SERIES “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club”
WHEN|WHERE Premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on MTV
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Along with her business and creative partner, Panos Spentzos, Lindsay Lohan has been working to build her own "brand" of hotels and clubs in Greece — notably the Lohan Nightclub in Athens and Lohan Beach House in Rhodes. For this latest launch on the island of Mykonos, she and Spentzos hire a bunch of "ambassadors" from the States who will tend to guests on the beach, which means getting them to buy drinks and spend lots of money. They're a bunch of spirited, hard-drinking hard bodies, and it's up to Lindsay to keep them in line. Will she? (Can she?) They are: Aristotle, Billy, Brent, Gabi, Jonitta, Jules, May, Mike and Sara. They won't all last the summer.
Both hotel/club and show are set in Mykonos, the program explains, because Lohan — now 32 — was physically assaulted here by her ex-boyfriend three years ago: "Instead of getting angry, I said I'm going to own this beach someday," she says, "because I want everyone to feel safe."
This is Lohan's second unscripted series — the first, "Lindsay," aired on OWN back in 2014. ("Living Lohan," which aired on E! in 2008 focused on mom Dina and her other children.)
MY SAY There are lots of reasons to want both club and "Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club" to succeed, but this is a review, not listicle, so let's settle for just one. A success, conceivably, means Lohan can finally say goodbye to all that — all the baggage and troubles, the tabloids and paps, and the assorted creeps who have made a living sponging off her. They just drift away, and disappear forever, leaving Lindsay alone with her hotel balance sheets. Sounds boring but beats the alternative. Besides, we're sick of being Lindsay voyeurs, right? Time for us to move on, too.
Now, the review part: The show's not very good. It's dull, derivative and peopled with a cast shrewd enough to know exactly where the camera is and how to perform for it." "Mic drop! Mic drop!" says one cast member to another, in a made-for-and-by TV put-down. The bodies are well-tanned and gleaming, the booze is flowing. You suspect — no, you know the hookups are coming. It's a tawdry bit of the Hamptons splattered on a beach in Greece.
But in that dullness may be both cloud and silver lining. Lohan in fact is the resident adult here — the sparkly-attired kindergarten teacher in flowing Greek chiton who stands bestride the unruly toddlers. "They're representing the Lohan Beach House," she glowers at pilot's end, "so get ready for boss bitch!" It's an unintentionally funny line because everyone — Lohan included — knows the roles have been reversed. It's like "Freaky Friday: The Greek Beach House" edition.
Nevertheless, she makes a game effort to do her Kardashian best in the pilot. She frequently alludes to the "Lohan brand," as if the "VIP" hosts are expected to hawk a line of Lohan hair-care products along with the Mai Tais.
Meanwhile, Lohan never lifts a drink herself — she's insisted in interviews in recent years that she's maintained her sobriety. She also scolds a host for wearing a bra at their first meeting, which sets up this line: "When you meet your boss don't show up in a bra. It's not appropriate. I's like me going to meet Steven Spielberg in a bra and wet hair with wet bikini shorts. It's impossible!"
In fact, it is possible and maybe once even happened. But that's the distant past — thank goodness — and this the present, maybe future. Lohan as hotelier and kindergarten teacher and reality TV show boss appears serious this time, and finally ready to grow up. Here's hoping anyway.
BOTTOM LINE "Real Housewives" meets "Temptation Island" with an unexpected, and welcome, twist — Lohan is more or less the mature presence.