her econ paper instead of working on his own thing.
I've had about enough of Jake-the-lovesick-puppy-dog, looking all sad-eyes every time Paige and Rainer babble at each other like it's the first time they're ever laying eyes on one another. For that reason, I'm surprisingly very into the idea of Alexis and Jake teaming up.
Alexis is pretty much my favorite character at this point, solely because she's operating on her self-interests (making her entertaining AF) and because she's not afraid to stir shit up.
Paige answering Jake's phone by cursing at Alexis in Spanish was hilarious at the time, but it wasn't so hilarious when it was revealed that Alexis was calling Jake to talk about his script.
But as an added bonus, when a contrite Paige needed to bargain with Alexis to get her to call Jake again about his script, we were treated to the hilarity of Alexis lightly hazing her rival/Locked co-star.
Though, for the record, Bella Thorne really did rock the hell out of that red dress.
Elsewhere, Jordan and Nina were dealing with their own problems.
For Jordan, that was being blackmailed by a mystery woman, who was later revealed to be his mother.
Poor Jordan. His mom seemed to care more about opening a nail salon in Tucson than her son. Clearly, their history is quite damaged. I'm curious to find later exactly what "Jordie's" mom is holding over her kid's head.
Nina was at peak deviousness throughout "Not So Easy A," after Alan Mills disgustingly cornered her in the women's room to tell her she needed to cut the budget for Locked by a whopping $3 million.
Seriously, did anyone else shout WTF at the screen when Alan nonchalantly barged into the women's room like that wasn't textbook sexual harassment or, at best, very inappropriate workplace behavior?
I'm still not quite sure what we're supposed to be taking away from Nina and Alan's interactions. Is it supposed to be fiery/combative sexual tension? If so, ew; I do not like the way they're playing this "relationship"/enemy-ship at all.
Regardless of Alan's ickiness, Nina did manage to trim the budget down for the movie. First, she manipulated her son into taking a massive pay cut (which somehow translated into more money for Jordan). That caused all sorts of personal problems.
Clearly, Rainer feeling inferior to Jordan (first with Tangey, now regarding their acting abilities) is going to be a recurring theme.
You know, every once in a while, I need you to not be Nina Devon the producer. I need you to be my mom.Rainer
Was that not the cheesiest line ever or what? I mean, Nina is pretty awful, but she is literally the producer of the movie. Her job is to get the damn movie made, Rainer – your hurt feelings just don't count.
Nina also manipulated Tangey's momager Ida into accepting a lower fee for Tangey to do the Locked song and also fired Alexis' girlfriend Rachel, replacing her with Tangey.
That accomplished a few things at once – Tangey was willing to act for less money, because of Ida's obsession with her daughter becoming a "triple threat," and it always managed to get Ida to seal the deal with the music contract.
Of course, that completely blew up in Alexis' face. When Rachel found out, she went nuclear, assuming that Alexis had had her fired in an attempt to keep their relationship hidden.
Obviously, Alexis had nothing to do with it. But she's clearly not staying heartbroken and sobbing in bed about it – instead, she's headed to the desert with Jake and very little clothing.
- Jake continues to walk around shirtless at all times, for no reason whatsoever.
- I'm pretty sure Bella Thorne doesn't understand how humans wear glasses, based on how far down her nose she was wearing them during that opening scene. That was downright comical.
- Also, Paige was meant to be typing up a 20-page paper with those ridiculously long nails? #Skills.
- Let's place some bets on when, exactly, Cassie's big topless maid secret is going to get blown up and how badly her friends will react.
- Nina got Jordan's mom busted by planting drugs on her when she showed up and gave her the other half of the demanded hush money. Despite their unpleasant relationship, I'm not exactly sure how Jordan will feel about Nina getting his mom sent to prison...? Will that end the Jordan/Nina tawdry romance? Hopefully.
What did you think of "Not So Easy A"? 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.