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Season 3 of “The D’Amelio Show” opens with the D’Amelio patriarch, Marc saying, “We don’t want to get in the middle of your guys’s personal lives, but something’s up.” From one viewer to another, you can stop right there. If you’re not a deeply loyal D’Amelio fan, you probably won’t be interested in the premiere, which furnishes snapshots of the D’Amelios’ personal lives with an occasionally tender but primarily awkward tone.
The season begins with everything new viewers need to know about the D’Amelio family. As a whole, the “Dam Fam’s” claim to fame are their 220 million followers across social media platforms. The daughters, Charli and Dixie, are famous social media influencers who have found professional success via dance and music, respectively. Their parents are also influencers in their own right, boasting 20.5 million TikTok followers combined. In the first two seasons of “The D’Amelio Show,” Charli and Dixie navigated career highs and lows, relationships, and typical sibling fights.
Flashing forward to the present, the viewer accompanies the D’Amelios through their everyday lives. When they aren’t pretending the cameras don’t exist, they’re sitting on a fluffy white couch and talking directly to the viewer. In other words, the structure of the show is quintessential reality TV. This conventionality, however, proves a good choice, as it lends drama and legitimacy to otherwise quotidian scenes, a la “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”.
The first moment of interest appears about eight minutes in. Around that time, Dixie lethargically reveals her concussion, which she claims originated from banging her head against a door. Soon after, her parents come over with food and words of encouragement.
This moment highlights one of the show’s strengths. Every time the D’Amelio parents give advice or one of the sisters wears a pimple patch, “reality” nudges the family closer to the edge of their social media pedestal. Although far from groundbreaking, these small revelations slightly warm the viewer’s heart, thus drawing them further into the show.
“The D’Amelio Show” is also funny at times. Unfortunately for the family, however, this laughter is usually at their expense. The most amusing moments are more a result of deliberately edited bumbling than any conscious attempt at humor. A viewer might be first inclined to smile, for example, when Charli awkwardly locks fingers with her boyfriend, then jerks their conjoined hands around Dixie while saying, “Don’t you want this?” Spoiler alert: She doesn't.
A handful of entertaining cast moments like this are peppered throughout the premiere. Even so, the interpersonal relationships in “The D’Amelio Show” lack emotional depth overall. The D’Amelios constantly over-act or under-act, which makes them seem disingenuous. As a result, it’s hard for the average viewer to become invested in the show. How is one supposed to care, for example, about Charli’s boyfriend when she simply calls him “great” in a monotone voice while staring at the floor?
Moreover, the stars of the show – the four D’Amelios themselves – simply aren’t that interesting to follow. The show makes them out to be just another rich family living in a soulless LA mansion. Charli and Dixie are talented in their own ways, but not exceptionally so. The way they phrase things often sucks the emotional tenor out of a scene, as when Charli flatly describes the extensive effort of opening a dance studio as a “full thing.”
At the end of the episode, a montage set to pop music – a “D’Amelio Show” staple – establishes the conflicts for the rest of the season. It promises viewers a closer look at the problematic blurring between work and family in the D’Amelio clan. The continuing rivalry between Charli and Dixie promises juicy content as well.
The biggest draw, however, seems to be the mysterious “something’s up” from the opening scene. The premiere reveals next to nothing about the context of this line, instead hinting that the rest of the season is a flashback explaining the drama. Whatever it is appears to have ruined Charli and Dixie’s relationship, and is punctuated by scenes of Charli cursing and walking out of an interview. For fans of reality TV, this setup promises a trail of dramatic breadcrumbs culminating in a final gossip-worthy blowout at the end of the season.
All in all, “The D’Amelio Show” is an average production. Its mildly entertaining drama and cavalcade of pretty people makes it a watered down version of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” There is little incentive to keep watching unless you’re a die-hard D’Amelio fan or you’ve run out of other reality shows, since the rest of the season’s emotional rollercoaster will likely be equivalent to a conversation with friends. If any of that sounds appealing to you, go watch it! Or don’t. You’re not missing out either way.
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