If you’re looking for a new show to fill the gaping hole left in your heart after finishing Selling Sunset, Netflix might already have a solution. Million Dollar Beach House is their newest “unscripted” show, revolving around the luxury real estate market in the Hamptons. Much like the Oppenheim Group in Selling Sunset, Netflix replicates the same format to follow The Nest Seekers, a real estate brokerage firm, in Million Dollar Beach House. But with the ladies of Selling Sunset captivating audiences, can the mostly-male cast of Million Dollar Beach House replicate the same success? TBH, don’t get too excited.
Meet The Cast
There are five main characters in the show: Michael, Peggy, Noel, J.B., and Jimmy (the boss). Michael, J.B., and Jimmy are three white guys with big bro energy who have been working in the Hamptons market for a little while. Noel is new to Nest Seekers, but he is a seasoned real estate agent who has worked in the Hamptons market for three years. He is also the only Black cast member. Peggy, the only female cast member, has worked for seven years in the Manhattan real estate market, but is a newbie to the Hamptons scene.
Right off the bat, we can sense that some of the characters are skeptical towards Noel, which is odd, since Peggy is also the new kid on the block—yet she does not appear to face the same treatment. Wonder why…
While Selling Sunset had a robust cast of characters running the gamut from angelic to satanic, the predominantly male cast of Million Dollar Beach House fails to captivate. Peggy and Noel are really the only two people bringing the heat in terms of drama, and everyone else is just kind of there. Michael’s wife having a baby does not a reality show make, no matter how many times he talks about it. J.B.’s main conflict is that he’s 29 and isn’t married or engaged, which he mentions one time in an aside to Michael. Any Jimmy, the boss, rarely appears in scenes—aside from that one time he pissed off a Boomer by taking an important call in the middle of a meeting, I can’t remember anything he did.
The Drama (Or Lack Thereof)
Selling Sunset was packed with drama—in every episode, five different scandals unfolded. Million Dollar Beach House, on the other hand, feeds off of just one incident between just two cast members. In their defense, there are only six episodes that run 30 minutes each. But as the viewer, I couldn’t help but crave some more theatrics. I mean, isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?
The Show Villain The Actual Villain pic.twitter.com/JuVbrSMGKT
— Misha (@Mishavaid) August 28, 2020
It all starts when Noel lists one of his properties for a whopping $35,000,000, a number that everyone at the brokerage thinks is too high. Since real estate is a team sport, and Peggy has some clients interested in the property, she questions Noel’s thinking behind the high price. But Noel is dismissive of Peggy’s concerns and offends her by questioning if her client can even afford such an expensive property.
The real drama goes down when Peggy takes an important client to Noel and he completely blows the showing, insulting Peggy’s client in the process and almost costing her the client. The showing ends up causing an all-out feud between the two. But this happens in the first episode, and is then dragged out as the one source of conflict for the remaining five.
In addition to the drama falling flat, so does the character development, which feels one-dimensional, as if the show’s creators do not think the viewers are capable of forming their own opinions. For example, they initially want us to hate Noel and side with Peggy. But as the show progresses, they start portraying Peggy as the emotional woman who can’t maintain a professional demeanor (which comes with its own set of sexist issues). TBH, despite Netflix trying to feed me conclusions, I didn’t feel strongly about any of the characters because it felt so choreographed. Selling Sunset has also been accused of manufacturing storylines, but the characters from that show are convincingly charismatic, so it works. I don’t think anyone could create Christine’s character in a writer’s room even if they tried.
Let’s Talk About Noel
I wanted to like Million Dollar Beach House but the last thing I need to watch in 2020 is mediocre white washed up high school football stars selling other mediocre white men million dollar Hamptons houses while being misogynistic and racist.
— Mare Ham (@hamsammitchhes) August 30, 2020
So let’s get to the big issue. Apart from Noel, the cast of Million Dollar Beach House is entirely white. This makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience, because the microaggressions towards Noel are evident. (The whole incident where no one could pronounce his name also felt weirdly edited.) There is also an awkward scene where Noel’s twin brother Joel (yes, their names rhyme) is asked to speak Korean because he lives in Korea. When he does fluently communicate, the other members accuse him of saying something rude. I’ll give Netflix the benefit of the doubt that they’re not trying to be purposefully racist, but when the only BIPOC is villainized throughout the show, it’s hard not to feel like it’s racist. Viewers were quick to point out the show’s issues with race on Twitter.
not sure why netflix decided to air this million dollar beach house show. the racist undertones were ridiculous but peggy is over the top terrible. top 5 on the list of terrible humans
— baba nla (@tomivva) September 1, 2020
I remember feeling like the cast of Selling Sunset was too white and this was Netflix’s chance to give the viewers more diverse characters, but this was just not it.
