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TV Review: 'Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club' Needs Therapy

By Mieka Strawhorn | TV | January 9, 2019 |

By Mieka Strawhorn | TV | January 9, 2019 |


Right off the bat, there’s a problem. The establishment at the heart of Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club (which premiered last night on MTV) is actually called Lindsay Lohan’s Beach House. It’s a minor inconsistency, I know. But it’s never addressed or explained. I don’t know if it’s on purpose (the house is the “club”? The club is in a “house”? There’s a hotel attached that never gets mentioned?), or if it’s an oversight. But literally one second in and I already don’t trust that Lindsay, or the producers, know what the hell they’re doing, or what exactly it is they are trying to say. But I’ll do what I think Lindsay would want, not ask too many questions and keep it moving. You got it, boss.

Lindsay is the boss. We know this because she says the word “boss” so many times, it starts to sound funny, and not just because of Lindsay’s ever-changing pan-continental accent. Lindsay is the boss of the beach club/house and as such, she’s in charge of everything. Primarily she’s in charge of the narrative, which can be neatly summed up thusly: Lindsay’s turned her life around and is an inspiration to millions. That’s it! Don’t question her on this, she’s the boss!

The set-up for the show is that Lindsay is expanding her “brand” (another word she uses so frequently I hear it as a mere sound effect in my head at this point) and the beach house/club is her latest venture into the world of high-end hospitality. With her partner, an instantly forgettable Greek club promoter named Panos, Lindsay has opened up what she hopes will be a top destination for the European party set in Mykonos. Lindsay and Panos already run a night-club together in Athens and in order to grow her brand (did I spell that right? This word is meaningless to me now) she hires what’s supposed to be an A-Team of young, sexy, American party professionals (bottle service girls, bartenders, club promoters, and hostesses) to work the crowds and get people to spend money on top-shelf booze and VIP cabana services. The “kids” (as she calls them) come with impressive resumes and a whole lot of manufactured baggage because Lindsay’s not there for you to gawk at. She’s here to be the boss. Her kids will provide all of the drama on the show. And so far, they’re terrible at it.

Some examples:

The kids get drunk the first night and Lindsay surprises them with a lecture about expectations and work ethics. Lindsay got this idea from watching Vanderpump Rules.

One girl likes to brag a lot. She also has blue hair and is asked to change it to pink because the DJ already has blue hair. She does so without crying. Lindsay got this idea from watching America’s Next Top Model.

One guy used to get bullied in school so now he’s an over-confident GTL (that’s gym, tan, laundry) type. Lindsay got this idea from watching The Jersey Shore.

That same guy flirts with the naive, Moroccan “good-girl” who’s working the club circuit despite her family’s objections. Can Jax and Brittany make it work despite their differences? Sorry, can Brent and Sara make it work despite their differences? Lindsay also got the idea for this from watching Vanderpump Rules. In fact, Lindsay got the idea for this entire enterprise from watching Vanderpump Rules. It’s such a blatant rip-off, I’m surprised she didn’t name the show Lohan Laws.

In order for Lindsay to be bothered to make an on-camera appearance, several things have to take place. The production crew must first find someplace to set up where Lindsay can sit with her head directly in front of the sun. The screen must veritably glow with complexion masking light. Then somebody has to go get the giant vat of Vaseline that’s smeared all over each camera lens. Only then, will Lindsay appear, usually already seated, like some bossy buddha from on high. I presume the lens flares and SnapChat filters are added in post.

Lindsay’s on-camera interviews are genuinely interesting. It’s like we’re seeing the first few therapy sessions with a cagey, reluctant patient who’s all surface and not yet ready to be honest with us, or with herself. It’s extremely performative, but every now and then a little nugget of truth slips out. Something that an astute therapist would pick up on, circle back to, and probe a little deeper. But since we’re a passive audience, and Lindsay is the boss, she gets to forge ahead into her next monologue about how misunderstood she is. You see, nobody understands that underneath the Vaseline, Lindsay is actually a genius, an incredibly hard worker, a mentor, a friend, a champion of the downtrodden, and a really great boss bitch.

But here’s the real gag; Lindsay is a terrible, terrible boss. Just the worst. One of her new employees, Brent, was asked to handle a VIP client on his first day at work. He was assigned a woman from Dubai, who Panos describes as some kind of high-maintenance, extremely rich, “devilish” woman (I hope their clients never see this show). Panos tells Brent his only job is to keep her happy and to get her to spend as much money as possible. Well, the woman decides that what would make her happy is to sexually harass him. And since she’s not a fatty or a dude, he obliges. This transaction was not only allowed but actively encouraged by both Lindsay and Panos. Lisa Vanderpump WOULD NEVER!

One of the girls in the house, Jonitta, rightfully pointed out that it would have been a big problem if she had tried some shit like that with a male client. But sadly, what could have been a very interesting conversation on sexism, sexual harassment, exploitation, or the transactional nature of the service industry, devolved into a screaming match about whose client spent the most money that night.

And what does boss bitch Lindsay do the very next day? Bring in a team of human resources professionals? Go over the employee handbook with the kids? Give them a pep talk to let them know that they are not under any expectation to sexually gratify demanding clients for tips? No, she singled out Jonitta to falsely accuse her of drinking on the job, and to tell her she didn’t see her working hard enough. Fucking Lindsay Lohan can’t do ANYTHING right.

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Mieka is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

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