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« Serial Drama Works The Night Shift: Primetime Suds | Main | Holy Plot Contrivance, Batman »

September 07, 2008

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?

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Find out and see what we thought, after the jump!

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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.

Chace Crawford

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. 

Natemadchen

(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.

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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

Danundershirt

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

Chuckorangesportcoat

Chuckblueredpolo

Chuckgreensportcoat

Chuckargylesweater

Chuckwhitesportcoat

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

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Thank goodness.  We had been worried all summer.

Chuck and Blair are becoming the show's signature couple

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

Jennie_2

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

    Blog1

    As is her going by "Silver."  As is the notion that her high school blog gets 500,000 hits in a day. 
  • 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?

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Naomibusinesssuit_2

  • 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.

Comments

I found the wafer-thinness of Annie & Silver both disturbing and off-putting. It's hard to pay attention to what the character is saying when she looks as if she's been chained in the basement without food for six months. One of these girls was on another show, and she did have actual flesh when she was on that show. So I wonder, are Ron Estes, Jenny Garth, and a blessedly snarky grandma enough to keep us watching?

I actually could deal but:

*recast annie (she is scary thin)
*recast naomi cause she looks older than me and i watched the original 90210 as first runs - not repeats on SoapNet. AND - i cant get the stuff she did on NipTuck out of my mind.
*Next Ethan - not feelin him - cause in first 5 mins he gets a hummer from a strange girl and they want me to feel bad for him cause his girlfriend is bitchy! Come on.

**So agree on Rob's name: HARRY. WTF?

Next...rant from my sister - she was very disappointed - as its so much more racy than the original which means that her daughter at 10 can not watch it with her. She had hopes it would be a show they could watch together. Which they cant cause how do you explain what ethan and that girl were doing to a 10 year old?


They should down play the kid factor and play up the grown ups. I sooo want to know who is the baby daddy?

AND hate to say it but Brenda was lookin rough...guess that party scene ages you so much more that having 3 kids!

The thinness is disturbing in general, but especially Shenae Grimes, who plays Annie. She seems to have shrunk since playiing Darcy on Degrassi (which is totally awesome teen primetime soapiness).

Woo hoo for "damn that mother chucker!" Greatest line ever in the history of lines!

I had mixed feelings about the nu-90210 but there is certainly potenital..and scary skinny as Silver may be...I do adore her. She and Navid (? I think...the editor of the news show) are the only two that made me watch them....that and Rob Estes shirtless......yowza....and I remember him from Silk Stalkings and the man can still punch the hot card!

1) "Damn that Mother Chucker" is awesome, but I HAVE to add, "That Chuck Bass-tard" <3

2) You mentioned Joel McHale?! I officially love you... more. Like seriously, I must, must, MUST watch 'The Soup' at LEAST once a week.

3) Chuck and Blair are without a doubt the best thing about Gossip Girl. I FLOVE them and it does my heart good to see, and read, so much of them in a recap of sorts.

4) Chuck > Marcus = ALWAYS/ Chuck+Blair > Marcus+Blair = ALWAYS. That was the math lesson for the day. Also I'm so unimpressed with his accent, why you ask? Ed has an accent and thus it is still Chuck > Marcus. In short, Chuck(and Blair) pwn all.

5) Uhhh I love you and I can't wait for more Primetime Suds :)

Please don't hate on Ethan just yet! Dustin Milligan has enough adorable charm to make you get over the fact that he can get a hummer from one girl, while dating another, and pursuing yet another. I'm fairly certain he will develop into more of a nice guy/Brendan-type. I loved him on Supernatural and About a Girl.

What's weird is that the actress playing Naomi is only 21 years old (I have an obsession with comparing actors' actual ages to that of their characters). I expected her to be older. Poor girl. The actor playing Navid, however, is 28 years old, older than the actor playing the hot teacher!

I was surprised to learn that the kid who plays Ty attends (or attended, as I'm guessing he no longer lives in town) my alma mater, Northern Kentucky University.

GG was awesome. Chuck and Blair are mega-awesome. I still hate Dan.

90210...wow...a BJ in the car within 5 minutes? Yeah, you have my attention. I, too, am not feeling Ethan at all. Assuming that the bro and sister are Brenda and Brandon, is Ethan supposed to be Steve? I liked the little bit I saw of the "Dylan" character. I'm in, not sure about it, but I'm in.

Woo hoo for "damn that mother chucker!" Greatest line ever in the history of lines!
--------------------------
ITA. BEST.LINE.EVER.

Is anyone else think it is weird that they put the Jenny character in her brothers lap in the picture above?

^^Kind of. It reminds me of that 90210 Rolling Stone cover with LP/Dylan, SD/Brenda, and JP/Brandon. It looked more like a HOT love triangle. Talk about doing a double take. LOL!!!

I could ramble on forever and ever about the awesomeness that is Chuck Bass and his fashion sense. Something about his Nu School Dandyism just sings to my heart. The soapyness of the moment where Lord Marcus' accent broke thru has not been equalled in years. It was a perfect premiere, and I couldn't get over Serena's Grecian inspired white party dress. Chuck and Blair are poised to reach JR and Sue Ellen Ewing status... Watch.
Oh and I skipped 90210, even though I was glad to see one of the Degrassi kids with a gig. That show is way underrated.

I loved the 90210 premier, and I never watched the original so I've no comparison to make, I do think that Jennie Garth got hotter as she got older whereas Shannen... didn't.
Guess there's something to that clean living thing after all.
GG was awesome as usual and I cannot wait to see where this season is going. Now if they'd only used Nicole Fischelle I'd be happy.

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