Lohan's Beach Club needs no additional introduction to the one it gives itself.
"I'm Lindsay Lohan," everyone's favorite troubled-actress-turned-resort mogul announces in an opening voice over, while archival footage from her 2007 heyday rolls. "I live my life in the public eye. I know the ups and downs of being in the spotlight. People judge me every second. It's so easy to just keep going, going, going, but sometimes you just have to stop. Now I want to do things differently. I want to be my own boss."
Lindsay explains how, with the help of her "friend and business partner" Panos, she left America and opened her first nightclub in Athens. "And then with all my success I turned my attention to Mykonos. I decided to open Lohan Beach House."
So far, so normal! This is definitely an MTV show. Mykonos bikini babes frolic as Lindsay explains the concept some more. She's importing employees from the US to make sure her club guests "receive the best possible treatment." I don't know why American workers are better than Greek ones. The implications of this are a little dark. But Linds also says that compared to her business partner Panos, she's "the nice one."
Speaking of: Panos finally gets a heavily Greek-accented voiceover. He also talks about his differences to Lindsay. He hints that he once disliked her but now, since going into business together and presumably making some fat stacks of cash, they get along great! It's already incredibly hard to believe that the two stars of this show like each other or spend any time together whatsoever. Very good.
"The real Lindsay is a sweetheart. I feel protective towards Lindsay because she is part of my family," Panos says, unconvincingly.
We move on to a shot of Linds and Panos sitting by the beach looking through a bunch of printed out resumes. As they do this we cut to the first of the show's contestants: Mike, a bartender from West Hollywood. He says he "works with celebrities all the time" and has "woken up in the beds of celebrities before." Okay! The tone has been set. Next we meet Julianne, and flick to footage of her collecting luggage at the airport. She's a tall blonde model and bottle server from Denver. She says people's first impressions of her are "airhead" but she's actually "very professional."
Panos and Lindsay
Moving on to the guy clearly designed by some MTV producer as the group's bad boy troublemaker: Brent. Brent previously worked as a bottle server in Las Vegas. He describes himself, uncharmingly, as a "waitress slayer" because "I've gotten fired from jobs before for sleeping with all the waitresses." Probably the most offensive aspect of this claim is its blatant untruth. Upon looking at him, I know with deep and instant certainty that Brent didn't lose his virginity until age 24. Can smell the axe body spray from here, buddy.
Thank u, next. Lindsay dismisses a resume because "that guy looks like a demon." She throws her head back and cackles in a way that should, but apparently does not, worry Panos. We meet Sara, from Los Angeles. She explains she's originally from Pakistan, where as a Muslim woman her job working in nightlife would be taboo. She, like the others, has a lot of experience working with celebrities. Her backstory seems like the most interesting so far.
"If she has more makeup on than me, then she's fired," Lindsay says in a cutaway shot, as she flicks through yet more resumes. Panos responds with a "ha ha," like literally he speaks the words "ha" and "ha" as though, and I'm not making any solid accusations here, reading from a script.
We meet Aristotle, who I guess got hired for his name? Lindsay Lohan is into Greek philosophy, right? He works at a gay nightclub in Hollywood. We see footage of him shirtless, behind a blue-lit bar. Next is Billy, also from LA, also talking up his extensive experience working with celebrities. "You're essentially a therapist for them," he says. Excited to see him giving Lindsay a session later on.
It's revealed that to choose their employees Linds and Panos are literally flipping a coin.
We meet Gabi, a blue-haired "VIP waitress" who we immediately see dancing on top of a bar in her underwear. "I'm 22, this is my time for my hoe phase, and I am fully embracing it," she says.
Jonitta is next. God, there are so many of them, it already feels like. Why isn't the whole show just Lindsay and Panos? We don't need any more characters! Their incredibly forced dynamic is gold! Of Jonitta, Lindsay says, "I like her. She seems determined and humble." Jonitta explains she's a hard worker not "used to having things just handed to me."
"Of all the girls I've seen so far, she is the cutest one," says Panos.
The final contestant is May, an Instagram-girl type from New York. "She looks like she wants to be one of the Jenners," observes Lindsay. Panos does the "ha ha" thing again, although he adds an extra "ha." Triple ha!
The full cast of hosts
Now that we've hired our crew, Panos appears on camera with a cold reminder that he will turn on any one of them immediately: "This business is cutthroat. Everybod-ee is replaceable. I don't take bullshit from anyone."
Then this unintentionally terrifying moment: "If they do something wrong, I'm going to kill them." It is the most believable line he has delivered so far. Living for Panos, blood hungry businessman! Yes King! MTV, what the hell?
Suddenly all the hosts are at the club, and Panos is showing them around the joint and wearing a bright yellow sun hat. It's just a whole lot of cabanas and beach chairs crammed together in one spot. And a bar, and a DJ who has long blue hair. The hosts are essentially tasked with selling cabanas to guests, which go for around $1500 each, Panos says. The capacity of this place is "3000 people for sure."
Everyone is excited by how Instagrammable the beach club is compared to the sweaty LA nightclubs they're used to. "I feel like a chic God walking through this place,"Mike says. "When really I'm just trash!"
Lindsay is back on camera. In what will be a disappointingly recurring theme, she starts talking business strategy. She's wearing a collared shirt. See, Athens is closed in summer, and this place isn't. I think? I'm confused. But it's very important that the beach club makes as much money as possible. I get the feeling there are investors to answer to.
