Beautiful People
BP is less charming than ABC Family's other original series, Wildfire, and has much less attractive scenery. Honestly, I can't think of a time in recent years when I've seen worse blue-screen on series TV. They should just not set scenes on top of buildings if they can't get access to real New York City landscapes. Or maybe just have the series set in L.A.; there are prep schools, publishing companies and modeling agencies there. I guess having it set in a Cali school would bring up the obvious and inevitable comparisons to The O.C. I mean, Wildfire borrows liberally from The O.C., too, but it's all in the execution and frankly, I'm not buying this one. The "beautiful people" are the Richie Rich's at Sophie's (Sarah Foret) new school. Sophie is the only person on this show I can actually like; she's cute, sort of awkward, and Foret was on an episode of Gilmore Girls last year playing an overcaffeinated student from Rory's high school who was getting the Yale experience, so she gets some extra credit. But I think that the casting agent who cast the roles of Nicky Fisk and Gideon had their head shots mixed up. Because while Fisk is kind of adorkable in that Seth Cohen/Zach Braff way, he's not really what I'd consider beautiful, whereas Gideon is sort of an undercover hottie in geek wardrobe. Those brooding eyes... he could be Ryan-on-The O.C.'s younger brother. But while the eye candy is arguable, I was really disengaged from the model-wannabe sister and Daphne Zuniga. I guess I just expect more from my Melrose Place alumnae.   Angel Cohn

Laguna Beach
Whooaaa! Did you see that? Room 703. Stephen. Lauren. The mechanical bull ride? You so know L.C.'s 18th birthday getaway to Mexico turned totally NC-17 once that "Do Not Disturb" sign hit the door handle, right? Yeah, who they kidding? And what is our other birthday girl, Kristin, thinking? Yes, Talan is smokin' these days especially with the new buzz cut but he's into Taylor. Leave them be, woman! Besides, hasn't she hooked up with half the O.C. guys on already? If Miss Kris don't keep those True Religion jeans zipped, her rep is gonna be as smeared as L.C.'s mascara after Steve-O headed back to San Fran. Oh, well, I guess Christmas break is over. Tear. Though I'm sort of amped, because that means next week, we may get more of the seniors and Alex's Jason-stealing scheming. Not to mention a chance to see the gang back in class. Because, honestly, this column is really just my online version of passing a note in homeroom, and I want to make sure these kids actually go to school.  Damian J. Holbrook