Imagine that your fairy godmother didn’t come dressed in a blue cloak and sparkly navy mascara (what, you have a better image for her?). Instead, imagine that your fairy godmother was simply a cell phone. In Dial Star, that’s what happens.
Dial Star is a new original web series from NBC Universal Digital Studio. The first celebrity name attached to the series is Annalynne McCord (90210). As we follow the story of a young actress who’s trying to make it in L.A, we can’t help from feeling like this story has been played out a million times. Of course, Dial Star has its own twist.
You will hopefully be interested to know that one of the writer’s is Aury Wallington of Sex and the City, Heroes and Veronica Mars. Not only is that a great name, but those were great shows (and she penned some of the best episodes of those series). Fred Gerber of Desperate Housewives, Greek (!) and 90210 (suddenly we understand how McCord got attached to the project) gives direction for the series. But don’t expect the quality that those shows deliver. Dial Star has too many reasons for us to say you you might as well skip it and re-watch an NBC classic you can rely on, like The Office.
“Dial Star” chronicles the adventures of Celia (Audra Griffis), a twenty-something small-town girl whose dream of fame brings her to Los Angeles. A struggling actress, Celia’s life is suddenly changed when actress AnnaLynne McCord’s mobile phone lands at her feet and the door to Hollywood stardom is opened in an unexpected way. But will her relationship with best friend Natalie (Cara Santana) and new crush Austin (Justin Wilczynski) survive her new access to A-list parties, red-carpet events and auditions she was never supposed to know about?
The glamour-filled storyline of “Dial Star” plays out in a 10-episode series available broadly across NBC Universal out of home and broadcast platforms, video-on-demand, and electronic sell thru; AT&T mobile handsets, AT&T U-verse® TV, and ATT.net; and will be promoted via AT&T Share on Facebook. To promote the program, MEC leveraged NBC’s cross platform assets to create a broad distribution plan, expanding the content beyond the online episodes to include interactive blogs, text messaging and social media channels. The series features appearances by actors Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”), Ashley Newbrough (“Privileged”), Clint Howard (“Apollo 13,” “Cinderella Man”) and designer Randolph Duke.
Ep 1: I’ll Have What She’s Having: Fame comes calling for Celia when she has a brush with AnnaLynne McCord.
Quick review: Predictable, pointless. Boring. We’re more interested in best friend Natalie more than leading lady Celia.
You Had Me At Hello: Past the velvet rope… Celia meets her longtime crush. Sort of.
Quick Review: We liked the Annalynne part. Otherwise our leading lady is a fumbling, freshly-scrubbed annoyance.
Ep 3: It Already Came True: Celia plans to “bump into” Austin and set the record straight. Nice try.
Quick Review: Suddenly Celia is witty? Meanwhile, she reminds us of Mandy Moore. And you know, people who just show up and expect a lucky break are pretty annoying. The subtext of the series? “Look how easy using this phone is, ALL THE TIME?” The sad part is, most people do use their phones this much. Crap, are we some of those people?
Ep 4: On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink: Celia and Natalie attend the launch of charity fashion line, Biographe.
Quick Review: Yawn. We like the title, which is a quote from the Mean Girls movie and not even referenced in this episode. Whats’ the connection here? Could it be the hideous pink floral top Celia wears?
Ep 5: Ditto: Date night with Austin turns into a dinner party.
Quick Review: We think we’d really like the script here, if only there was a different actress delivering Celia’s lines. Bummer. We feel harsh even admitting that’s how we feel. Sorry Griffis, it’s doubtful that this will be your big break even if it’s your characters.