They’re ready to get this party started!
Yes indeed, that time has come. Laguna Beach is like, so five years ago. Who’s ready to visit the newest “place to be” in Southern California if you are in high school, insanely wealthy, and unbearably beautiful? I am! I am! Join me please, in Newport Harbor! Quick note: Before we begin, I did a quick character run-down a few days ago, so if you missed it and need to put a face with a name, click here and study up! And now it’s time to bleach your teeth, highlight your hair, pull on your bikini (or your man-thong – you choose), and get comfy on the sundeck of your parents’ seaside mansion (I know I am). Welcome to cool. Welcome to Newport Harbor.
Opening on a panorama view of the beautiful city of Newport Beach, California, we meet our new narrator Chrissy, the Olsen Twin-esque darker haired girl. Looking closer, she’s actually a cross between the Olsen Twins and Denise Richards – interesting. I bet the boys don’t think she’s cute at all.
Anyway Chrissy is about to finish up her senior year and then go off to college, so we are joining her right at the apex of her young exciting life – lucky us! Chrissy gives us a brief rundown of all of her friends that we’ll be getting to know and love (and hate). She starts with bestie Sasha, whose main characteristic is being Chrissy’s bestie, then goes on to Grant, the “mayor” of their clique and the life of every party (and eerily reminiscent of Spencer from The Hills). Next is Chase, the womanizing ladies’ man who is always competing with Mayor Grant, mostly over Taylor, Chase’s sometimes-girlfriend. Now comes Allie, the hottie who flirts with everyone and steals boyfriends, but is really still stuck on her junior high boyfriend, Chase. This all leads us to Clay, the super hot boy-next-door who Chrissy has loved forever. She really wants him to see her as more than a friend and with the crew gearing up for a weekend in Palm Springs, it may be time for her to make a big move. If only Chrissy’s annoying parents wouldn’t insist on chaperoning the entire trip. Parents can really be a drag when they buy you lavish things, but then want to make sure you act responsibly. Get lost, Chrissy’s parents!
Our flagship episode is named “Crush Interrupted.” Oh, there are so many possibilities for who might be interrupting Chrissy’s crush, I just can’t wait to find out! We start off joining Chrissy and Sasha on their way to a besties tennis match. Oh they are so cute teasing each other about getting beaten and then morphing into mourning the fact that this is their last year playing tennis together, how tragic. Ah, the purpose of this tennis scene becomes clear as the conversation shifts to Clay and Chrissy mentions that he called her earlier today. Sasha wants to know what the dealio is between the two of them. Chrissy says they’re just friends, they’ve never like, kissed or anything but maybe Clay wants more, we’ll have to see. Oh how exciting, what are you going to wear to dinner tonight? The girls settle on the idea of dressing cute, but cas’ (or however you spell the abbreviation of casual) and then they wonder if Allie might be into Clay as well. This Clay guy must be quite the desirable catch.
Well excuse me, but here comes Princess Allie to lay out on her patio with her BFF Samantha. Sorry, but that introduction was regal. The two girls come marching out swinging their hips with these positively bored looks on their faces to settle onto the patio chairs.
“Ew, walking out to the porch is such a nuisance.”
Poor Samantha. She’s not quite as – how shall I say this – perfect-looking as Allie is, so she’s downplayed a little, like she’s not one of the main features on the website and such. But she does have a high pitched baby voice and she’s ready to lay out reading tabloid magazines with Allie and discuss who is coming to dinner tonight.
“Let’s see, how shall I drive this conversation?”
Allie’s worried about how full they’re going to get because Mikado serves like a five course meal! How will their tiny tummies survive? Chrissy is coming, and the girls discuss the fact that her parents are really strict. Like she has a curfew and she’s never had a boyfriend. Samantha giggles about the boyfriend thing, “OMG, we’ve had like, millions of boyfriends!” Really… her? I’m starting to wonder about this dinner and this conversation. It seems like the producers must have arranged the dinner because the girls are trying to figure out who is going to be there and then trying to figure out what they know about those people – it doesn’t sound like something the kids themselves planned. Just a guess. Then Samantha predicts that if Taylor doesn’t come tonight, Chase will be all over Allie. Allie self-assuredly agrees, but doesn’t really think Chase is boyfriend material. Remember, Chase is the womanizer and Taylor is his girlfriend. Next topic! Clay. He may or may not be interested in Chrissy, but who cares? He definitely has boyfriend potential. Giggle, giggle.
