I believe that even if your best days are behind you, really good days can still be ahead. However, that belief is in doubt after watching Everyone Is Doing Great (Hulu). While shows about actors trying to find relevance and redemption aren’t new, the perspective of this show is personal and unique. But in the end, I didn’t connect with it and don’t know who will.
A Steep Hill To Climb
The show was conceived by former One Tree Hill co-stars James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti. Both found fame at a young age through that show, but their IMDb pages show they haven’t followed up on that success. Everyone Is Doing Great is an exaggerated version of their lives and struggles since Hill signed off in 2012. Seth (Colletti) and Jeremy (Lafferty) are alums of a Vampire Diaries-esque hit show, Eternal.
To what degree Everybody mirrors the reality of James and Stephen is anyone’s guess. On the show, Jeremy is married to his Eternal co-star Andrea, played by Alexandra Park. In real life, Lafferty and Park are engaged. On the show, Andrea serves him with divorce papers. I’m guessing that’s fiction, for now.
On the show, Seth reluctantly tells fans he’s ‘working on working,’ struggling through brutal auditions that include simulated sex with a pillow while casting directors discuss their lunch plans. Jeremy doesn’t even mount that much effort, spending morning to night getting high and reveling in increasing levels of self-pity.
The main problem with the show is that neither of the characters are sympathetic or relatable. Fans who stop them on the street serve as a reminder that fame is fleeting and in their rearview mirror. Yet despite that disdain, they still feed off the adulation psychologically and sexually. Their lack of self-awareness and inability to do adulting on a personal or professional level left me completely uninterested in their stories.
The entire first (only?) season dropped on Hulu, but I only got through half the episodes. I already knew I had better things to do. Like update my own resume. Go on my own auditions and land work. Watch a test pattern. (The test pattern had a great plot and backstory)
Fans of One Tree Hill may like this since it serves as a mini-reunion, and James and Stephen have said they’ll have some Hill alums drop in if season two happens. But on the whole Everyone is just a story about two struggling actors shunning past glory while chasing future fame and trampling on anyone who cares about them on any level.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
I’m having a Liquid Cocaine. If you watch the first or third episode, you’ll know why.