A self-made millionaire finds five women with a similarly troubled past and coaches them on how to become rich through mental, emotional, and sexual manipulation. This is Heaven and Wes Clark’s television pilot Groupie: The Blueprint Of A Self Made Millionaire.
Over the past 25 years reality shows have become a television staple and something none of us can really escape. Predominantly featuring unscripted, dramatic, or humorous situations, they typically involve ordinary people instead of professional actors. Covering a wide range of topics from dating to cooking, to travel, and the lifestyles of the rich and famous, reality television continues to be a major force in the entertainment industry that shows no signs of slowing down.
Groupie: The Blueprint of a Sel Made Millionaire is a dramedy of sorts, that has hints of the mockumentary-style about it, and takes a satirical look at the world of reality television. Directed by the Clark Brothers, the pilot follows a group of young women who seem to be taking part in their own reality show with them constantly filming themselves talking about their lives and their loves like social media vloggers and influencers.
We first meet the five of them sat together in an exotic locale wearing bikinis and chatting to each other, much like you would see on ITV’s Love Island. Each girl has their own backstory and that is what the bulk of these early episodes are all about. It becomes apparent that the girls have been invited to take part in a school of seduction, here called a groupie academy, where they are all taught how to use their sexuality to manipulate men, with the aim of finding their own sugar daddies and benefactors in order to become financially secure.
The opening two episodes are mainly used as an introduction to two of the female characters, both with their own unique personality and backstory. There’s Lucy – a young and ambitious actress who, after sleeping with the wrong person, loses her contacts and sees The Groupie Academy as a way to get ahead in the entertainment industry, while Chastity – a confident and bubbly music fan, spends her time chasing rock stars but with a naivety that suggests she is constantly searching for romance in a non-romantic world.
One of the pilot episode’s strengths is its commentary on the toxic nature of the TV and music industry. Showing Lucy and Chastity being used and abused for very little gain, it’s also a stark reminder of how shows like Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here can bring out the worst in people, as they fight for their 15 minutes of fame.
At the same time, Groupie can also be seen as a celebration of female friendship. Despite the grubby nature of their pasts and how little we see of the group in these two 20-minute episodes it still manages to highlight how women can form a bond and support each other through challenges and help each other overcome the obstacles that are put in their way.
Overall with Groupie the Clark Brothers have done an excellent job of recreating the familiar tropes of reality television, including dramatic music cues and confessionals where people spill their deepest secrets. However, they have also managed to separate it from its source material by giving the audience some powerful visuals. They highlight the way powerful men can use their status to exploit and manipulate those around them with a sense of realism and authenticity. There is a lot of promise shown with these first few episodes and it’s a testament to the filmmakers’ skill that I can see this show delivering a lot more on its promise. I hope that will also include some biting social commentary in future episodes.