There are times when you go to a new restaurant and eat a meal and recognize
what the cooks were inspired by; you realize you share the same tastes. Watching
Lifetime’s sweetly low-key limited series Beach Girls, about pent-up emotions
and buried secrets among adults and teens in a Cape Cod resort town, I had that
same feeling. Even though the show is based on a summer paperback by Luanne Rice,
its creators and the people at the venerable women’s network want their own The
, in much the way MTV, wanting its own knockoff of the Fox melodrama,
brought out the reality soap Laguna Beach, now in its second season. Beach
delivers the same delectably class-based snarl of good-and-bad kids
with good-and-bad adults against a backdrop of salaciousness and surf, but the
softer, more melancholy version. In other words, the Lifetime version. I know
a few parents who are proudly hooked on The O.C. and its tawdry, jokey
storylines, inevitably drawn to it because their kids watched it. Beach Girls,
which approaches its generation-gap drama more pensively and less exploitatively,
but still boasts a gaggle of young hotties to balance the brooding sex appeal
of older stars Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond, plays like something a mother could
coax her teenage daughter to watch, and which both could enjoy.

LA Weekly