Erin and Sara Foster, stars of VH1’s new “docu-comedy” Barely Famous, might not be uber famous themselves, but as the daughters of Grammy-magnet music producer David Foster, they understand the drill. And while the pair resisted appearing with their dad, former stepmother Linda Thompson and step brothers Brody and Brandon Jenner on the ill-fated 2005 Fox reality series Princes of Malibu, they’ve found a creative — and self-effacing — way to take part in a television genre they admit they love.
“We have pretty much taken a stance of not doing any reality TV and navigating around some of those shows and not putting ourselves on them, but this is sort of our response to that,” said Erin, 32, at a recent press event.
In the half-hour scripted laugher, Erin and Sara, 33, play Hollywood-born sisters trying to maintain their image while hiding the fact that they are shooting a reality show from family and friends. “It’s really just a comedy,” said Erin. “None of the situations are from our real life. It’s all really to poke fun at the culture of reality shows. And it’s not, a mean-spirited humor at anything specific. It’s just the culture we live in and the shows that we love to watch.”
The pair, who co-produced the series, say they took creative inspiration from reality-tweaking series like BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood and HBO’s The Comeback and Curb Your Enthusiasm in crafting Barely‘s format, then called in some other famous faces to amp up the fun.
Erin accuses Courteney Cox of stealing her socks (and dates a guy in a wheelchair to boost her likeability). And Sara? “I chase Molly Sims down a red carpet because my publicist tells me that if I don’t make it in Us Weekly, she’ll fire me as a client.” Sara also schemes to get her kid into the same swanky pre-school as Nicole Richie.
And while the duo, both of whom have had jobs since their early teens, stress that they are not making fun of any other reality-famous families or faces in particular, they do want people — young people especially — to be a bit more wary of the culture of “famous for being famous.”
“Some of our friends’ kids, they see the culture, and when you ask what they want to be when they are older, they don’t know what it means, but they just want to be famous,” Erin said. “Like, what does that mean? ‘I want to have 500,000 followers on Instagram’? It’s almost like just being seen is your job, and I think that honestly it’s sad because there’s not a lot of skill involved in that — but there’s a lot of validation. And it’s a big reason why we want to do a show like this that acknowledges it — because we weren’t raised that way.”
Barely Famous premieres Wednesday, March 18, at 9:30pm ET on VH1.