Primetime Suds: Teenage Wasteland
The CW kicked off the 2008 primetime season in style, bringing us the second season premiere of Gossip Girl and the much anticipated premiere of 90210 all in the first week of September. It's almost enough to make the end of summer a little less tragic.
So what are all these crazy kids up to?
Find out and see what we thought, after the jump!
THINGS WE LOVED ABOUT THE GOSSIP GIRL SEASON PREMIERE RANGING FROM THE NOT-SO AWESOME TO THE "SO AWESOME THAT NOT EVEN NETSPEAK CAN DESCRIBE THE AWESOMENESS"
Tinsley Mortimer is quite possibly the most useless person on the planet
Yeah, we know, of course she's useless, she's a socialite. But there's something about her that is so hugely useless that not even her awesome name can make up for it. Is it the fact that she designs for a Japanese handbag line? Is it the fact that she can't even speak English convincingly? All of the above?
Eric Van der Woodsen is amazing but way too nice for letting Jenny Humphrey off the hook so easily
The Van der Woodsen kids are way too cool, you know? Despite their personal traumas, Eric and Serena really do try to be good people, which is sort of a sweet counterpoint to the backstabbing that the other characters engage in, but Little J is so unworthy of any coolness.
Related: Where the eff are Taylor Momsen's parents and/or guardians?
Is she an orphan? Because, at just barely 15, she lacks both parents and any other authority figures who can keep her from dressing like she is 30. (Okay, that's not about the show, but it is disturbing!)
The super soapy moment when all of a sudden "James" started talking in a British accent
That? Was legendary. Even The Soup remarked on its brilliance. Granted, Joel McHale probably has a different interpretation of brilliant than us, but the point remains: awesome.
Sure, he may not be the best actor on the show and he often gives Antonio Sabato Jr. a run for his money in terms of staring blankly in lieu of conveying emotion, but he is so so pretty. For god's sake, he even wore a Mr. Rogers cardigan...and pulled it off.
And we're really enjoying his hooking up with Madchen Amick.
(Although it is making Becca feel ancient, given that she watched Twin Peaks when it originally aired and Amick was the ingenue. This, after they cast Kelly Rutherford, the ingenue from Generations, as a freaking mom of someone old enough to do drugs and have sex. Basically, this show seems determined to remind 30-somethings everywhere that they are too old to be watching it. Well, whatever, show!)
Related: A visit to IMDB to check the spelling of Madchen Amick's name informed us that this poor woman was on both Joey, the ill-fated Friends spinoff AND Freddie, the ill-fated star vehicle for Freddie Prinze Jr.
Homegirl totally deserves an onscreen hookup with Chace Crawford.
The Fashion Porn
Probably 1/3 of our Gossip Girl enjoyment comes from drooling over the clothes, and this episode didn't disappoint. The White Party alone was amazing.
Dan and Serena very cutely reunited
We're saps, okay? We know that they were only broken up for, like, five minutes and that angst like that is necessary for a couple, but we're not completely heartless! However, it felt a little rushed. And too easy for Dan, who acted like, let's face it, kind of a prick. We can only hope this is a set up for some additional drama -- perhaps Serena's fauxmance with Nate becomes real? Teenage infidelity is so much more enjoyable to watch than that of grown-ups.
Somehow, Dan wears a tank top and you forget how sanctimonious he can be
Nice arms and that face will surely save him from a fate worse than death -- becoming the teen-soap world's next Dawson Leery.
Chuck has a private eye on speed dial
Of course he does.
Chuck wore these outfits
Of course he did.
Serena's grandmother being...human
Celia Rhodes in "High Society" from the first season was a horrible, selfish, soulless woman and more than a little entertaining. So it's somewhat disconcerting here to see her being kind and helpful, especially to Dan Humphrey! Something must be amiss.
The unparalleled quotability continues unabated
We can't think of another show that provides us with such delicious quotes...
Heartbreaking abandonment by Chuck did not dim Blair's affection for ginormous headbands
Thank goodness. We had been worried all summer.
Chuck and Blair are becoming the show's signature couple
They are leg- wait for it -endary. The chemistry, the history, the angst, the one-liners, the jealousy, the potent combination of her headbands and his sportcoats. They are fantastic.
So when we heard they were going to do a 90210 sequel, we thought it would either be awesome...or awesomely awful. Somehow, the two-hour premiere managed to be both. More of the latter, probably, but there was at least a little awesomeness scattered throughout.
AWESOME ASPECTS OF THE 90210 SERIES PREMIERE
- Rob Estes is so sexy it is probably illegal in some states.
- Tabitha is love. She promises to be the most awesome grandmother character since, well, since the last time Jessica Walter played a grandmother. The woman is made of awesome snarkiness and we might have to start stalking her.
- Jennie Garth is adorable and the fact that she has had three babies and still looks like that is a powerful testament to the power of I Choose Me.
- The writers slyly slammed Gabrielle Carteris' eligibility for social security less than five minutes into the new show via a reference to Andrea's daughter looking like she was 30. Will an offhand remark about the deep grooves of Luke Perry's forehead be far behind?
- This time around, total lack of diversity among primary castmembers was set aside so that the characters could actually reflect the real Beverly Hills.
- Nat is back.
- The music is less cheesy this time around.
- Kelly is a single mom of a son! And we don't know who the dad is. Presumably she does. Is it Brandon or Dylan, perhaps? Does she know? Could we be looking at another opportunity for her to choose herself? We can't wait to find out.
- The second hour was noticeably better than the first. That is a better trajectory than the alternative.
AWESOMELY AWFUL ASPECTS OF THE 90210 SERIES PREMIERE
- From her interviews, Shannen Doherty seems to have a much better attitude these days, and a 90210 redux without at least a kickoff assist by Brenda would be unheard of. So it's great that she's back. But...did she always look like, um, she would have been a really good muse for Picasso? What is going on with her face? And since Brenda is an actress, shouldn't she be able to move some muscles above her neck in order to emote? Just a suggestion.
- Why are there not more hot men on this show? Rob Estes can only do so much on his own. It's a lot, sure, but it's...only so much.
- The younger characters are almost all one-dimensional (Gee, do you think Annie's the good girl and Naomi's the bitch?), and what we've seen of the cast doesn't give us hope they can bring many shades of gray to compensate for lazy writing.
- How criminally unsoapy was it to reveal Harry's secret baby in the first episode? Drag that shit out! (Also, on a related note, "Harry"? Really? That name has an inverse relationship to Rob Estes' foxiness.)
- Shenae Grimes (Annie) and Jessica Stroup (Silver) need to eat about 50 sandwiches. Each. Daily. For at least a month. Good lord.
- Nat is back, but the Peach Pit is a coffee bar? What, there are no diners in southern California anymore?
- The fly-your-date-to-another-city-for-dinner ploy is sooo overdone. By soaps, and Tom Cruise.
- Silver's digital shorts are way stupid.
- Dixon and Annie were in bed together. One of the things we do not want repeated from the first go-around is inappropriate chemistry between siblings. Brenda and Brandon kind of maxed us out on the twincest, thanks.
- Naomi is not, apparently, an undercover agent out to bust the drug ring that the drama girl is wrapped up in. So why then does the actress playing her appear to be 40?
- The music is less cheesy, but was it necessary to cram the entire current Top 40 into the premiere?
- "I'm breaking up with us." ??? Listen, show. Ethan is already not that cute. Do not further his uselessness by saddling him with lines like that.