TV by the Books – How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls (AKA Privileged)

One of my favorite new shows of the season is The CW’s PRIVILEGED, starring the sparkling Joanna Garcia as Megan Smith, a Yale graduate hired to tutor spoiled rich kids Rose and Sage in sunny Florida.  In the show, Megan hails from Florida (her old friend Charlie works at the local surfer restaurant), she doesn’t get along with her sister Lily, and she’s quite beautiful.

The show is (loosely) based on a book by best-selling auther Zoey Dean, originally published as “How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls.”  The book is an easy read – once I started, I honestly couldn’t put it down.  I stopped watching TV for a few hours to pore through the story of a girl from Yale (still Megan Smith) who grew up in the country with compost heap making parents, and an actress sister with whom she is very close.  Megan loses her job at a trashy magazine after her ideas aren’t Hollywood starlet related enough and she’s not sure where that leaves her.

Her now-former boss sets up this tutoring gig for her in sunny Florida, tutoring the bratty and spoiled rich kids Rose and Sage Baker (The Fabulous Baker Twins) in exchange for $1,500 a week, and an extra $75,000 if the girls get into Duke.  The girls aren’t quite the best scholars and they seem to pretty much hate everything about Megan.  Megan eventually wins them over, but not after deceiving just about everyone she cares about.  There is a happy ending, which all good books should have, and I found myself satisfied at the end result.

The book is definitely the basis for the TV show, but the show doesn’t follow the written word to a T.  Those who love Charlie (Michael Cassidy’s character) in the show will be sad to see that he is purely for TV-love-triangle value; to make up for the lack of hot-surfer-waiters in the book, Megan is involved in a love triangle with her snooty boyfriend James and her super cute new neighbor Will (Brian Hallisay’s character in the show).  It’s important to add that if you had read the book first, and then saw the pilot, I’m sure you’d miss the James character, too!  In the book, Megan has a best friend named Charma, and I’m hoping that when Sarah Drew shows up during sweeps, that’s her name on the show, because I love the Charma character in the book!

The twins in the book are much cattier, and the book itself is much racier (I guess they can’t get away with certain storylines on Tuesday nights on The CW)!

All in all, it’s a delightful book and for those of you who haven’t read it – great news!  I’ve teamed up with my friends at Hachette Book Group USA to give away 2 copies of PRIVILEGED to our readers!

To enter the contest, leave a comment telling us why you are tuning into PRIVILEGED.  Winners will be notified via email on October 3!