And it’s off to the beach where we meet some other industrious teenagers as they finish surfing. Here we have Clay the Desired One and Mayor Grant.
“We’re about to become stars, brah!”
I’ll give you one guess as to what they’re discussing. That’s right, tonight’s Meet The Cast dinner! I’ve decided since the last paragraph that has to be what this is. The darn pretty kids didn’t all flock naturally into one clique, so the producers are forcing them into it. Mayor Grant wants to know if Clay is going to make a play for Chrissy because she’s hot. Clay plays it cool; he’s not really sure yet just what he’s going to do or with whom, you know, he’s going to remain mysterious. I’ll give that half an episode. Mayor Grant, on the other hand, has apparently hooked up with most of the girls around, with the exception of Chrissy. I wonder if that makes her seem like more of a “prize.” I have no idea how teenage boys think. Does anyone?
Later at Mikado as the kids arrive there are hugs all around. Chrissy looks kind of pissed as Clay hugs Allie hello, but then he calls her over and gives her a special hug of her own – mystery! They all sit down at their station where the Japanese chef will barbecue stuff up for them and put on a show tossing food in the air – you know, like at Benihana – same thing. As they take their seats Mayor Grant totally checks out Allie’s boobs, and she totally notices. It’s funny because she’s caught between being embarrassed and being really proud and flattered. Ah, the teenage years. Embrace it, Allie! It’s only going to intensify in years to come. She giggles, so I guess she settled on proud – good call, no point in being embarrassed about something that never goes away (the stares, I mean).
Subtlety, thy name is Grant.
Womanizer Chase is sitting on the other side of Allie and he grabs her and whispers in her ear that she looks good. Oh, I guess that means Taylor won’t be joining us tonight. Everybody screams as the chef lights up the grill. I love it when my friends scream in public places over totally expected events. It makes me feel so classy.
The next item on the docket is chopstick use. It seems that several of the newly imposed friends don’t know how to use chopsticks, including Chrissy and Womanizer Chase, so Clay is going to show them how. Upon hearing that Chase doesn’t know how to use chopsticks, Mayor Grant says, “You guys don’t know how to use chopsticks? Grow up, seriously. You need a serious reality check.” Cha! People who can’t use chopsticks are like, so out of touch with reality. They have no idea what it’s like to have to work to pay for your own car or live in a house that is less than 4,000 square feet. They really need to get a clue and learn how to eat with chopsticks! Of all the embarrassing qualities… Mayor Grant then jumps up and runs across the room to catch a flying piece of food in his mouth from the chef. He is so in touch with reality.
Meanwhile Chrissy and Grant flirt madly over their chopstick lesson, with Grant leaning in to supervise and Chrissy playing the helpless damsel. Just then Chrissy’s phone rings and this is seriously-I-kid-you-not how she answers, “Yes, Daddy?” Um, is she six years old? Her half of the conversation proceeds along these lines, “No we’re not, Daddy. But we want to go out Daddy. Daddy, please don’t make me do that.”
“Daddy, you promised I could be outside for an hour today!”
Hm, that’s not humiliating at all. The other kids exchange WTF looks with each other as she hangs up her phone. Okay, I’m all about responsible parenting – which, by the way, is majorly absent on these shows – but does she have to say “Daddy” every two seconds like that? And if this were you, wouldn’t you have stepped away with your phone for a minute so everyone didn’t have to hear this? I’m just thinking back to how self-conscious I was in high school without any attention being drawn to myself, but what do I know? I didn’t grow up in Newport Harbor – I need a serious reality check. After the phone call, Allie whispers in Mayor Grant’s ear that she has a little crush on Clay – nice information plant there, Allie, and we head out to commercial.
We come back to Chrissy sitting on a bed talking to the notorious “Daddy” of the phone call and they are discussing who will be going on the upcoming weekend in Palm Springs. Chrissy says that, like, everyone is going, including Mayor Grant and Clay, and no one else’s parents are going; the rest of the kids are staying in their own villa. Their own villa? My senior trip was camping in the backyard. Interesting. Chrissy wonders if Daddy won’t just let her and Sasha go alone, but Daddy nips that in the bud, saying that he and Mommy will be in the adjoining room. No monkey business on this trip, young lady!
Cut directly to Allie climbing into her SUV while her dad asks if she’s got his American Express card for the trip. She’s mad that she doesn’t have the platinum one, but he assures her that the gold one should work just fine. If only Allie could learn how to use chopsticks and come back to reality. She and Samantha drive off, speculating that something always goes down on trips like this. Clay and Mayor Grant pack up an SUV of their own with golf clubs and take off into the desert. To the villa or bust!
