If your first thought when the college admissions scandal first broke was, “This seems like exactly the type of material that would benefit from an even-handed documentary shedding light on the evils of the Ivy League industrial complex and an educational system that prioritizes wealth and privilege over individual character and merit,” then you’re about to be sorely disappointed, sis, because that movie has not happened! However, if your first thought was, “Wow, what a mess, I can’t wait to see the Jewish best friend from Adventures in Babysitting and Jenny from The L Word play the Felicity Huffman- and Lori Loughlin-inspired parts in a hastily assembled, made-for-TV adaptation of this story,” then look no further, because your dream has come to fruition.
The trailer for Lifetime’s upcoming adaptation of the college admissions scandal, the not-very-imaginatively titled The College Admissions Scandal starring Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner, has just dropped, and it has everything that your stupid, slushy, blue-screen-addled brain ever wanted. Based on Operation Varsity Blues — the FBI sting into a college admissions scam that targeted more than 50 parents who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to game elite schools’ admissions departments — The College Admissions Scandal is a movie, and there’s not much more to say than that. It’s one of those things where it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not, because obviously you’re going to watch it and drink exactly 2.5 glasses of white wine and shriek with delight while your significant other fumes in the other room.
A brief synopsis: Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner are two moms. You can tell Miller plays the nice mom because she wears heather-grey duster cardigans and has an unthreatening blond bob; Kirshner plays the mean mom because she wears black sequined tops and giant sunglasses and claps at her child authoritatively during soccer practice. Both women are desperate to get their blandly attractive teenage children into college, and are willing to do whatever it takes to do so, as Kirshner dramatically intones to the skeevy college admissions counselor (Michael Shanks) serving as a stand-in for scam mastermind William “Rick” Singer, slick convertible and helmet haircut and all. So the moms arrange for stand-ins to doctor their kids’ SAT scores without their knowledge.
All seems to be going according to plan, until — surprise! — the FBI starts to get suspicious. “You are worth every penny of the half million dollars that we paid you,” Kirshner says on a phone call surveilled by the FBI, in a tone that indicates we are supposed to believe this is a thing an actual person would say, rather than a line a 19-year-old production intern farted out after bookmarking a couple of TMZ stories.
The College Admissions Scandal premieres October 12th at 8:00 p.m. EST, but you’ll probably watch it two weeks after on demand when you’re hungover.