Melrose Place and Models, Inc.

Melrose Place (1992-1999)
Models, Inc. (1994-1995)
Type: Spin Off
Group: 12

   Just like hit series Beverly Hills 90210 spun off the even bigger hit Melrose Place, Melrose Place attempted the same thing by spinning off Models, Inc. Unfortunately Models, Inc. was far from a ratings superstar.

   Melrose Place started as a show attempting to take a somewhat honest look at young people trying to make it in L.A. When that didn't fly, the show recreated itself as a steamy soap filled with bed hopping and back stabbing. This change kicked into high gear with the introduction of Heather Locklear's Amanda Woodward. Amanda was an account executive at the ad firm where a number of the show's characters worked. Eventually vixen Amanda ended up owning the company and the apartment complex the show was named for. Amanda was also the key to the Models, Inc. spin off.

   Amanda's firm had an ad campaign going and they needed to do a model shoot for it. One of Amanda's underlings accidentally booked some models working for the company Models, Inc. Amanda was furious and demanded the agency and their model's be fired. She explained that she made a point NEVER to do business with Models, Inc. At this point though Amanda did not run the firm and her decision to fire the models as well as her policy of not working with Models, Inc. at all were overruled by her superiors and she was read the riot act over her behavior.

   The reason for her behavior turned out to be the fact that Models, Inc. was run by Amanda's estranged mother Hillary Michaels, played by Linda Gray. The story of their reunion played out on Melrose Place as did a story involving one of the models. As it turned out, one of the models was stuck in an abusive realtionship. Melrose resident, photographer and all round somber chick Jo stepped in to try and help and in the process took some heavy damage herself.

   That summer, Amanda's mother and her agency found life in their own series. The show was another bed hopping, intrigue filled soap only focusing on the modeling industry. I think the flaw that I thought would sink Beverly Hills 90210 was what sunk Models, Inc. Beverly Hills 90210 was a teen soap about the troubles of rich teens living in Beverly Hills. I didn't think average teens would care about or relate to the troubles of well dressed rich kids. But I guess there are enough across the board similarities with all teens so that it flew. And a good looking cast with nice clothes actually didn't hurt. But for Model, Inc. the pretty people and clothes were all that it had going for it. Teens might care about the problems of other teens, but nobody wanted to hear about how hard it was to be a model. Oh yes, a guy holding down three jobs in the midwest wants nothing more than to hear model characters whine about how bad they have it? No way. And an audience might buy that the advertising industry and big business of Melrose Place would be rife with back stabbing and intrigue... but the modeling industry? The audience didn't seem to buy it and the show quickly disappeared.

   One more side note on some of Melrose Place's convoluted logic. First of all, no one every accused Melrose Place of religiously trying to stay logical. The characters never learned from any of their mistakes and constantly made insane decisions. But even for Melrose Place the lack of continuity with Heather Locklear's character seems extreme. When Amanda was introduced to the show so was her father. Then with Models, Inc. we meet her mom. But later still we learn that Amanda had been married to a rich, abusive and possessive mobster husband. The only way she had escaped him was by faking her own death, going into hiding and starting a new life. So she faked her death, then kept her original name (her Dad had the same last name) and then went into hiding by staying in touch with her dad and then later with her mom? And instead of a low profile job in the middle of nowhere, she picks a high profile job in L.A.? Huh? Remember her husband was no schmuck. He was a rich and powerful mobster who got around. Doing that crappy a job of hiding he should have found her in an instant. Given her apparent idiotic behavior, Amanda should be happy that hubby was not just abusive and possessive but also apparently reeeeeally stupid!

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Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210

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