Skip Or Stream?
Honestly, you’re better off just rewatching Selling Sunset instead of investing your time into Million Dollar Beach House. MDBH does give you its promised dose of real estate porn, and at least its pacing is more realistic to that of actual real estate deals than its LA counterpart. But that also means the show moves at a glacial pace—all of a sudden it’s episode five and still, nobody has sold anything. I’ll take the Oppenheim Group unrealistically selling mansions in 10 minutes flat, thanks.
As a whole, Million Dollar Beach House could have gotten away with being a boring, low-budget knock-off of Selling Sunset, but the racism and gender stereotyping are reason enough for this show to be removed from your watchlist.
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Images: Chloe Gifkin / Netflix; mishavaid, hamsammichhes, tomivva / Twitter
Over the weekend, whether you were too afraid to rejoin society after lockdown or you were forced back into lockdown because people went HAM and your city saw a resurgence of Covid cases, chances are you might’ve come across the new Baby-Sitters Club series on Netflix Family. Though the series was originally intended for a children’s audience, millennials and xennials on my Twitter and IG feeds have also found themselves binging the show. This wholesome content is exactly the nostalgia we’ve all been longing for in a difficult year, and if you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and head to Netflix.
So what better way to continue that comforting break from reality than to celebrate the iconic series and its characters by asking yourself the simple question of “What does your favorite Baby-Sitters Club character say about you?” None.
Did somebody order a control freak? Kristys (Kristies?) are currently stewing over the fact that their 2020 planner has barely seen any action and spend their days in quarantine crafting the perfect itinerary for working from home. You’re not the best with change, but that’s mostly because things don’t sit well with you if you’re not able to run the show and be in complete control. That being said, you are a natural leader and you do your best to lead with love. Your friends are your people and you always show up for them. Like the Mom of the group, you’re reliable and when people need something done you’re the one they have on speed dial.
Claudias are the fiercest, most artistic of the bunch. Never afraid to speak your mind, people naturally flock to your confident attitude and effortless style. You will definitely be voted mostly likely to have a future as an #influencer with a roster of Pinterest-worthy DIYs and sustainable capsule collections. Family means everything to you, though it can be frustrating when your family isn’t as open to your free spirit as your friends and fans. You’re a considerate friend who always has a purse full of snacks, encourages others to explore their creativity, and your attention to detail in your art and for the people you care about never goes unnoticed.
Ahhh boy-crazy Stacey. On the outside, you give off the vibes of a Real Housewife in the making, when deep down you’re still just trying to figure yourself out (admittedly, most of the Housewives are too). While you worry a ton about what others may think, you try your best to not let your insecurities get the best of you. In reality, all you’re trying to do is find genuine connections in this world, and that goes for friends, romance, and family. You sometimes struggle with living up to your parents’ ridiculous expectations, but you know that at the end of the day they’ve got your back. So keep reminding yourself of that and surrounding yourself with friends and boos who do too.
Mary Annes are either a future therapist’s dream or have a successful future as a therapist. Never one to rock the boat, you’re always listening and taking in everyone else’s energy. By nature you’re a people pleaser, though one should never mistake your kindness for weakness. You’re still learning to find your voice and develop independence from who you think you should be for everyone else and who you actually want to be. And while you’re still evolving your personality and style, you never discount the value of a solid pair of overalls and you can always be counted on to be there for your friends with an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.
A spiritual goddess, Dawns are optimistic and always look at the glass as half-full—even when the cards they’ve been dealt haven’t always been the best hand. You might have been forced to grow up quickly and play the role of caregiver or authority in your family. And instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you lean into those skills and excel with purpose. Whether it’s educating yourself and taking your efforts beyond performative allyship or leading a guided meditation to calm everyone’s nerves, you are not only happy to be a part of the group but truly want everyone to see just how wonderful and badass they can be in their own right too.
