Lindsay Lohan Launches Comeback With Wild Reality Show ‘Lovestruck High’

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Adults love to reflect on their high school experience, whether they were the most popular kid in school or depressed by their acne.

Thanks to all those iconic movies and TV shows from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s that we keep mentioning, we tend to assume that those four years of raging hormones are the most crucial part of our development. human, even more. than our twenties and thirties when you tend to make the most impactful mistakes, have more meaningful romantic encounters, and experience changes in your mental health.

Our cultural obsession with high school is both understandable and sometimes bizarre. It’s nice to dwell on a time when you didn’t have crippling student debt, your parents drove you around, and you showered your bedroom with memories of a boy band. How this fascination manifests itself in the media can sometimes be a bit hairy. Some portrayals of adolescent sexuality — and you know what I’m talking about — can veer into scary, masculine territory that often positions minors, usually girls, as miniature adults rather than children.

In general, I find there’s not much to be gained from the experience of being a teenager other than the fact that we were all horny and stupid – which is probably why the most popular show high school currently airing, Riverdale, must take place in a different cinematic universe from episode to episode, and its prestigious counterpart Euphoria has no idea what it is.

This brings me to my recommendation of love shotone of the most deliciously deranged bits of reality TV in recent years that both skewers and indulges in our weird high school fantasies.

The new UK dating series, on Prime Video today, sets a group of twenty-somethings at an American high school to find their ‘true loves’ – or rather someone to take to prom by the end of the competition to potentially be crowned royalty and win $100,000. It’s an ideal setting for a genre of television that mostly documents immaturity and sheer illusion. Likewise, it has an overtly comedic tone and sensibility, bolstered by hilariously biting narration from high school movie queen Lindsay Lohan, whose Emmy and Grammy-winning voice-over work.

The series can be described as an updated version of The CW’s reality series. Beauty and the Geek, which posed the mid-2000s question, “What if beautiful women and nerdy men had things in common?” This program was more of a social experiment that sometimes yielded romantic results than a standard dating show. love shot similarly categorizes its actors as high school archetypes – the jocks, the entertainers, the beauty queens – and forces them to participate in decidedly non-academic “academic” challenges. For example, when the students attend a physical education class in one episode, a swim coach asks them to do mouth-to-mouth (read: kiss for five minutes). Another gym class offers a highly sexualized floor workout.

love shot is a great alternative if you’re bored with the shiny and expensive aesthetic of a the island of love Where Love is blind. (There’s a lot of navy blue and cheddar yellow.) One of the main pleasures of the show is its theatrics and the actors’ immersion in this ridiculous world. There’s a charming set of teachers who lead the group challenges – or “classes” – and a terrifying headmistress who walks into every scene until the Jaws theme. It’s weird, hilarious, and somewhat awe-inspiring to watch the adult students eat in a cafeteria surrounded by extras, being transported on a yellow school bus, and wearing backpacks probably full of foam peanuts to go nowhere without bursting into laughter. in front of the absurdity of their environment. The end result is more than a little dystopian.

When the cast first comes together, you see how quickly they all blend together with their fashion, middle parts, and face fills, undermining the distinct archetypes they were originally introduced with. Notably, there are a handful of gay college students – a refreshing inclusion in the historically heteronormative canon of dating shows. Their task of finding a prom date immediately seems more difficult than that of their straight counterparts. It’s a specific anxiety that you can also glean from the show’s racial minorities. But it also makes the competition more fierce, dramatic and petty.

In this way, everyone’s attempts to find their “true love” – ​​or at least a companion to hang out with for the duration of the show – feel deeply serious. No matter how many followers these adults have on Instagram or how many people pine for them in real life, there’s something about being surrounded by lockers and bulletin boards that creates a palpable sense of anxiety and desire to be accepted among the entire cast.

“No matter how many followers these adults have on Instagram or how many people pine for them in real life, there’s something about being surrounded by lockers and bulletin boards that creates a palpable sense of anxiety and desire to be accepted among the entire cast.”

A major challenge of creating reality television today is that so many of the people who are cast are themselves clearly obsessed with reality and understand the roles they want to play and how to play them. Despite the artificial setting, the cast of love shot is extremely authentic, even in their facades. For example, one of the first students we meet is a guy named Huss – a name I can only assume is short for Hussein or Hasan but nonetheless sounds extremely bro-ish in that shortened form. The moment he tries to compliment two college girls on their respective eye colors – and identifies one incorrectly – we realize he’s a playboy, albeit a very clumsy one. You can tell he’s unaware he’s the show’s antagonist until he’s been timed out for his sleazy ways by several women. At that point, it’s too late.

On the other hand, Junaid, perhaps the show’s most flirtatious and outgoing person, has no idea he’s getting a villain edit due to the popularity of his peers. His gregarious image is completely shattered when he tries to make a popular blonde named Megan an enemy for no other reason than the fact that he’s probably assuming she’s getting a mean girl montage. (In the few episodes I’ve seen, she doesn’t). Overall, the discrepancies between these students’ self-perception, the way they are treated by their peers, and the way they present themselves on screen are fun to watch.

love shot ultimately wouldn’t be able to pull off his comedic voice without Lohan’s literal voice. Iconically raspy vocals don’t always age well, but the actress – who is pictured stylishly with a cigarette at all times – somehow takes you back to her early and mid-2000s work with her subtle but efficient.

In any given scene, a serious, romantic moment between two students will be immediately undermined by Lohan’s sarcasm in the voiceover. But the show still retains its sweetness with all of its sardonic one-liners. Likewise, I boldly predict that love shot will be a better return role for her than the Christmas rom-com she’ll star in on Netflix later this year, which was almost certainly written by an algorithm and won’t be remembered after a week.

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