A drama about an arranged marriage may not be as scandalous in other parts of the world where that's the cultural norm, but when it's set in Hollywood with a devilishly handsome actor and a creepy self-help organization reminiscent of Scientology? Things get a little more interesting.
E!'s new scripted series The Arrangement follows Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista), a part-time waitress, who after a strange series of events, finds herself in a whirlwind romance with Hollywood's hottest actor, the newly single Kyle West (Josh Henderson).
After spending a few days getting to know each other, their relationship quickly escalates into a $10-million contract marriage proposal. Megan accepts, believing that she'll be able to launch herself into superstardom and have the freedom to do whatever she wants.
But it doesn't seem like that'll really be the case. Lurking closely behind Kyle is Terrence Anderson (Michael Vartan), the head of a Scientology-like organization called the Institute for the Higher Mind. With the help of his wife Deann (Lexa Doig), the menacing Terrence micromanages Kyle's entire career and image.
We're tipped off right away that there might be more to the Institute of the Higher Mind than meets the eye, but Terence isn't the only one with a dark secret. As the first episode progresses, we learn more and more that Megan also has skeletons in her closet.
"I can't really tell you what that is, but I think that will very slowly unfold and unravel," Evangelista told us in an interview. "But it's dark. It's really dark."
The Arrangement tries to scratch at Hollywood's shiny exterior and reveal a more ominous side of the glitz and glamour of fame: How much of a celebrity romance is real? How separate is Kyle West the brand from Kyle West the person?
"There's a reason why tabloids exist and why people buy them 10 times a week," Henderson said. "It's because they get a little escape from their own life and go on this exciting adventure of scandal. People can't get enough of that stuff—gossip, rumours, myths—that's what our show is."
Doig says the voyeuristic nature of the show is what captivates audiences, likening The Arrangement to reality TV: "It's on every network and people watch it because they want to know what it's really like," she said, "It's like this modern day Colosseum."
The Arrangement premieres Wednesday, March 8 at 10e|7p on Bravo!