An honorable mention for Kristy’s soon-to-be step-sister Karen because let’s face it, it’s been a tough year for Karens. Whether we admit it or not, every single friend group has a Karen. Karens can be dramatic and have a tendency to overreact when really all they are is starved for attention. They genuinely believe they mean well, though it often comes out in problematic and extreme ways, like idk, running away at camp or fearmongering over conspiracy theories. And while Karens still admittedly have room to grow and mature, one thing is for sure—if they like you they’ll defend you to the extreme and you’ll always get that impossible restaurant reservation even if you’re just walking in.
Images: Jesse Austin (5), Kailey Schwerman/Netflix; Giphy
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have truly been living for America’s favorite scammer: Anna Delvey. Last year felt like The Year of The Scam when story after story fed the news cycle about people getting screwed over by con artists, but none were so captivating as the story of the broke millennial who managed to scam New York’s elite, and one Vanity Fair photo editor, out of all of their money, one happy hour and lavish vacation at a time. An icon, truly.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anna Delvey’s story, then may I just say, what a magical place must be the rock you live under. Do you also consider your home to be an enchanted tower where your only means of exiting is via the 40-foot-long braid you grew from your own head? Because I’m seriously at a loss as to how you could have missed the SCAM TO END ALL SCAMS. But fine, mole people, I suppose I’ll humor you. Anna Delvey aka Anna Sorokin posed as a German heiress and managed to infiltrate her way into Manhattan’s elite social scene before conning her friends and business partners out of a cool $275,000. Since her trial and sentencing last year (she’s currently sending selfies from Rikers Island, where she’ll be for the next 4-12 years serving time for her fraud), her story has continued to fuel the news cycle and also my will to live. More recently, My Friend Anna, a tell-all book written by Rachel Deloache Williams, one of Anna’s former friends and victims, was published over the summer. And now, friends, it gets even better, because Netflix released casting details about the series they are producing based on the fake heiress’ life.
The show, entitled Inventing Anna, is based off of Jessica Pressler’s original damning 2018 New York Magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” and will focus on the relationship between Anna and a journalist who attempts to get to the truth about Anna amidst her trial. Who will take on the small screen adaptation of such a sordid and twisted tale, you ask? MOTHERF*CKING SHONDA RHIMES, THAT’S WHO. That’s right, the woman who has been treating my fragile emotional state like an Auntie Ann’s pretzel that she can twist and manipulate to her liking through 16 seasons of watching the absolute tomfoolery that occurs at a little place called Seattle Grace Hospital, will be taking on the story of Anna Delvey. I honestly could not think of a better person to tackle this monumental task. If there’s one thing Shonda Rhimes thrives off of, it’s messy drama, and nothing is messier than a broke millennial with an apparent aversion to hairbrushes taking New York’s richest for all they’re worth.
Netflix just released the cast list for the series, and it is everything I hoped it would be and more. Julia Garner, who just won an Emmy for her role in Ozark, will play Anna herself. In a press release, Netflix describes the role of Anna as “a young woman in her mid-20s with a hard-to-place European accent who takes New York by storm. Either a brilliant businesswoman or a scammer extraordinaire, Anna in turn inspires loyalty, compassion, contempt, and obsession—all while leaving behind an emotional body count.” AN EMOTIONAL BODY COUNT. Well, at least Shonda won’t be able to kill off any of Anna’s friends and family members. For once. RIP MCSTEAMY—I’ll never forgive you for for that one, Shonda!
Next up, we’ve got Anna Chlumsky from My Girl and Veep fame, who will play the journalist (aka Vivian) investigating Anna throughout her trial. Apparently Vivian hopes that Anna’s story will be the thing that revives her career, but the more she investigates Anna, the more attached she becomes. So basically she’s me. Anna Chlumsky will be playing the role of me. Can’t wait to watch the scene where she skips out on a happy hour and other basic human interaction to scroll through Anna’s IG feed for 20 hours straight!
Other cast members include Laverne Cox, who will play Kacy Duke, a celebrity trainer and life coach who gets sucked into Anna’s inner circle; Katie Lowes of Scandal fame, who will play Anna’s friend Rachel (aka the author of My Friend Anna); and Alexis Floyd, who’s set to play the role of Neff, the concierge who worked at the Soho hotel Anna frequented (on someone else’s dime). Earlier this year, news broke that Lena Dunham was also working on an adaptation of the Anna Delvey story for HBO, but there have been no updates since the summer.
