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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | The Day's Most Tasteless Dialogue »

September 14, 2008

Primetime Suds: Fabulous Soapiness vs. Family Night (Guess Which Wins?)

This week, Gossip Girl featured schemes, an adulterous duchess and an homage to Cher Horowitz's sage advice that "anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good."


90210 was about...bowling.


Our thoughts on these wildly different episodes after the jump!


Mallory: Okay, so, this is not related to the show itself, but can we talk for a quick second about how Blake Lively and Leighton Meester are going to be on 30 Rock?  Because, to quote Miss Waldorf herself, "Oh my effing god!"

Becca: It's like NBC executives live in my dreams.  Though that's obviously not possible, given the state of Days of Our Lives.

Mallory: So, on with "Never Been Marcused"!

Becca: I say "effing" all the time, I have been to the beach shown in the opening scene (my dog illegally swam there!) and I've stayed at the Hudson.  Sadly, this episode therefore made me feel cool.

Mallory:  That's not sad. Did you take the jitney and seduce your sort-of boyfriend with chocolate covered strawberries? I never knew that chocolate covered strawberries were traveling snacks. This show is so educational!

Becca:  I hate strawberries!  It's one of those things I don't say much in front of people, because they judge me.  But more on topic, I have only ever driven to the Hamptons, but I imagine the bathroom on the jitney is majorly grody, no?  You have to be pretty desperate to choose that over your palatial Manhattan co-op.

Mallory: Totally. I mean, granted, I obsessively use anti-bacterial hand gel after using the escalator, so my perspective may be skewed, but still. Ew.

Becca: Though I can understand being a little antsy over Penn Badgley.  How is it that he got hotter over the summer?  I mean, he started off at a good level, but seriously.  And even Chuck seems a little attractive to me this season.  What is happening?!

Mallory: Everything that Chuck does delights me. Between his squash playing, and selling his shares in Victrola to pay off the Archibald family debts, I was in a constant state of happiness.


Becca: Chuck becoming a generous and altruistic person worries me.  If he switches to an earth-toned wardrobe, I'm going to stage a protest.

Mallory:  I wish that he'd use some of his money to finance some sort of Flowers for Algernon deal for his best friend, though, because Nate is hopelessly dim. I will applaud him for moving up in the world by making his own choice to become a kept boy, though. He was pimped out by his father and Little J for too long, it's sort of nice to see him assert himself in this way.


Becca: Nate is so, so pretty.  But so, so dim.  He's like a younger, richer Lucky Spencer.

Mallory:  It kind of breaks my heart, how he is always looking for someone to talk to and everybody is too wrapped up in their own superficial problems to spare a moment to talk to the pretty nitwit.

Becca:  I know when I was in high school I took great pains to make time to talk up good looking but dumb guys.  But yeah, you know it's bad when I am sad that Nate didn't get a chance to spend time with Vanessa.  Vanessa!  Blergh.

Mallory:  I didn't realize how much I hadn't missed Vanessa until her smug self showed up onscreen. I have such a knee jerk reaction to her. She's like my Newman.


Becca:  I have a similar reaction to Nate's mom.  Something about the face of the actress who plays her freaks me out. 

Mallory:  My heart stopped beating when I saw her scary-ass Irish wolfhounds onscreen. What are those, why do they exist, and why didn't the CW air a viewer discretion advisory?


Becca:  Irish wolfhounds exist so that I am never able to say "I love ALL dogs."  I anxiously await the first time we see Blair encounter those beasts.  Can you imagine the fabulous line that will result?

Mallory: Oh yes, the woman, the myth, the legend: Blair Waldorf. Not even her tragic orange culottes could dim her brilliance.


Becca:  I know America Ferrera will not approve, but I must say, Blair's delightful bitchiness absolutely makes my week.

Mallory:  Hardly anyone else on television these days has such ease with bitchy one-liners as Leighton Meester does. Who else could pull off "I think she recognized herself in me...or rather, I recognized someone in her"?

Becca: Her walking in on Nate and the Duchess was amazing: "Oh my effing god!"


Plus she called Chuck a "Bass-hole"!  Which is a perfect complement to "mother Chucker," in my opinion.  I really need for my next asshole-y sort-of boyfriend to have the last name Bass.  Or be obsessed with Bass loafers, or bass fishing.  Anything to give me an opportunity to use these lines.


