Production Values gives a peek at the glitz and glamour of celebrity and the manufactured idols the public rushes to worship, but it shines a hard light on the seedy, gritty, behind-the-scenes cutthroat business which makes it all happen.
At the center of this drama, two friends—Beatrice Douglas and Katrine Porter. Bea and Kat. Kat and Bea. Best friends seemingly joined at the heart, only not so much.
It’s Bea who changes her life’s focus to partner with Kat.
It’s Bea who makes it all work, crunching numbers and soothing the suits.
It’s Bea who makes Kat shine because Kat’s the artiste.
Kat is a black hole, consuming everything around her in search of greatness. She has the plan, ideas, and drive to see her vision come true.
She also has an ego the size of a small country.
Kat screwed over everyone, especially Bea. She didn’t need a publicist, she thought more of herself than any dozen people could. But she did it all… for her art.
When she hired Ian after Bea vetoed it, I shook my head.
When she took up piano (and had her dad buy her a baby grand) just to best the top contender, I shook my head.
When she fangirled Ian, Ew.
My one shining moment for her was when she moved on with Phillip. But, she manages to screw that up and him over.
I cannot find any empathy for Kat for anything she went through. It was all of her making.
I do not doubt she cared for Bea, but Kat cared for herself more, and never deserved the love and loyalty Bea provided.
Bea shares blames for allowing herself to be treated as second-best for far too long.
Kat always called them partners, but when she wanted her way, Bea was an also-ran.
In chapter fifteen when Bea admits she’s around only to do Kat’s dirty work, I cheered, ready for the big break, which I got in chapter eighteen. Bea was fantastic, and Kat was her usual over-blown self.
Despite Kat’s betrayal Bea is still the only one who can right her world. And she does with ruthless guile and ease. Like Matthias, I like that side of her.
And still, Kat doesn’t deserve such a friend.
The ending was a bit too wide for me. Kat was happy, (whatever) but I needed to KNOW Bea was going to have everything she wanted. There could be a future with Edward Wolverton, but don’t count Matthias Perrini out!
Production Values is a well-written, intense look at friendship and what it truly means to be a friend… and make sacrifices. Beatrice Douglas understands that. Katrine Porter? Maybe one day. Readers who enjoy literary fiction, pop culture, and the ever-changing world of the entertainment industry will get a kick out of Production Values.
“Mornings like this I can understand the appeal of killer high heels. How they click with command down the sidewalk: Get out of my way, I’m in charge and I’ve got the footwear to prove it.”
At the age of 28, Kat Porter has become the it-girl of British TV Production. Gut, gumption, and artistry have carried her through a dozen impossible scenarios to arrive at her first run as Executive Producer, and now all three muses point to Ian Graham’s star power as the key to Los Angeles and golden statues.
But disaster looms as Ian twists Kat into a chameleon fit for success. Ian’s young daughter is thrown into the spotlight and Kat must face the consequences of her neverending quest for acclaim.
Production Values takes a biting but fun look at Hollywood—from the way we interpret female ambition to the influence of the paparazzi on how TV shows and stars fail or succeed.
Liv Bartlet is the pseudonym for writing partners Becca McCulloch and Sarah McKnight, who have been building worlds and telling stories together for more than a decade. They’ve logged hours of behind-the-scenes movie and TV footage and challenged each other in a friendly Oscar guessing game every year this millennium. Lifelong Anglophiles, their Monkey & Me world sprang to vivid life on a trip to London that included divine pastries, sublime art, and a spectacular pratfall in the British Museum.
Becca is a professor, a scientist, and a secret romantic who insisted their first order of business in London was a meandering five-mile walk to see Big Ben. She lives with her husband, children, and an ever-expanding roster of pets in Logan, Utah.
Sarah is an Army brat, an Excel geek, and has a lot of opinions on the differences between science fiction and fantasy. She lives with her cat, Sir Jack—who is featured prominently on Liv’s Instagram —just outside Salt Lake City.
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