Upon arrival at the Desert Springs Marriott all of the kids except for Clay and Mayor Grant head directly to the pool. The two boys head to the golf course. Womanizer Chase joins the girls at the pool – apparently sometimes-girlfriend Taylor didn’t make it on this outing either, and he immediately starts hugging and splashing, feeling out his options – literally. Sasha sees him frolicking with Allie and tells Chrissy that Allie wants all the boys to herself. This prompts Sasha and Chrissy to jump out of the pool and run away. It’s hilarious how the girls always get blamed for flirtation, even when it’s obviously the boys instigating. Can’t blame the boys or there’d be no one left to obsess over! Chase, certainly at the instructions of the producers, brings up the fact that tomorrow is Samantha’s 18th birthday. Yay, happy voting, Samantha! I’m sure she’s been following all political issues very closely in anticipation of this grand landmark date. Either that or she’s carefully picked out the tattoo she can now get without her parents’ permission. Either way, tonight there will be a super-celebration in the restaurant of the Desert Springs Marriott. Meanwhile Clay and Mayor Grant sit in a golf cart giving us a tiny peek into Clay’s master plan (read: clueless stumbling). They discuss Chrissy and Clay says that he thinks he may lay the mack down tonight. Ah how easily the confidence flows in a golf cart with no girls anywhere in sight. High fives all around!
“I’m the man!”
We catch up with the gang later at the birthday celebration and after Samantha blows out her 18 candles, Womanizer Chase tells Chrissy that she looks amazing tonight and he thinks he’s falling in love. Remember, this is Allie’s junior high boyfriend and at Mikado he told Allie she looked good, and in the pool he was playing underwater footsies with her, so Allie snaps to attention when he starts complimenting Chrissy. Chrissy gives his remark its due attention, rolling her eyes and tossing her hair while she looks around for Clay. That’s right, Chrissy, you can’t take womanizers too seriously – although they do come in handy when they boy you have a crush on is watching… And speak of the devil, just now Clay and Mayor Grant are making their grand entrance, “fashionably late, as always.” Womanizer Chase is undaunted, and asks Chrissy if she’ll be coming to their room tonight. She giggles, but says, “That would be a no.” Good job – keep the flirtation going, but don’t commit – pay attention, ladies, this girl has her flirt on.
The boy on everyone’s back burner.
Mayor Grant tells Clay to “watch out for the swoop,” which is Chase swooping in on Chrissy. Clay just keeps looking around kind of confused. I’m guessing Clay hasn’t mastered his game yet because he’s been able to get by on his looks. Things get complicated when you’re forced into a group with all pretty people. Samantha starts whispering something to Allie who says, “I know, they’re really rude.” Yeah, flirting in public is so inconsiderate – unless of course, you yourself are one of the primary parties – then it’s fine. Chase continues to pester Chrissy and she giggle-tells him he’s really annoying and then says, “OMG, I hate you kind of.” Well done again, Chrissy. Put him off, but leave the door cracked – you never know when someone like this could be quite useful. Never burn your bridges.
Well! Allie and Samantha are off to the bathroom to discuss all of this. They can’t believe how obnoxious Chrissy and Chase are being. Flirt, flirt, flirt, right in everyone’s faces. And what on earth is poor Clay supposed to think of all this? He’s just sitting across from them like totally confused. He doesn’t really think anything ladies. He just feels. He’s a lover – an emotional man of mystery. The conversation wraps with the girls saying the flirt fest is way more Chrissy’s fault than Chase’s. And there we go again not ever blaming the boy. I’m sure they also totally blame only Jen Bunney and not Brody Jenner for Lauren Conrad’s broken heart.
Uh oh, Chrissy’s cell phone rings. I wonder who on earth could be calling when she’s here with all her friends. Could it be… DADDY? “Hello Daddy. Yes Daddy, it’s fine. I know, Daddy. Good night, Daddy, I love you.” Strange. I wonder what happens when Chrissy doesn’t answer her phone. Is it something too frightening for reality television? I mean, it’s pretty obvious that Daddy knows where she is at all times. He’s in the adjoining room for crying out loud, can she eat dinner with her friends and a camera crew for 30 minutes? Again, I’m all for the concerned parent, but her dad seems to border on paranoid.
