South Beach (2006 TV series)
|Starring||Vanessa L. Williams
Chris J. Johnson
Lee Thompson Young
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||41-44 minutes|
|Original run||January 4 – February 22, 2006|
South Beach is a primetime television drama that ran from January 4 to February 22, 2006 on UPN. Created by Matt Cirulnick, one of its executive producers was singer/actress Jennifer Lopez. The program was panned by critics and shunned by viewers, finishing 152nd in the Nielsen TV ratings rankings for the 2005-06 season. It was canceled after eight first-run episodes. South Beach was produced by Paramount Television and 44 Blue Productions.
Vincent and Matt are two friends from Brooklyn who decide to move to glamorous South Beach in order to seek out better opportunities. Vincent has aims of meeting with beautiful women and getting ahead by any means necessary, while Matt supposedly only wants to make enough money to go back to university, since his dad blew his college fund. However, as it turns out, Matt has other reasons for going to South Beach as well.
Several years previous, Matt was dating Arielle. However, he broke up with her so as to not interfere with her dreams of being a superstar fashion model and pushed her to Miami. There, Arielle met and fell in love with Alex Bauer, the young manager of Nocturnal, South Beach's hottest nightclub. Nocturnal, in turn, is located inside the glitzy Hotel Soleil, where models, celebrities, and other members of the rich and famous regularly spend their sojourns at South Beach. The Hotel Soleil is owned by Alex's mother Elizabeth, a shrewd businesswoman who believes her son is weak and does not have a head for business. On top of that, Elizabeth seems to have a penchant for dating younger men that are her son's age.
Matt's arrival in South Beach caused friction with Alex, who was jealous of his previous relationship with Arielle. Elizabeth didn't help things when she gave Matt a job at the Hotel Soleil (thus ensuring that he and Arielle would be seeing a lot of each other) and evidently also had an eye for him as well. Things culminated in a fight between Alex and Matt at Nocturnal; however, Alex ultimately apologized to Arielle about the fight, and Matt agreed to respect Alex and Arielle's relationship.
Vincent, meanwhile, originally took a job at the Hotel Soleil as a "spray boy" for female guests who were tanning poolside. However, he soon fell into the dubious employ of one Robert Fuentes, an investor in the hotel who happens to have links to Miami's underworld, and plans to use them to gain greater control of the operations of the hotel. For some time, Fuentes has been pressuring Elizabeth to establish a casino in the Hotel Soleil, but she constantly rebuffs him.
Matt and Vincent came to South Beach to escape their dull existence. One thing's for sure: their existence is never going to be normal again.
Ratings and reviews
Similar to UPN's Fall 2005 effort Sex, Love & Secrets, South Beach was not welcomed by critics. The Miami Herald said that, "Cannibalism is about the only thing missing from this delirious new trashfest of hard bodies and soft brains." The Washington Post's headline for the show was "Bang, Bang, Bling, Bling, Blah, Blah." The writer called the show "vacuous... preposterous and pretentious." The Seattle Times said, "The dialogue's awful, ranging from clichés ("I don't want to work in my uncle's restaurant the rest of my life") to quotations ("First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women") to product placements ("Anybody got a Red Bull?").
The show was one of the lowest-rated on television. It ranked 152nd out of the 156 original series produced for network television in the 2005-2006 season.
- Marcus Coloma as Matt Evans, the main protagonist of the show. A Brooklyn native, he moves to South Beach with his best friend Vincent in order to seek out better economic opportunities, as well as check up on his ex-girlfriend, Arielle Casta.
- Odette Yustman as Arielle "Ari" Casta, a fashion model in South Beach and Matt's ex-girlfriend. After moving to Miami, she falls in love with Alex Bauer, but still has feelings for Matt, which she doesn't find easy to get over.
- Lee Thompson Young as Alex Bauer, the manager of South Beach's hottest nightclub, Nocturnal, and Arielle's boyfriend. He is very suspicious of Matt, as he feels Matt is trying to rekindle his relationship with Arielle, and also has a strained relationship with his mother, Elizabeth, who feels he is incapable of properly running a business.
- Chris Johnson as Vincent, Matt's best friend who moves with him to South Beach. Vincent is always on the prowl, looking for beautiful women to fall into bed with. He is hired to work for Robert Fuentes after the latter takes notice of his competence, reliability, and loyalty.
- Giancarlo Esposito as Robert Fuentes, a Cuban-American gangster with legitimate business interests; He is an investor in the Hotel Soleil.He hires Vincent as an employee of his after Vincent informs Fuentes of a turncoat within his organization. Fuentes is a strong believer in the occult, and sees spirits as his guiding influences. Fuentes is an organized crime figure, yet we witness his sentimental attachment to a cigarette lighter given to him by his grandfather.
- Vanessa L. Williams as Elizabeth Bauer, the owner of South Beach's glitziest hotel, the Hotel Soleil, and the mother of Alex. Elizabeth believes Alex is weak and oblivious to the way the business world works. She also angers him by hiring Matt to work in the hotel as her chief security specialist.
- Frequent guest stars
- Adrianne Palicki as Brianna, a blonde fashion model who has dreams of making it big in the fashion world. Brianna is Arielle's best friend, and has recently been getting sexually involved with Vincent.
- Meghan Ory as Maggie Murphy, the spunky brunette bartender with an angelic singing voice at the Hotel Soleil. An ex-girlfriend of Alex's, Maggie has recently been pursuing a relationship with Matt, much to the chagrin of Arielle.
- Neil Brown, Jr. As hot young Miami D.J. Felix Rodriguez. Felix is close with Vincent's brother from back home in NY and decides to help the guys out when they first move to South Beach.
- Special guest stars
- Shawn Michaels as El Guerrero
- "I Always Tell the Truth Even When I Lie" – January 4, 2006
- "I'm Not Your Baby" – January 11, 2006
- "I Want What's Coming to Me" – January 18, 2006
- "Every Day Above Ground Is a Good Day" – January 25, 2006
- "Who Do You Trust" – February 1, 2006
- "I'll Do What I Wanna Do" – February 8, 2006
- "The S.B." – February 15, 2006
- "It Looked Like Somebody's Nightmare" – February 22, 2006
- Crean, Ellen (January 11, 2006). "Vanessa Williams Goes 'South'". CBS News. Retrieved January 25, 2013.