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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:00 am

TV Review

Lohan reality show isn't a disaster, but is sad

Emily Yahr | Washington Post

'Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club'

When you hear “Lindsay Lohan” and “reality show” in the same sentence, another word that might come to mind is “disaster.” The troubled actress, known for her many legal entanglements and controversies, attempted a docuseries with Oprah Winfrey in 2014 – it did not go well. She's also infamous for causing problems on sets; one director once likened it to being held hostage.

However, we can inform you: “Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club,” which debuted on MTV Tuesday night and has repeated airings on the network, is actually not a disaster.

Centered on the launch of Lohan's new club in Mykonos, Greece, it's a fairly standard – and unremarkable – entry into the “underlings work for a celebrity boss” genre of reality TV (see: “Vanderpump Rules”).

Still, the show is a deeply sad viewing experience. Just not for the reasons you might expect.

The messaging surrounding the series could not be more direct. Lohan, extremely aware of her reputation, wants you to know: Her troubles are behind her. She has reinvented herself as an entrepreneur with a brand to protect, and if you're not as deadly serious as she is about her mission, well, you can see yourself out.

Lohan's new chapter is the theme of the first episode, which kicked off with the actress triumphantly perched on a boat in the sparkling blue sea: “I want to be my own boss,” she announced. So she and her business partner, Panos Spentzos, rounded up a group of American “VIP hosts” to work at Lohan Beach House, her third establishment in Greece. As these VIP hosts caused all sorts of unnecessary drama, the sadness seeped in when viewers learned what motivated Lohan to create the club; and also when it was made clear how damaged she is by her time in Hollywood.

In the opening segment, Lohan talked about why she loves Greece.

“I've always loved the beauty and serenity I feel when I'm here,” she says. “Mykonos is the place to be ... it's beautiful, it's open-minded, and most of all, it's safe.”

If “safe” didn't quite fit in with those other descriptors, it made sense later in the episode, when Lohan reminded Spentzos that he had known her since “I was hit on that beach.”

Spentzos turned serious as he told the camera about the violent incident in Mykonos that made headlines in 2016: “Three years ago, Lindsay was there on that beach with her ex-boyfriend. She got hit by him.”

“I was in a very tumultuous relationship. I was in a different place in my life,” Lohan explained. “Instead of crying or getting angry, I said, 'I'm gonna own this beach one day.' Because I always want everyone to feel safe.”

“She wanted to remember this beach as a very fun place. Not what happened to her,” Spentzos added.