Time for a third-episode verdict on The CW’s Privileged, in which a geeky writer has to tutor filthy rich spoilt teenagers in return for unfeasibly vast amounts of partying and luxury, as well as near-unlimited amounts of boyfriend potential. It’s a hard life, huh?
After a reasonably promising but flawed start, the show dropped off a notch, becoming more than a touch tedious, in fact. The usual mix-ups with the boss that the tutor has to fix, the antagonising squabbles with the eldest daughter, the fights with her own sister: it’s already starting to become a formula. The geeky teacher is also too geeky to be plausible.
However, given that the geek tutor is supposed to be the heroine, it’s a surprise to find that the elder, eviler daughter, Sage, and the protective relationship she has with her sister, Rose, is actually the most interesting aspect of the show. It’s more multi-dimensional than just about any other facet of the programme, and the fact that Sage is a complete bitch, but will do anything for Rose, is smart, more emotionally intelligent than geek girl and doesn’t become bestest pals with her inside the first two episodes does lift the show out of being a complete cartoon. In fact, if they focused less on geek girl and more on evil sister, it would probably be a more interesting, albeit darker programme.
All the same, if The CW was looking for a new Gossip Girl, they’ve come to the wrong place, since this clearly isn’t as smart and the other relationships are flat and hollow in comparison with the more fully developed characters on the rival show. Diverting, but ultimately nothing too special.