Given the state of our current political climate, sometimes a little escapism is necessary, and from terrifying thrillers to fairytale love stories, Lifetime is serving it up in droves. Its latest show, American Princess, leans more toward the latter camp, but it's more about self-love and discovery than anything else — after all, it does begin with a woman running away on her wedding day. Before we get to that, though, let's get one thing out of the way: American Princess is based on a true story, but it has nothing to do with an actual princess.
Considering that America is a democracy and not a monarchy, the concept of having an American princess is actually impossible. Sure, it's a fun idea to think about, but if you were hoping this series would be about some real-life royal figure, you're going to be disappointed. That being said, American Princess isn't entirely fictional. The show is partially based on the life of the series creator, Jamie Denbo, who recently spoke to the New York Post about a particularly intriguing chapter in her life when she accidentally joined a Renaissance faire herself, much like what ends up happening to the show's lead character.
"I wound up at the renaissance festival by mistake. I thought I was auditioning for Shakespeare in the Park," she told the outlet, explaining:
"This was before Google. I got a callback to what looked like Shakespeare in the Park from the brochure and got the job and drove six hours north to Lake Ontario outside of Syracuse and wound up at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. I got there and I was completely blown away by this whole other layer of life’s onion that was like, 'People live like this? This is a lifestyle?'"
But accidental as it may have been, the experience ended up changing Denbo's life. "[It] was ridiculous and delightful, such a funny place. I loved it so much," she told the Jewish Journal. "It changed the course of my life."
That certainly helps to explain why a Renaissance faire plays such a significant part in the show, which centers around a socialite named Amanda who realizes that the life she's been leading isn't really what she wants after all. So, she cancels her wedding, takes off, and ends up discovering a side of herself she never knew existed, which may very well guide her to that happy ending she's been searching for all along. Any guesses as to where this eureka moment takes place? That's right — a renaissance faire!
The official Lifetime synopsis for American Princess includes more detail about how exactly this big life change comes about: apparently the reason Amanda calls off the wedding is because she learns that her fiancé has been cheating on her. This more than justifies her decision to leave the relationship, but the betrayal may also be a blessing in disguise. Running away from the wedding is what causes her to wind up stranded in the middle of said Renaissance faire with no phone and no way of knowing how the heck she's going to get home.
As for how things will work out for Amanda after she winds up in this new, way-out-of-her-comfort-zone world, you'll just have to watch and find out. The start of the show may make it seem like Amanda is running away from something, but maybe that isn't the case. Perhaps she's just running toward something better.