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Howard Rosenberg / Television

'Models Inc.': Perfect for SGTV : SG Stands for Superb Garbage, Raised Here to an Art Form

July 06, 1994

Everyone is here. I feel so unbelievably average --Gorgeous model attending Malibu party in "Models Inc."

NBC's "Now With Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric" and CBS' "America Tonight" are turning 9 p.m. Wednesdays into television's gathering place for Inquiring Minds. If recent tradition holds, you know what that will probably mean tonight: O.J. time.

So do yourself a favor and tune in something that promises to be infinitely more fun, if just as witless. Fox has the real America tonight.

It's releasing no episodes of its new summer series, "Models Inc.," for preview. Obviously, the producers don't want to be embarrassed by advance praise for their depiction of the "intrigue, envy and heartbreak" of "the glamorous world of modeling."

Nice try, but it won't work. In advance of tonight's second episode (at 9 on KTTV-TV Channel 11), here's the word on last week's 90-minute premiere for those who didn't watch: It was so unbelievably below average that it was endearing. Just missing greatness, it was not quite bad enough to be hilarious, but plenty bad enough to be amusing.

Which was probably the intent.

Much of television is garbage, yet very little of it Superb Garbage (SG), television that knows it's garbage and wants to be garbage, all the while sculpting garbage into art. "Dallas" and "Dynasty" were quintessential SG, for example, mountainous mounds of richly satisfying rubbish, utterly transcendent in their manifestation of this underrated genre.

When it comes to delivering a message about the way certain segments of Los Angeles live, Aaron Spelling's "Models Inc." is in a hallowed category with his famed "Hollywood Wives," which first ran on ABC in 1985. Arguably the most SG miniseries of our time, it was so unabashedly mindless that watching it was pure joy. Remember?

" Movie star Ross Conti slept with his makeup girl before sleeping with playgirl Karen Lancaster, daughter of a superstar who once slept with a 15-year-old girl on his dressing room floor. Scheming sex priestess Gina Germaine slept with studio head Oliver Eastern and then with director Neil Gray . . . who had heart failure in bed with Gina while his wife, Montana, was in bed with aspiring actor Buddy Hudson, a former prostitute who didn't know that he and his homicidal twin were the illegitimate sons of Ross Conti and super agent Sadi Lasalle.

" Then they all did lunch. "

Although "Models Inc." doesn't yet reach that level of artistic trash, it definitely has SG potential. A spinoff from Spelling's "Melrose Place" on Fox, "Models Inc." portrays "beautiful young women struggling to succeed in one of the most competitive, yet sought-after professions." Real-life models naturally will recognize it as being accurate to the smallest detail.

The young, exquisite models have a matriarchal leader. Their mentor and landlord (they live in her Malibu house) is glamorously ruthless agency owner Hillary Michaels (Linda Gray), who was introduced last season as the mother of the nasty Amanda on Fox's "Melrose Place."

Last week on "Models Inc.," before even 10 minutes had elapsed, magnificent model Teri Spencer (Stephanie Romanov) was removing her dress on the beach and sinking to the sand with handsome photographer Brian Peterson (Cameron Daddo). Or was it Teri and handsome Eric Dearborn (David Goldsmith)? Or Brian and Eric? At this stage, everyone was looking alike. In any event, the next day, Teri told Hillary she was leaving the agency.

Then Hillary and Teri quarreled.

Then Hillary and Brian quarreled.

Then beautiful model Julie Dante (Kylie Travis) told a handsome photographer named Josh she'd "do anything" for a shooting session. Then she came on to her former lover, Hillary's handsome son, David (Brian Gaskill).

Then Brian met Teri at a bar, and they quarreled.

Next, Julie, beautiful new model Sarah Owens (Cassidy Rae), beautiful model Linda Holden (Teresa Hill), Teri and her beautiful sister, model Carrie (Carrie-Anne Moss), were splashing around in a hot tub.

Teri and Carrie quarreled.

Then Julie and Josh had sex on his mat.

Then Sarah's first modeling assignment at a motorcycle show ended badly when the client came on to her.

Then Linda kicked out Eric.

Then Julie and Sarah quarreled.

Hillary revealed that she walked out on her own daughter.

Julie and Sarah quarreled again.

Julie and Carrie quarreled.

Brian and Hillary quarreled.

David and Teri quarreled.

Brian and David quarreled.

At her farewell party, in an unforeseen plot twist, Teri quarreled with no one. However, Teri did tell Carrie to get lost.

Then Teri was murdered.

Julie called Josh a "pompous windbag and an immoral creep."

David came on to Sarah. On the screen together, these two kids were every bit as torrid as George and Gracie. What an acting clinic.

Meanwhile, Julie told Sarah, "You're finished, bitch!"

When the premiere episode ended, "Models Inc." rolled in highlights of tonight's intrigue, envy and heartbreak, with Hillary becoming a suspect in Teri's murder, and just about the entire unbelievably above-average looking cast attending Teri's funeral.

Where naturally they quarreled.

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