While there is no date set for the series premiere at this time, we’re told it will probably air sometime in 2020. The series is slated for 10 episodes, which lets me know that I’ll need to clear my schedule for at least double that: 10 hours to watch the show, and another 10 to unpack wtf I just watched and see if there’s any way to incorporate Anna’s tactics into my next Ship date. I’ve got some credit card debt I need paid off. Until then, start clearing your schedules now, because it ! is ! happening !
Images: Getty Images
We did it. The holidays are over and we’ve survived the family reunions, awkward high school run-ins in our hometowns, and gift shopping stress—even if that means becoming penniless in the end. Now that we’re back to adulthood activities such as having responsibilities, day-to-day chores, and going back into the office, the desperate need for a distraction has never been stronger. IDK about you, but the back-to-back holidays have left me broke AF and therefore, I forbid anyone from asking me to do anything social for like, at least two weeks. I can’t afford Taco Bell, Karen, and I can’t afford running up another bar tab. God. It’s fine, though. Netflix is here, as usual, to save me from boredom while I indulge in a hermit lifestyle. Watching Bird Box and Black Mirror ‘s new movie were hella interesting, but I’ve been there, done that, so thank u, next. If you are also waiting for something new while eating your weight in good ol’ pasta on the couch (lol new year, same person), you’re in luck. Netflix is bringing an assortment of shows and movies to satisfy our cravings this month, so here are all the worthy ones to stream.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
The third and final season of this Netflix Original premiered on January 1st. In case you haven’t watched a single second of it, you’re not missing out on the plot too much. It’s v similar to the childhood book series you probs read ages ago. I personally gave up after watching the third episode because I’m into like, drugs, crime, and blindfolded characters much more. However, if you’re a fan of book-to-TV adaptations and enjoyed reading the terrible lives of children when you were younger, you’ll have more than enough time to catch up on this one.
This is labeled as a crime drama starring a pretty solid award-winning cast like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. It’s apparently a really, really good mobster movie (with a 90% Rotten Tomatoes rating, just sayin’) about taking down the Irish Mafia in Boston. I assume drugs, murder, and a jaw-dropping ending are involved, and since I like this sort of sh*t, I’m upset I haven’t seen it sooner. Oh, and it won the Oscar for Best Picture. Oh, well. Looks like I’m canceling all plans this weekend.
Noted as a classic until the end of the time, this cult-favorite John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson movie is now available to watch. If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance before everyone shuns you. I’ve watched it for the first time in 2018, and although it contains a lot weird, trippy, strange events to say the least, I seriously liked it a lot and months later, I’m still asking people about their thoughts on the ending. I’m not going to spoil it, I’m not an a**hole, so just do yourself a favor and watch it.
From time to time, I love classic, corny, predictable rom-coms. I’ve yet to watch this one myself, but it stars Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin—the one who always plays the cute, snarky little girl that acts much older than she is. The plot sounds identical to How I Met Your Mother, except it’s not nearly as long and only tells the stories of three women so that Abigail could actually guess who her mother is.
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace
I. Love. This. Show. Sure, the cast selection and acting talent in the first season for the O.J. Simpson case was a bit questionable, but it still was binge-worthy enough for me to finish in 24 hours. I’m not ashamed and I can’t wait to do the same for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. It’s controversial, inspired by actual events, and certainly thrilling. I am here for it.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
And of course, I saved the best for f*cking last. Guys, I haven’t been this excited for a documentary since…wait, I’ve never been excited for a documentary, but THIS ONE, I am anxiously waiting for. The joke of jokes, fail of all fails, made it to the ever-growing list of Netflix documentaries. Viewers will see “first-hand” the notorious, disastrous Fyre Festival crash “as told by the organizers”. I thought I lost it when I first saw the pathetic “gourmet lunch” of Kraft cheese on sh*tty bread, but I think I’ll really lose it when I finally see wtf happened behind the scenes. I’m not saying this is funny, but it’s hilarious. Mark your calendars: January 18th.
Photo: JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash; Giphy (6)