In 2004 we were introduced to Laguna Beach, a show about good-looking people with mediocre personalities dealing with low stakes problems. In 2017, MTV introduced Siesta Key, a show about good-looking people* with mediocre personalities dealing, once again, with low stakes problems. The original begins with Hilary Duff’s proclamation of coming “clean.” The newest iteration begins with Carly Rae Jepsen cutting to the “feeling.” Both are amazing theme songs and both shows have the goal of becoming a pop culture phenomenon.
The intent of Siesta Key is noble, a revival of all the things we love about Laguna Beach. In reality, Siesta Key proves that once an audience is thirteen years removed from this type of story, you realize these people aren’t what you thought they were. In retrospect, Justin Bobby, LC and Lo were witty, quirky and cute. But now, the same types of people are intolerable. It’s like returning to a bar that you used to frequent and realizing it wasn’t as cool as you thought it was. When watching Siesta Key, the realization comes in the first two minutes. This is not Laguna Beach. These are not the type of people you wish were your friends.
Below is the entire introduction to Siesta Key. It reads like the world’s worst travel brochure, but it gives all the information needed to realize we aren’t dealing with super cool people.
Juliette: Welcome to Siesta Key, our secret paradise. The island is small and our crew is tight. The kids here are wild. There’s a lot of money and more drama.
The narrator is quick to identify the incestuous nature of the island as well as their feral children problem. “There’s a lot of money and more drama” is both vague and enough information to tell me that I am uninterested in this “secret paradise” that is no longer a secret.
Juliette: That’s Alex, he can pretty much date anyone he wants and now, he’s with me.
At this point, Alex makes his debut on screen. He suffers from what is called “bean teeth.” Although he can have “any girl he wants” he can’t not have teeth shaped like shelled fava beans. I truly dislike Alex. Juliette is really going to regret these statements years from now when Alex is a dead-ringer for Shrek and his teeth placement.
Juliette: That’s Maddison Alex’s ex. They were high school sweethearts and they broke up when they went to college, but she just can’t seem to let go.
Maddison seems like a sweet girl (aside from the extra “D” in her name.) She too could benefit from lusting after literally anyone else other than Alex.
Juliette: Chloe is Alex’s best friend. I guess you could call her the alpha female of the group. You definitely don’t want to be on her bad side. Chloe has a huge crush on Brandon. He’s super chill and so hard to read.
If anyone calls you “super chill and so hard to read” what they actually mean is “you’re stupid.” In this case, the interpretation applies. Brandon has a lengthy discussion with his mother about a girl’s butt. You can see it in her eyes that she wants to be disappointed, but knows this is the only conversation that Brandon can carry. It’s sad, but he’s super chill and so hard to read.
Juliette: Kelsey is the new girl in town. She’s a fashion model who just moved to Siesta Key to take care of her sick mom. She jumped right into a relationship with Garrett.
I like Kelsey. Kelsey needs to leave this secret island, find a new secret island and create a new show called Fiesta Key.
Juliette: He’s never really been a part of our clique. But he does have abs for days. We’ll see if that’s enough to keep Kelsey interested.
Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t
Juliette: As for me and Alex, I’m not sure what’s going to happen now that I’m back from school. Last summer, I fell hard for him and he cheated on me with, yea you guessed it…Maddison.
I still really like him, but I don’t trust him and I’m not going to get burned again.
Spoiler Alert: She will.
Siesta Key may look perfect, but trust me paradise is never what it seems. And none of us could have predicted how crazy this summer was going to get.
The intro is the most obnoxious two minutes in television. The phrase “abs for days” is painful. Alex’s gold Shark-chain necklace is problematic for many reasons. Unfortunately, Siesta Key did not turn out to be what it seemed from the previews. We all could predict just how intolerable these super chill and hard to read people would be.