Last night, like all good Americans, I watched The College Admissions Scandal on Lifetime!
Why Was I Watching It?
How could I not watch it!?
Seriously, Lifetime has been advertising the Hell out of this thing for the past few months. I haven’t been able to turn on the channel without seeing a few hundred commercials for The College Admissions Scandal.
Add to that, I have to admit that this is the rare national scandal that I’ve actually been following. When the news first broke that certain rich people had cheated and broken the rules to get their child into a good college, my initial reaction was, “Well, isn’t that what a parent’s supposed to do?” Of course, I made the mistake of saying that on twitter and I immediately ended up with a bunch of finger-wagging nags screaming at me about how it wasn’t something to make a joke about and how it wasn’t fair and blah blah blah. They sure told me! Of course, it didn’t really change my mind or anything but at least everyone else got to feel like they had stuck up for truth and justice. That said, I think my point remains valid. Don’t get mad at the parents for taking advantage of the system. They’re just trying to look after their kids. Instead, get mad at the colleges that were willing to be bribed. Get mad at a system that’s been specifically set up to be corrupted. The solution is reform, not necessarily imprisonment.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I kinda love the fact that, while Felicity Huffman basically begged everyone to forgive her, Lori Loughlin pretty much said, “Fuck you, I’m not apologizing for anything.” That’s the spirit!
What Was It About?
Penelope Ann Miller plays a character who is definitely not Felicity Huffman, just as Mia Kirshner is playing someone who is definitely not Lori Loughlin. That said, like Miller and Loughlin, they’re two wealthy mothers who are concerned about getting their children into the right school. Fortunately, Rick Singer (Michael Shanks) is willing to sell his services as an admissions consultant. Pay him enough money and he’ll fix your child’s grades, improve their test scores, and even make them look like athletes!
It sounds like a great plan! Of course, it’s also illegal and, even as the parents are looking forward to sending their kids to Stanford and Harvard, the FBI is looking forward to sending the parents to prison!
Miller and Kirshner were both well-cast and Kirshner was especially good as the mother who definitely was not Lori Loughlin. Michael Shanks was also wonderfully repellent in the role of Rick Singer.
It was fascinating to watch the lengths that Singer and the families went to remaking their children. My main memory of this film will probably always be Sarah Dugdale standing in front of a blue screen and kicking a soccer ball so that she can later be photoshopped into a picture of an actual soccer game.
What Did Not Work?
Where were the real people!? Yes, Rick Singer is a real person but why were all the parents fictional? I assume for legal reasons. For instance, Lori Loughlin has yet to be convicted of anything and I imagine that Lifetime didn’t want to get on the bad side of either Felicity Huffman or William H. Macy by portraying them in the movie. But seriously, it was hard not to be disappointed by the lack of real world gossip.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
Hmmmm …. I got into college legally but then again, I also didn’t go to an Ivy League school, nor did I ever particularly want to. To be honest, it didn’t really occur to me that college was actually that important until my senior year. That’s when I was like, “Oh, I’m actually supposed to do something with this art history degree….”
If you want to send your child to a good college, get them interested in soccer early.