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
In case you’re not one of my
friends that I force to read my articles loyal readers, then you probably don’t know that I’m v obsessed with The CW’s Riverdale. Not only is the show addictive AF but it’s also making me, like, realize stuff. For instance, suddenly I’m realizing Cole Sprouse seems less like one-half of the whitest twins to ever grace the Disney Channel and more like the the tortured bad boy I want to late night sext. Also, that gingers are hot. *starts questioning entire existence* And if you haven’t been watching Riverdale then you can’t sit with us need to stop being a productive member of society and dedicate the next 12-15 hours of your life bingeing season one so you won’t seem like a homeschooled jungle freak when Riverdale season two premieres on October 11th. Luckily for you, I’ve invested way too many hours of my life watching and rewatching and Googling Cole Sprouse’s biceps every episode so I’m pretty familiar with all of the crazy shit that went down last season. And, yes, I realize I need better hobbies. Anyway, here are the most batshit iconic moments from season 1 of Riverdale:
7. The Entire Redheaded Population of Riverdale
I feel like I have to address this because NO ONE is talking about it, but has anyone else noticed that 75 percent of Riverdale’s population is redheads? HAVE YOU?? I mean, statistically speaking, how much incest do we think is happening in this one town? I know of at least one confirmed case, but that doesn’t explain why three of the eight main characters are gingers. This isn’t really a batshit moment from the season so much as The CW trying to push the redhead agenda down our throats with scenes like this:
Subtle, CW, very subtle. I see exactly what you’re doing here, and you know what? It’s absolutely working. *updates Bumble bio to “into gingers”*
6. Archie Bangs Miss Grundy
You know this show is lit AF if a student banging his teacher is one of the least exciting things to happen all season. Archie Andrews, star of Riverdale and reason I have trust issues with gingers, was busy
finding his “sound” banging his music teacher Miss Grundy all summer, which of course everyone finds out about legit three episodes deep. Honestly, the whole teacher/student story line was less hot and sordid and more boring and gross. Archie never once calls her by her first name—it’s Geraldine, btw—instead referring to her as “Miss Grundy” even when he’s railing her on the piano in between the morning announcements. Honestly, all of my feelings regarding this relationship can be summed up into one scene when Fred Andrews, Archie’s DAD, hits on Miss Grundy and then thanks her for “taking in interest in his son.”
FRED: So you think my boy’s got some talent, huh?
MISS GRUNDY: Yes, he’s really got a shot at
dry-humping me after school in my VW bug a music career.
ME: But, like, have you listened to the boy’s songs??
5. Polly Uncovers The Infamous Blossom Secret
Polly Cooper is low-key the most annoying character on this show. Like Hannah Baker levels of annoyance. On a scale of one to tragic teen moms she’s right up there with that 14-year-old from Secret Life Of The American Teenager. I mostly think this because she seems like the type who thinks doing it in a hot tub can’t get you pregnant. Also, she smiles too much. I don’t trust it. Anyway, it’s this street-smart individual who decides the best move for her and her unborn children is to move into the Blossom mansion and try and uncover all of their deep, dark family secrets because what could go wrong with that plan? And boy, are they twisted! Does she find out who murdered Jason, her dead lover and the father of her twins? Is the Blossom’s million dollar maple syrup dynasty (lol) really a cover-up for some sort of underground red-headed baby black market? No, Polly finds out that Mr. Blossom is—wait for it—not a natural redhead. Seriously, we should send this girl to Russia and see if she can get to the bottom of this “hacking” scandal because she is fucking talented.
4. The Jughead Makeout Scene
Riverdale has changed my life in so many ways, but mostly in the way that most of my sexual fantasies now involve Cole Sprouse, aka the twin who dressed up in drag on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Yeah, there’s been a lot of self-reflection happening in my life lately. When Betty and Jughead started hooking up I was so here for it for many reasons. For one, I’m super into that whole good girl/bad boy trope, which is why I’m probably why I’m single. It’s important to know yourself. Second, their relationship brings some much needed heat to what would otherwise be a show about Archie Andrews and his fuckboy adventures. So, yeah, I’m rooting for these two crazy kids. Most of this season was just a lot of hand holding and quick kisses because
Betty is a virgin who can’t drive the writers love to toy with my emotions. But the final episode of last season we finally see the good shit: Betty and Jughead getting to second base. I know, it’s thrilling. Whatever. Watching these two dry-hump in a trailer is sexier than most of my Bumble dates rn so I guess I’ll take what I can get here.
3. Dark Betty
Tbh I didn’t love Betty in the beginning because
I’m holding a grudge about the whole Jughead thing she was kind of whiny and annoying and her fashion choices made it really hard for me to support her. That said, Betty goes DARK mid-season when she tricks scumbag Chuck into confessing that he sexually harasses girls for funzies. And by dark I mean she has a full-on psychotic break an average female response to being sexually harassed by a man. But instead of internalizing her hatred for Chuck she actually does something about it. She decides to roofie the star of the football team, handcuff him to a hot tub and then threatens to burn him alive if he doesn’t apologize for being a dick. *slow claps* Not all heroes wear capes, ladies—sometimes they wear lingerie and a wig. Honestly, can’t say I haven’t thought of doing the same. I’m living for this version of Betty so much. Like YAS queen I am so here for you and your revenge, please fuck that boy up rn. Here’s hoping this crazy bitch makes an appearance in season two.
2. The Incest Twist
If you thought the maple syrup feud was dark, well we’re about to get darker. I thought there was a lot I could handle in terms of plot twists. Like, teen pregnancies? Okay, that’s actually sort of average for a teen drama. Town murders? Fine, I’ll see where this goes. Fucking Archie being described as the next John Mayer of our generation? Honestly, you’re pushing it. But just when I was getting comfortable with all of the bullshit the Riverdale writers try to throw my way on a weekly basis, they bring out an incest plot twist. That’s right fam, Polly and Jason are COUSINS. I think my immediate reaction when I found out this news was somewhere along the lines of:
Tbh the only people we have to blame for this whole cousin-loving thing are the parents. I mean, how were Polly and Jason supposed to know they were related? Polly doesn’t even have red hair! And like, far be it for them to just come right out and tell their kids that the person they brought to homecoming was actually low-key related to them. Banish them to a nunnery? Sure, great idea. Tell their child they’ve been making out with someone who shares a percentage of their DNA with them? Nah, we’ll just them they can’t see each other because of the maple syrup thing. That explanation should suffice.
1. Cheryl Burning Her Life To The Ground
I’ve never felt more connected to a human than when Cheryl Blossom burned her whole fucking life to the ground in the season finale. Honestly, iconic. I mean, sure, I do this shit figuratively every Friday night after six glasses of wine when I’m left unsupervised with my phone, but still. Cheryl had like, a lot to deal with this season. To sum it up: Her twin was murdered by her father and her mother was kind of a bitch about it. Not to mention Veronica stole the River Vixens from her AND Archie, who will legit make out with anyone who has a vagina and sounds mildly interested in his music, turned her down. If those aren’t valid enough reasons to burn your life to the ground and start anew then I don’t know what are.
^^Actual footage of me* hungover on a Saturday morning watching my life go up in flames
*And by “me” I mean Mrs. Blossom watching Drunk Me Cheryl revel in her catastrophic decision-making skills