Allie comes back from the bathroom and Mayor Grant and Clay unabashedly stare at her, then Mayor Grant whispers to Clay that Allie’s looking pretty cute. Clay takes a good long look. Way to be stealth, there, playas.
Get an eyeful, Clay!
Chrissy doesn’t like this at all and calls out Clay’s name so she can wave to him. Good save, Chrissy. Then Clay gets up and leaves so Chrissy follows him, leaving Allie looking a little deflated. They walk outside and sit down on a bench, so I’m thinking this might be when Clay is going to bust a move, but I’m way premature and all he says is, “How nice is this weather?” Oh the buildup! Will they? Won’t they?
The next series of events are kind of unexplained, but here is what I deduce: Clay decides to walk Chrissy up to her room. I don’t know if he thinks he’s coming in, or just dropping her off, but they get into an elevator and head upstairs. Just as they reach Chrissy’s door, the whole rest of the gang appears out of nowhere and piles into the hotel room with them. Chrissy and Clay step out onto the balcony, so the other kids think this is a signal that they want to make out or at least be alone, so they file back out the door and take the party elsewhere. Okay, that montage brings us to Chrissy and Clay, alone on a balcony under the stars. They’ve grown up together, gone to school together, been chosen for a reality show together… is it time to seal this with a kiss? They both kind of putter around, not really knowing how to go about making this happen. It’s actually kind of endearing; you could cut the self-consciousness with a knife. Chrissy says, “Well…” then Clay says, “Well…” and they both giggle and look at each other and then…
Chrissy’s Daddy calls. He is furious because boys have gone into Chrissy’s room. How he knows this I have no idea, do you think he’s bribing some of the other kids to report on Chrissy, like how the Nazis did? Or does Chrissy have a GPS microchip implanted in her arm? Trying to cover her butt, Chrissy pulls Clay out into the hall (See? We’re not really in the room, Daddy), but Daddy isn’t fooled – he’s hopping mad. This is funny – it’s exactly what my parents would have done. There was a strict no-boys-in-the-bedroom policy at Casa de Little Honey Gangsta, and there was no negotiating on that rule for any reason – period. Seriously. If I had been on my bedroom floor in cardiac arrest, only female EMT’s would have been allowed to save me. So Chrissy is out in the hall (safe zone) with Clay, still on the phone getting yelled at by Daddy, and this is just getting altogether uncomfortable. Clay is frantically looking around for some mode of escape. Where’d the other kids go?
“Uh, I have to uh… go.”
Suddenly Chrissy’s parents appear and order her over to them. Then they handcuff her and march her off down the hall, poking at her with their nightsticks and yelling repeatedly, “No boys in the room!” I’m having serious flashbacks right now. Luckily I get a commercial break to recover.
“Back into your hamster ball, young lady!”
When we return it’s a couple of days later and Chrissy is going over to talk to Clay under the guise of walking her dog, Bogie. This is her first showing of the face after mortifying parental intervention. Clay is coincidentally out in the driveway washing his car – what a lucky break! There are overly cheerful “hellos” and then Clay sheepishly asks how Chrissy’s dad is doing, to which Chrissy giggles nervously, saying how awkward that whole situation was and how her dad was sorry the next morning for embarrassing her in front of everybody, and… yeah… um… what? Clay isn’t sure how to respond because his parents don’t even know what grade he’s in. Crickets start chirping so Chrissy tells Clay that his car looks clean. Hm, this is uncomfortable.
Well, bye! Chrissy and Bogie slowly retreat to “finish Bogie’s walk,” aka go right back to Chrissy’s house. Later that night she calls Sasha to tell her that she has pictures from Palm Springs and that she had a really awkward conversation with Clay. Sasha’s just like, OMG that sucks – typical bestie filler.
Meanwhile, who should be walking up to Clay’s house but Allie? Something tells me Allie’s parents don’t mind if boys go into her room. In fact, they probably have a decorative bowl of condoms in the kitchen. Clay opens the sliding glass door and invites her in. I don’t think his parents mind either.
Who’s swooping now?
Okay, I have to admit that after Laguna Beach Season 3 I didn’t have much hope for this show, which is – let’s be honest – Laguna Beach Season 4, just with a different name. But color me pleasantly surprised! I’m really liking this new crop of kids. No one has done anything horrible yet, so I don’t know who to hate, but I’m sure excited to find out!
What did you think of the Big Premiere? What do you think of the “new” series? Tell me, tell me!
Thanks for reading!