Life is turned upside down for 16-year-old Sophie Kerr and her family in Beautiful People, a new coming-of-age drama series for ABC Family. When the gifted teen receives an academic scholarship to attend a prestigious private school in New York City, she and her 18-year-old sister Karen convince their mother that they should pack up and move from their quiet hometown of Esperanza, New Mexico. Recently divorced, 40-year-old Lynn Kerr reluctantly agrees to give the bright lights of Manhattan a try with her daughters.
When Sophie arrives to begin her sophomore year at The Brighton School, she quickly realizes that it is not the easiest place to fit in. The school is mainly populated by a group of wealthy, privileged kids known as the Beautiful People, or BP's for short. Sophie is immediately identified as the new girl on financial aid by the snobby crowd, who look down on her for not having money. Thrust into a world that she has never seen before of cigarette-smoking, valium-popping, credit card-charging and cell phone-yapping, Sophie is overwhelmed by the fast-paced lives of her fellow classmates.
Luckily, two students named Gideon and Annabelle befriend her on the first day of class. Although they both come from affluent backgrounds, they make it abundantly clear that they do not wish to be part of the intolerable clique. When Sophie develops an undeniable connection with Nicholas Fiske, heir to a media empire, she is devastated to learn that he dates the most stuck-up girl in school. Struggling to fit in and find her place, Sophie shows the BP's what she's made of and that it will take more than a high and mighty attitude to bring her down.
Meanwhile, Sophie's mother and sister also strive to settle into their new environment. After moving into their East Village apartment, Lynn finds work in a women's clothing boutique and is pleasantly surprised to discover that an ex-boyfriend from college is the father of one of Sophie's classmates. Karen, who did some modeling back in New Mexico, becomes discouraged at the competitiveness of the field in the big apple. Unable to get signed by an agency, she temporarily takes a job as a cocktail waitress. With each other's support, all three women venture on a journey of self-discovery in the city where anything is possible.