If you watched the Oscar red carpet coverage last week on E!, you were bombarded with promos for the premiere episode of their new series, The Arrangement. The show stars TV hunk (can’t believe I just wrote that) Josh Henderson, who plays a young celebrity megastar actor Kyle West (Kyle, not Kanye!). As every single young actress in L.A. is vying for a role opposite West in his next latest project, we meet a waitress/actress Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista). Morrison is a unassuming East Coaster, who hasn’t completely been swept up by the Hollywood scene.
Apparently megastar West is normal kind of guy, jogging around and playing with goats before he heads to audition with all the hopefuls. The first woman he auditions appears to be a pretty awful actress until Morrison comes to the rescue with her authentic and passionate audition. That’s all it takes for West to be smitten with “her acting.” He’s as into her acting as I am into doing dishes.
Our megastar doesn’t waste any time though as he runs after her to the parking lot and asks her out on a date. A date with Kyle West isn’t just getting some hot dogs on the corner stand, he has paparazzi chasing him all over. Mr. West demonstrates that he’s experienced at this dating thing so he takes her to a hidden Mexican place, which soon turns into a jet flight to Mexico for his meeting. There is a moment where he calls her Amelia Earhart, which was an answer she gave to one of the quick take questions they asked her in her audition.
West doesn’t do it all on his own. As any mega celebrity, he has a team of people working for him behind the scenes, enter the super team of Terence (Michael Vartan) and Deann Anderson (Lexa Doig). Terence and Deann are the the top people in West’s inner circle and appear to be running a “self-help” organization that West is the face of the Institute, which seems very familiar to a Scientology kind of thing.
The “meeting” in Mexico turns quickly into a hookup between West and Morrison. Next day, she’s seen working on a set already. Well, only in Hollywood can you go from nothing to filming movies in twenty-four hours. Autumn Reeser plays Morrison’s agent Leslie Bellcamp, and she arrives on the set to visit Morrison and utters the best line of the show when she tells her, “Your twenty-five-year old vagina made quite the impression,” and proceeds to hand Morrison a contract to marry West. Now this is how careers are made. The contract contains clauses for her to play the part of his perfect arm candy with a guaranteed $10 million dollar payout.
Morrison is floored and dismayed with the offer so she goes to meet up with the West to get the full scoop. Their conversation takes place on top of some hill in L.A. in the middle of night. We learn that West was left at the altar by his fiancee and that the contract is about saving his image and brand, but he promises her that he’s truly smitten by her. I Guess this whole concept just put Married At First Sight to shame. Never can I question again the motives of The Bachelor franchise, at least they get more than one date and a few weeks to propose. Somewhere Nick Viall is shaking his head in disbelief.
After arriving back at her small apartment, Morrison is weighing the offer with a friend who attempts knock some sense into her. Of course the roomie failed with that attempt as Morrison jets off to Venice with West and their love affair is just about underway. Lurking creepily in the background is Terence who comes with the paperwork for her to sign-off on, which she does. The show ends with Anderson and a pretty blonde girl named Annika (Courtney Paige), who is being interviewed and groomed as the next potential Kyle West arm candy. Meanwhile, West makes the first public appearance with Morrison. Ah, the drama.
This was a pretty intriguing pilot episode. The show did plant a few seeds that hint at outside drama that will affect the Hollywood couple. Terence and Deann seem to be stirring up drama behind-the-scenes, while Annika is sure to make an impact. I do feel Henderson is properly cast in the role of West. He has the good looks, but also brings this on-screen confidence that makes him a believable superstar. Evangelista also looks the part of a non-Hollywood girl next door that can also pull-off an appealing on-screen persona.
Overall, The Arrangement has a chance to be a breakout hit of the year. The pilot offers a lot of promise, and the season preview looks like it will have more than a few cliffhangers. Sign up for The Arrangement, and you won’t regret it because E! is onto something with this show.
The Arrangement airs Sundays at 10/9c on E!