Back to Panos giving the new hosts their tour. He's now grilling everyone on their experience. May starts talking about how she has worked with Pepsi or whatever in a dead-behind-the-eyes way. Everyone else at the table seems annoyed that she'd brag about it. In a cutaway, Brent casually calls her an "idiot."
Panos is already pitting everyone against each other. It's super unclear why there's such a competitive money-making aspect to Lohan's Beach Club. There are heavy Apprentice undertones, which is discomforting. I honestly thought I was here for some drunk hot people creating drama in a scenic beach side setting! Wouldn't that concept have been superior in every way? Once again: why do there even need to be contestants?
We finally get to see the luxury villa where all the hosts will be living. Maybe I'll get my drunk drama after all. Now that they're free of Panos, the Americans get down to business. They go around the table and ascertain that everyone is single and ready to give and receive sexual diseases. Brent, in a cutaway, immediately declares that he will sleep with Sara — he likes her exotic Pakistani vibe. I hope Brent goes to jail for a crime soon. Then everyone strips off and starts swimming in the pool, cradling bottles of liqueur. One of my favorite reality show cliches is immediately interrupted by a surprise visit from Lindsay and Panos. This is the first time everyone is meeting Lindsay, and they're all drunk.
"What the hell is going wrong with these people. Are they like stupid or something?" asks Panos in yet another cold, fear-inducing cutaway. He is wearing opaque sunglasses, which is good, because I think he probably has those demon eyes Lindsay was talking about before.
Lindsay decides to get to know her new employees. She immediately brings up Jonitta's "impoverished childhood" in front of everybody, which I hate. But Jonitta, whose poised serenity I can already tell will be this show's one saving grace, keeps cool.
Jonitta and Julianne
Everyone starts talking about race, for some reason. Gabi, the one with blue hair, has what she frames as a big reveal: despite being relatively light-skinned, she's "not white." Lindsay doesn't miss a beat. "Well sure, you don't look white," she blithely says.
Brent talks about being bullied in high school as though I should be surprised by this fact.
Lindsay without warning decides she hates Gabi, who is still in her underwear (the others have covered up) and is talking about herself a lot. She clearly thinks Gabi is being an attention seeker. "You see this as a stepping stone for you," she says. "I think you want your own show. So you should just leave focus on that." She literally goes from zero to hyper aggressive in the space of ten seconds.
In a cutaway, Linds explains more about how mean it was of Gabi to hog the camera for a single scene: "Being in the public eye all the time, people just take from me. It's hard. It's a shitty feeling."
Which one of these contestants was a celebrity therapist again?
Lindsay and Panos leave in a huff. Gabi is still talking, though. She's upset to have been targeted by Lindsay. "No one else has to be here as a Black woman," she says, bringing the conversation back to race, somewhat unwisely. The camera cuts to Jonitta, who is Black.
Brent talks about hitting on Sara again: "I've gotta give her the look, you know... you engage their soul and you take it from them." Very normal thing to say.
Back to Lindsay. She's full on crying in front of the camera! She says it's difficult having new people at the beach club. Panos promises in his usual ominous way that "he'll be the bad guy for her."
But then, even though the show is trying SO hard to set Lindsay up as the nice one and Panos up as the mean one, Lindsay goes on a rant about how she has "no emotion when it comes to money and business." She considers it highly inappropriate for any of the hosts to have fun. They're here to make her money! The Trump/Apprentice vibes make their return.
Without a good segue, Lindsay brings up some domestic violence in her past. Her ex-boyfriend hit her on this very same beach, three years ago.
"Instead of getting angry, I said I'm going to own this beach one day," Lindsay explains. "Because I wanted to feel safe."
Lindsay talks about her mom being happy about her new career as a beach bar mogul. "I don't want these kids fucking it up for me, my family, my future," she reiterates.
THESE PEOPLE ARE WORKING SERVICE JOBS, LINDSAY! PLEASE BE KIND TO THEM!
It's the next day. In a satisfying moment, Panos humiliates Brent by asking him to take off an ugly-ass white blazer in front of the other hosts. He then assigns Brent the task of looking after a very wealthy client.
"She is very deeval-ish," Panos says. "She is the worst client ever. You need to take care of her."
A few minutes later, Brent is hooking up with the client on camera. "Hashtag no regrets," he says in a cutaway.
Elsewhere, the girls are bonding with Lindsay, against all odds. "I feel like she cares," says May, as Lindsay cries again.
It is apparent that Brent had sex with the rich client. Jonitta sniffs sexism in the air. "If it was a male client I would have been ripped apart for it," she says. They argue.
I just wish I knew what everyone was competing for in this show! There's no cash prize or anything.
Did Brent actually sleep with the client? It kind of seems like yes. Panos is thrilled, obviously: "He delivered what I wanted." Meanwhile he thinks Jonitta isn't working hard enough. I had no idea that this show was going to be such a horrifying accidental endorsement of late capitalism, but it's too late to stop now.
To conclude, here's Lindsay:
"This is not a summer vacation," she says, lounging on a sun chair and wearing a lilac-colored peasant dress. "To make it, you have to be the best of the best. I'm not sure these VIP hosts have what it takes. If their intention is not to do a good job, work hard, it's not going to fly with me. They're representing the Lohan Beach House and they can't forget that."
The camera zooms in on her face for emphasis. "So, get ready," Lindsay says. Then, inexplicably: "Boss bitch."
See you next week!
Images courtesy MTV