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North Shore--Hot or Not?

Part of: LA , Television

[Breakfast: toasted baguette with strawberry jam and butter]

Reader, Robofrost, asked me to write about the new TV show, “North Shore.” The show appears to have been barely written about by the press. (Lazy and/or unethical journalists don't even think about poaching from here)

I stayed in Honolulu for 3 weeks in high school visiting my best friend who had moved there. I never imagined I could get sick of Hawaii, but I was ready to go home at the end--and, yes, I’ve been to the North Shore and Waimea. The thing about Hawaii is that the expression, “island time,” is a reality, and perhaps “North Shore” follows this concept too well.

One of Fox’s North Shore marketing strategies is to appeal to “The O.C.” audience. An internet ad tries to suck viewers in:

Miss “The O.C.?” Then watch “North Shore” on Fox! Tune in Mondays at 8/ c.

Most weeks the show is being offered on Thursdays, too. It seems as if Fox is trying to tout “North Shore” as the companion to “The O.C.” like “Melrose Place” was to “Beverly Hills 90210.” As is often the case, “The O.C.” has mostly twentysomethings playing high school students. However, “North Shore” has twentysomethings playing what I thought were thirtysomethings. I figured that all the actors were in their 30’s, except for Gabriel (Corey Sevier). A quick check on IMDB proved me wrong. They are all in their 20's.

I’ve watched 6 episodes of “North Shore” and have come to the conclusion that I don’t love it or hate it. It bothers me that the show doesn’t take more risks. The characters are all goodie goodies except for Tessa (Amanda Righetti) and hotel owner, Vincent (James Remar). Some examples of Island drama: Gabriel gets in trouble when he borrows a jet ski from a local and accidentally trashes it. M.J. (Nikki Deloach) and Chris (Jay Kenneth Johnson) get taken hostage when they stumble upon a marijuana farm while horseback riding, but quickly get bailed out. Even the conman who Tessa used to work with seems harmless. No one ever appears to be in any real danger. I know that by the end of each episode they’ll be putting back full-carb brewsies at the local hangout with not so much as a bruise or broken nail.

Frankie (Jason Momoa), the bartender, (and in my opinion the hottest guy on the show) has still had no major story lines-- and we’re halfway into the first season. On his character’s bio on Fox’s website, it states that he “keeps his guests well-lubricated while trying to hide a mysterious past.” As far as I can remember, a mysterious past has not been alluded to on the show.

Some visiting guests are inspired by real life people: Deepak Chopra-esque spiritual guru has a fit when his Lamborghini hasn’t arrived from his flight from LAX; an Anna Kournakova-esque bad girl tennis star uses Jason (Kristoffer Polaha) to protect her image because she’s secretly a lesbian; a Paris Hilton-esque wild celeb debutante comes for Nicole’s (Brooke Burns) birthday-- boring except for her friends, who are hilarious. "North Shore" refuses to give these characters any freshness, which is a shame. They do and act exactly as we’d expect them to—yawn.

I worked briefly in a hotel. There was plenty of non-cliché drama. I wish North Shore would be a bit less wine cooler and more tequila. I’ve been drawn back to "North Shore" due to the Hawaiian scenery and bartender hottie, but now I have island fever. I’m ready to leave for the mainland.


Robofrost writes:

"Thanks for the NS review... and I think you nailed its weaknesses pretty dead on. It doesn't have an edge, and it's the characterization and lack of creativity that's holding it back. It feels overly cookie-cutter, like they're trying to follow a template for a "Fox drama" instead of drawing outside the lines. You review really well, chick -- I like your style of providing specific examples of how/why things don't work (or do), and the way you key into personal links/observations (a la the time you spent in Hawaii, which lead to your 'island time' observation.)"

Tiffany writes:

"Phew, I'm glad you liked it."


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