July 07, 2014

Today in Trivial Anniversaries: 'Models Inc.' Turns 20

As we all know, in the early 90s, Beverly Hills 90210 begat Melrose Place, which then begat this gloriously campy train wreck we call Models Inc.

"If you missed the series premiere of Models Inc. you missed a night of temptation, seduction, and murder," said the TV Guide ad for the second episode, which aired 20 years ago this week. (How do I remember? I collected clippings for my TV show scrapbook, naturally.) A murder mystery kicked things off when been-around-the-block model Teri Spencer was pushed off the balcony of a Los Angeles high-rise. Whodunit? Who cared? But if you must know: it was the receptionist...with the candlestick...in the...nevermind.

I consumed this forgettable piece of Clinton-era trash with relish. I read every entertainment magazine that publicized and anticipated its debut on Fox during the summer of 1994. And while other 14-year-olds were shooting hoops down the street, I was obsessing over catty lines of dialogue and studying cheesy plot devices for the development of my own primetime soaps I kept handwritten in small spiral notebooks.

The titular modeling agency was run my Hilary Michaels (Dallas alum Linda Gray), mother of Melrose's main bitch, Amanda Woodward. Her bevy of babes was as diverse as a sorority at WGU (White Girl University); there was the newbie, the waif, the bitch, and the has-been (at age 27). Then there was Teri's lookalike, Monique (played by the same actress - hey Stephanie Romanov!) who popped up, threw everyone for a loop, and fell in love with millionaire widower Adam Louder. And of course, Emma Samms showed up for the last batch of episodes to spice things up as Grayson Louder, back from the grave to win back Adam. But what does a desperate British broad with ample cleavage do when she fails to rewrap her legs around the man who fathered her child? Hire a hit man (The X-Files's Mitch Pileggi!) to snuff him out along with his fiancee -- at their wedding.

And who could forget that awesomely 90s opening theme song? I didn't. I have it saved as an mp3 in my iTunes library (filed under Primetime Soap Themes):

And in other news, I'm still single.


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