Primetime Suds: In Which Gossip Girl Has Some Competition for the Title of Best Show Ever
This week, primetime brought us Fashion Week craziness
the anticlimactic end of an era
the return of the Oceanside Wellness Centre
and the dirty, sexy Darling family.
Our thoughts on all of this after the jump!
5 Things We Loved About "The Serena Also Rises"
1. Dan's smackdown by his kind of mentor was more satisfying than we imagine even owning Serena's handbag collection would be. Yeah. That satisfying.
2. Chuck Bass just...existing. From sneering upon spotting Dan in his suite (and what the hell, Dan? Who just goes into the home of their ex-girlfriend who they ended things with in a cruel fashion, unannounced and uninvited to talk to her stepbrother? The freaking Humphreys, man) with the delicious "I don't think of you" to gradually borderline tolerating Dan's presence while at the same time viewing him with unveiled contempt, it was just fantastic, as is the fact that they are developing Chuck's character in general.
We fervently hope, though, that the character development doesn't conflict with his innate Chuckness.
Dan: ...and how do you know so many twins?
Chuck: Twins find me.
Ed Westwick is the only person who comes close to Leighton Meester's brilliance with one liners.
3. A Kirsten Dunst slam? Be still our cold, black hearts. That pretty much solidified our devotion for all of eternity.
4. Serena and Blair's huge fight. We don't love that they're fighting, of course, and love them best as best friends who would do anything for each other, but this tension has potential to be awesome and also came about in a truly organic way. You could see why both of them reacted the way that they did.
5. More screen time for Lily. All too often, the parents on teen shows are boring, annoying or a combination of the two. But Ms. Van der Woodsen-Bass is all sorts of fabulous, and we're fans of Kelly Rutherford from way back. (One of us who is, ahem, a bit older, since Generations, and the other who is, ahem, a crazed Melrose Place fan, since she played that glorious show's hooker with a heart of gold.)
...And 5 Things We Didn't
1. Effing Jenny Humphrey. She is just so hateable, in every single way. That finale dress was an ugly 80s prom rip-off
and the fact that she was wearing a toddler-length otherwise cute dress that barely covered her hoo-ha did not help. Are we honestly supposed to believe she's some fashion prodigy? Particularly when prodigies are supposed to be, like, under 40?
And her conversation with Rufus, in which she managed to display a staggering amount of brattiness coupled with an epic lack of understanding of how the world really works had us practically speechless.
2. Blair being a total, certifiable lunatic. We love Blair beyond reason, but it was squirm inducing to see her spiral into such a headcase. Usually when she sets out to create mischief and leaves a number of ruined lives in her wake, her plans make sense. But her insane plans to ruin Eleanor's show had none of her trademark cunning. They were like something that, say, Jenny would do. The horror.
3. The Gossip Girl wardobe and makeup department decisions. 98% of the time, these people are too genius to describe. But after seeing Jessica Szhor's Self editorial, we have to ask what the hell is wrong with them. She is stunning. Her body is insane, her hair is gorgeous and there is no earthly reason why someone who looks like that should be so...questionable looking on the show.
4. Dan's lameness appearing not to be temporary. Penn Badgely is too hot to play such a patience-trying loser. Though we do prefer this variation on Dan's general mediocrity, in which outsiders make a point of calling him...mediocre.
5. Chace Crawford and his prettiness was almost wholly absent. At least have someone hold up Nate's yearbook photo in every other scene or something. We are simple people.
But please do not let the equal numbers of likes and dislikes throw you: We love this freaking show. The highs are so, so much better than the lows are bad. Plus, there are pretty clothes and hot guys.
Not to totally live in the past or whatever, but the sixth episode of the original 90210 featured Drunken Jackie Taylor ruining the mother/daughter beauty pageant. The sixth episode of the new 90210 featured nothing so awesome.
Okay, Dixon administering a beatdown to the sleazy photographer who was feeling up Silver (and asked Aunt Becky who Dixon's "baby daddy" is!) was awesome. Especially because he so politely said "Excuse me" to his mother before he did it.
But, seriously, did anyone think the photographer was actually legit? Hello, we've all seen Fame.
Of course, this is the same show that expects us to believe that Annie's star turn in the musical would make her almost universally beloved, to the point that people approach her as she walks down the hallway with her effing Trapper Keeper to tell her how awesome she is.
And we're not sure if the constant tabloid discussion of Shenae Grimes's on-set bitchiness is coloring our perception of her, but god, can someone tell her that there is more to acting than raising your eyebrows?!
Other things that happened on 90210 this week (we're continuing last week's theme of not classifying anything as bad or good, because how can you have an opinion about something so boring?):
Naomi continued her bratty quest to reunite her parents, as though she's starring in some geriatric version of The Parent Trap. (Note: No offense to The Parent Trap, which is one of the more awesome things ever committed to film.) Watch as she hurts her father's mistress's feelings! See as she tries to trick her parents into falling in love again! Laugh at the looks on the faces of her parents as they clearly ask themselves "We're playing this chick's PARENTS?"
James Patrick Stuart deserves better, if only for his All My Children/Andy Richter Controls The Universe/Desperado-loving boyfriend of Elaine on Seinfeld pedigree.
Adriana is still a druggie with an overbearing stage mom, and was once a promising child actress or whatever and wound up falling in with Daniel Romalotti, who is now a sketchy drug dealer and not a sketchy porn addict.
