If anyone’s cut out to produce a new series featuring a handsome Iowa kid who comes to the big city for a modeling career, it’s Ashton Kutcher, who was fresh out of Cedar Rapids himself when he signed with New York’s Next modeling agency 11 years ago.
And perusing the CW’s fall pilots, we don’t think we’re going out on a limb by saying “The Beautiful Life” is in store for some good early buzz.
Give the Kutcher and Co. props for authenticity.
Produced by his Katalyst Films, in association with CBS TV Studios and Warner Bros. Television, the pilot brims with solid performances from young actors who can legitimately pass as models, which to us seems a lot tougher to pull off than taking pictures in your underwear.
Ben Hollingsworth (“The Line”) stars as Chris, who’s on vacation in the Big Apple with his Iowa farm family when he gets “discovered” by a gay modeling agent.
Sara Paxton (“Last House on the Left”) co-stars as Raina, a serious up-and-comer on the runway circuit who, in Chris’ words, shows she’s “not like all the others” when she helps the farm boy navigate a modeling world that is made to look believably cutthroat (as opposed to say, the sillier, more over-the-top cutthroat showcased in the CW’s “Melrose Place” pilot).
Who knows where it goes after the pilot, but the pair’s burgeoning romance also comes off intriguing and natural.
Meanwhile, further realism points are scored by casting a former supermodel, Elle McPherson as… a former supermodel, Claudia, who runs the agency everyone works for.
“The Beautiful Life” will premiere in September, running on Wednesdays right after “America’s Next Top Model.”