Privileged tells the tale of 23-year-old Megan Smith (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), a Yale graduate who is fired from her New York job and sent to meet with Laurel Limoges (Anne Archer), a successful businesswoman in the field of cosmetics. On arrival at Laurel's grand Palm Beach home, Megan learns that she is to be hired as a tutor for Laurel's twin grandchildren, sixteen-year-olds Rose (Lucy Hale) and Sage Baker (Ashley Newbrough). Easier said than done, as the girls are much more focused on shopping and parties than studying.
To add to the drama, we soon learn that Megan has a history of her own in Palm Beach including the father and younger sister Lily (Kristina Apgar) she left behind when she went away to Yale. Throw in Charlie ((Michael Cassidy), a childhood friend with a crush; Will (Brian Hallisay), an attractive and wealthy next door neighbour; and Marco (Allan Louis) a gay chef who's not afraid of straight talking and drama's never far away.
The series was created by The CW; it was cancelled after the first season, though not before managing to finish on a cliffhanger. It was based on the book How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean, though there are changes — notably, the main character's surname was originally Simms, but was changed to Smith for the series.
This show provides examples of:
- Alcoholic Parent: Megan and Lily's father. Recovered when we meet him but relapses after Shelby leaves again.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Symbolic: Megan (redhead) is literal big sister to Lily (blonde) and becomes like a big sister to Rose and Sage (Brunette) but does not really fit in with either.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Sage seems to always get in the way of Megan's attempts to help Rose.
- Even though they're not actually sisters, Megan tries to be a Cool Big Sis to the girls, especially Rose, which Sage does not approve of.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episode titles begin "All About", for example "All About the Power Position", "All About Love, Actually", etc.
- Missing Mom: Shelby, mother of Megan and Lily, who returns mid-season only to leave again a few episodes later.
- Odd Name Out: Megan is the main character and is the only one of the main five female characters to not have a flower/plant-related name.
- Welcome Episode: In the first episode, Megan meets (or is reunited with) most of the important characters for the series.