There was something approaching a smackdown between Kelly and Brenda over Dylan, but like all things on the new 90210, it was regrettably de-fanged. They hugged
Brenda deleted Dylan from her cell phone and then Kelly went to hash things out with Dylan--leaving Silver in charge of her house which, sister or not, we don't think is wise since Silver has shown the type of poor judgment that involves staying in a homeless shelter rather than open up to her sister--and Brenda hooked up with Ryan.
We will admit that it was awkwardly hilarious when Kelly tried to let Ryan down gently, and he passionately said he'd wait for her, and Kelly was all, "That's a very kind offer, but no thank you". Hee. (Though if he did wait, by the time she comes back he might be of legal drinking age, which could make things less awkward.)
Last season, we exchanged many emails bemoaning the crappiness of Private Practice. We loved Kate Walsh on Grey's, and most of the actors in the ensemble are great, but as a whole, the show was absolutely terrible.
This season isn't exactly lighting up the world, but it does promise to be a bit better than last year. Which, yeah, is damning with a ton of faint praise. We totally mean it as a compliment, though!
But! Addison being less of a ditz and showcasing the whip smart side that everybody fell in love with was a welcome relief from the Ally McBeal impression last year. Charlotte is less grating than she was in the first season, and it's almost enough to make you forget that her name is KaDee. Almost.
Plus...let's be honest, the best part of the show is David Sutcliffe. Holy hotness. Between him being gorgeous, the writing being better and laughing at how short Taye Diggs is (When the three guys were walking along the water? He's wee!), we're thinking that this season might shape up to be good. Or, at the very least, okay.
We won't be regularly discussing One Tree Hill because we have standards. (Oh, and, um, of course because we don't regularly watch One Tree Hill.) We don't have many, and the ones we do have are certainly not very high, but OTH violates even those low, meager ones.
However, if you have not yet seen the last few minutes of last Monday's episode, you simply must. It was terrible, crazy and campy in the bad way and probably more ridiculous than anything that has ever been televised and seriously, what the hell?
It included a child running through corn fields that came out of nowhere
being chased by a hypodermic-wielding stalker nanny
who was then felled by a bottle of champagne
but only momentarily, because she then grabbed an axe
and was promptly shot by the show's old villain who she had been keeping hostage (John Sears from Original Recipe 90210!), who was wearing a hospital gown, which doesn't have anything to do with anything but lends to the supreme air of ???????? that permeates the entire experience
All of this amidst dialogue gems that included "Guess there's more than one crazy nanny in this town." (Because she's a grandmother -- a nickname for which is Nanny -- and the homicidal one is an actual nanny who takes care of children, GET IT?!) and "God I hate the woods." as the post-fatal-shot quip from the hospital-gown wearing dude who is standing at the edge of the corn fields -- er, "woods."
Words fail us.
Dirty Sexy Money's second season premiere was so fantastic that...we have to resort to an unironic e-hug to convey our thoughts.
(((((everything about this show)))))
We are so giddy about the return of this fabulous soap after its terribly short strike-reduced first season, that we can't even organize our thoughts into anything other than a random list.
- Peter Krause's Nick continues to be far more interesting (and sexy) than most good-guys-against-the-world characters end up being. But now that we know that he is unapologetically in favor of the show becoming even soapier, we're pretty much totally in love. Perhaps our overwhelming affection for Krause is clouding our judgment and is the reason we're finding Nick's wife Lisa to be such an annoying, crashing bore? Making out with Jeremy in front of Nick was pretty soapy, but it's the most interesting thing she's ever done by a factor of like 25. But back to Nick, and how he's interesting and sexy. That scene with Nick and our in-the-running-for-favorite-character Karen, getting drunk and flirting with doing something really stupid? Hottt.
- Killing off Patrick's wife was especially soapy and genius, but we do worry that this may require Billy Baldwin to stretch his acting skills to their breaking point. He is going to have to play someone who is not married. While in real life he is married. That seems like it might be beyond his very limited oeuvre.
- We barely even noticed Juliet's absence, and when we did, we sort of rejoiced a little about it. Samaire Armstrong was the show's weakest link for us (yes, even more so than Billy Baldwin), and now the show can give more airtime to the more awesome characters.
- Seth Gabel is adorable, and hilarious, even whilst stalking.
- Lucy Liu being back on TV without being subjected to Patricia's Field's "styling" is a sign that there is still goodness in the universe, all the political ads currently flooding the airwaves notwithstanding.
- How awesome is Brian, and how anxiously are we waiting for him to get involved in some of Darling Enterprises' heretofore untold shadier business dealings? Glenn Fitzgerald's delivery of each and every line, including throwaway ones like ordering Nick to fetch him a champagne refill, is genius.
- So does Karen know that Simon is playing her? Does he know that she knows that he's playing her? Does she know that he knows that she knows that he's playing her? Does he know that she's playing him? Does she know that he knows that she's playing him? Does he know that she knows that he knows that she's playing him? What is the meaning of the crystal swan? What fossil-fuel substitute will Simon creepily lick on next week's episode? These are the kinds of questions we never get to ask of our crappy daytime soaps!
- Leticia arrested for Dutch's murder? This is the first murder-related twist on a soap that we haven't seen coming since General Hospital reanimated a corpse to make him a serial killer. Ew, we just associated Dirty Sexy Money with General Hospital. You have our sincerest apologies. We just get all twirly and nonsensical when exposed to genuine, well-written soapiness!
Next week: Grey's Anatomy is back, Gossip Girl is a repeat (boo!) and 90210, Private Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money will continue doing what they do best (bore, disappoint and rule, respectively).