The new 90210 lost millions of viewers from last week's premiere, and we can't say we're surprised. The show has the raw materials to make it...well, it probably won't ever be award worthy, but it could at least be entertainingly soapy! Right now, it's an hour of dullness, and we only pay attention to marvel at Rob Estes's hotness every so often.

Below, ten issues we had with the show's third episode.

1. Where the eff was Tabitha?

Maybe centering an entire series around the boozy grandmother isn't in keeping with the legacy of the original 90210, but, in the word of GOB Bluth: Come ON! Wouldn't you rather watch an entire episode filled with Tabitha being bitchily awesome than see Annie's bland self in a love triangle?

2.  Bowling?! Seriously?

Mallory has a deep-rooted hatred of bowling that probably stems from the gross shoes, so she rolled her eyes during the entire Wilson family night plot, because of course your kids don't want to bowl with you. Bowling sucks!  Becca has a secret affection for bowling (she inherited lovely light blue suede bowling shoes from her grandmother), and therefore was pissed that this show kind of ruined it with its boringly boring take on it.

3. Kelly's baby daddy is Dylan! Or Brandon! Or...Steve. Oh god, please don't let it be Steve.

Okay, so it's someone Kelly was involved with in high school.  We got all excited that this was going to be a long soapy build-up, but then we read that the father is going to be revealed in this week's episode.  What the hell, show?

4. This Just In: Sometimes Perfect Families Aren't Perfect

Watching Naomi's heart break when she learned that her father was having an affair was kind of laughable, no?  In fictional Beverly Hills, everybody's father is having an affair.  (As is everyone's mother, judging by the Donna Martin storyline that this sequel decided to rip off in only its second episode.)  She really should have just assumed that her dad is a philanderer and went along her merry way without the angst.  And her shock that her mom knows about the affair and is going along with the marriage anyway?  Does she ever watch TV?

Perhaps we aren't moved by this because Naomi herself looks like a thrice divorced suburban housewife...



5. Jackie Taylor's Return Could Not Have Been More Anti-Climactic

Jackie was part of several legendary moments on the original 90210 (does the mother/daughter fashion show ring any bells?) and her confrontation with her daughters in this episode should have been epic. And yet...it kind of just fizzled.


6. Brenda's Bitchiness Was Sorely Missed

Say what you will about Shannen Doherty -- especially about whatever the hell she's been doing to her face -- but the woman brings the rootable bitchiness like no other.  This episode was sadly lacking in Brenda.  It doesn't seem like 90210 if she's not telling people that she hates them and never to talk to her again, you know?

7. Ethan pretending to be turned on by Annie's wriggling her bony ass at the bowling alley was disturbing.

We're going with the theory that the actor was actually puzzled by how Shanae Grimes' twig arm could hold a bowling ball, and the director went with "Ethan is hot for Annie's body." 

8. Not enough Rob Estes

Yes, we know, it's a show about teenagers and not parents or grandparents, but so many scenes would be improved by featuring Rob Estes's molten hotness, even if he just walked around in the background.



9. If we're supposed to be invested in Silver, maybe, um, make her a little less irritating?

You could put an eye out on one of her collarbones.  She's a rich girl who voluntarily lives in a shelter rather than confide in her sister, the psychologist, about their mother.  Her wardrobe is bizarre, and not in a "and is therefore awsome, a la Chuck Bass" kind of way.  She goes by "Silver."  The annoying personality traits just keep piling up.


10.  The Sucking Needs to be More Epic

We said before it premiered that this show was likely to be awesome, or awesomely awful.  So far it's kind of non-campily mediocre, and that's not okay.  We either need to love something, or love mocking it.  We are simple bloggers in this regard, and we are hereby requesting that 90210 cooperate in making our lives a bit easier. 

Screencaps courtesy of Gossip Girl Online and Home of the Nutty


I fast-forwarded through the majority of 90210, and I never fast forward through Gossip Girl. Not even the Vanessa scenes!

I worry that GG is possibly brainwashing me, though... I find myself wearing a lot more headbands than usual. If I'm drawn to orange culottes next, it'll be official.

I admit, I think the most WTF moment was Silver chose to keep the secret of her mom's boozing behavior from her sister who she seems perfectly willing to hang out with but not stay with?

And Family Night gave me a gag reflex. Ok, I take that back, the breakfast they made for their parents made me gag.

....still haven't watched 90210, glad I didn't since Brenda (miss me?!) wasn't on. I'm only invested in its success cause that means Shenae Grimes won't be returning to Degrassi as that bigoted little asshole Darcy.

As for Gossip Girl. Nate's Mrs. Robinson is the DUCHESS? LOVE!
I jumped when those wolf dogs walked on screen. It was probably the scariest moment of my week.
I felt the exact same way about no one caring about poor dim Nate and his problems. If he weren't so dim, he'd still be the hottest thing on the show. Pretty really can only take you so far. When the show first started I was all like "Ooooh!" @ Nate's prettiness just like everyone else, then the dust settled and there was Chuck Bass with the smoothest, coolest swagger to hit primetime since Chris Noth as Mr. Big. On a 17 (16?) year old! That. Is. Talent. Every week I find a new person to compare his awesomeness to, and this week it's Tom Ford. Anyways I was glad to see Vanessa, I really liked her in the books and wish they would take her character further in the show. Dan's dad continues to be hotter than him (though not by much) and I like that he and Serena aren't really. Officially back together (but really it's just a matter of time).
I like this multi-faceted Chuck, yes he's a bad boy...but that doesn't mean he doesn't care about. Well. The people he cares about. Where is his dad and Serena's mom???

I adore Chuck. That's all I really have to say.

Seconded Junie. Chuck and Blair just fascinate me to no end. Nate is pretty but so so dim that his pretty is eclipsed by others. I was really hoping that they would do that spin off show with Jenny because I really don't like her. Vanessa either.

Chuck and Blair bring happiness to life every effing week.

9021....Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Seriously, who is writing that crap??!!!

90210 was very dissapointing. it was great seeing jackie all boozed up but your right she's a legend and her fight with the girls should have been more epic. im pretty much only watching for brenda and im crossing fingers kelly's sons dad is brandon. no way can it be steve's i dont care how blone and curly that kids hair is!

My love and fasination for Chuck and Blair knows no bounds... I love them so much in fact I kinda psyched myself out of reading a possibly good/great book b/c I found out that Chuck is a secondary character and he and Blair never get together. I mean i'm sure that Gossip Girl, the book, is actually great, I know for fact the characters are a little different on the show, but I don't think I'll be able to get into it b/c Gossip Girl the show has over taken my life. I'm not sure how readers of the books feel about the series but some probably are "WTF this isn't my book come to life" I mean some aspects are the same, others are not though.

(WARNING: Ramblings about... Harry Potter follows, why I have no clue but I typed it so) One reason I can most def. get into Harry Potter is b/c they stay true to the books, they just cut out some extra info b/c people don't do well with a long movie. I will say that while the HP movies are amazing, they can't beat the books. For one thing I found out the end and truly fell in love with HP with the books and another is just the magic that it brought through its words. It brought people back to reading and helped them use their imaginations...

LMAO, I have no idea why I just explained my Harry Potter love in a post about Primetime Suds/Gossip Girl and show-I-don't-watch :)

I noticed the blond curls on Kelly's son but did not put two (blond curls) and two (Steve) together. That is what rocks about this blog. I get totally clued in on the big things I missed. All I can say is that I can't imagine Brandon or Steve having nothing to do with their son because they are not getting along with his mother. I hope they aren't going to rewrite those people to that extent. It had better be Dylan or someone we haven't thought of...
Maybe I am old and uncool but I thought family night was great. It seems right to me that when kids are 16 parents would still be trying to get them to spend time with them but that the kids would rather do other things. I did think it was weird that the kids had actual fun plans and the Rob and Lori didn't just say, "Okay, we can do it the next night." Anyway, I liked how they invited their friends so everyone got together.
Even when OG 90210 was terrible (think the last two years or so) I could not stop watching. I LOVE those people and I must know what happens to them no matter how much torture it puts me through. So, I guess I am going to keep watching...

"...there was Chuck Bass with the smoothest, coolest swagger to hit primetime since Chris Noth as Mr. Big."

Okay, now GG has my attention - I am a huge fan of Chris Noth (L&O marathon + three day weekend = my definition of heaven!) I must check out any show with a character who could be described as Chris Nothesque.

i have nothing more to say but...Chuck/Blair rules!

Gossip Girl is mother chucking 90210's lame and anti-climactic behind.

That is all.

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