I want Serena (Blake Lively) and Dan (Penn Badgley) to spin off to a new series called The Show I Don’t Watch. I do not XOXO them. At all.
Other than that downer of a couple, the first three episodes of the second season of Gossip Girl (Monday at 8 p.m. on CW) are pretty perfect. The show picks up at the end of a summer spent in the Hamptons and Europe for those on the Upper East Side and in jobs for the Humphrey siblings.
Now more than ever Blair (Leighton Meester) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) make the show. When we last left the dastardly star-crossed lovers, Chuck had abandoned Blair right before their trip to Europe. That’s a fact not easily forgiven by the young diva which leads to the best and most entertaining scenes. (My personal favorite being the phrase "Damn that mother Chucker!") Westwick does bad boy very very well. I don’t think any of us would want to date him or even be friends with Chuck but he’s the reason to keep tuning in. Love him and his evil, conniving ways, love everything about them.
In what has become a necessary plot line for any teen drama (see Pacey and his teacher on Dawson’s Creek, Brandon and Lucinda Nicholson on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Luke and Julie Cooper on The O.C.), Nate (Chace Crawford) is ensconced in a relationship with an older woman (Mädchen Amick). Sure we’ve seen the predatory and manipulative older woman romance before but it still plays out in a fun way. And once you throw Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) into the mix, well you’ve got yourself a dysfunctional and entertaining love triangle.
The first three episodes are frothy fun full of glam escapades, one line zingers and sudsy melodrama. Some seriously guilty pleasure good times. But the show really needs to do something about Serena and Dan. Everything Serena says sounds like she’s whining and I don’t believe these two are really in love or pine for each other or have any reason for being together. I was so tempted to fast forward through every single one of their scenes. They are just boring, boring, boring.
I still think I date myself that some of the show’s teen topics still shock me a little — we’ve come a long way from when it was a big deal when Natalie slept with Snake on The Facts of Life. Heck we’ve come a long way from when Pacey told his teacher he was the best sex she’s never had on Dawson’s Creek. But as campy, shocking and slightly inappropriate teen soaps go, Gossip Girl hits its mark. I’m going to give Gossip Girl three and a half stars (it would be four stars if the show does something about Dan and Serena).
After you’ve watched the premiere of Gossip Girl, talk about it below and let me know what you think.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for September 1-7
Congratulations to TV Gal reader Nathan who was the first person to guess what happens in the two hour season premiere of Prison Break (Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX) that caused me to exclaim "finally." After you watch tonight’s premiere, I bet you’ll be able to immediately guess the moment I’m talking about. Alas, it wasn’t that Lincoln finally buttons his shirt to hide his ever glistening chest. I kind of doubt that’s ever going to happen. For my take on the fourth season of Prison Break, check out my column from last Wednesday.
There aren’t many times when I’m actually nervous about a TV show but I am nervous about the two hour series premiere of 90210 (Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the CW). For me, the stakes are high because I have shows that I think are creatively better and shows that top my favorite list, but there’s no show I have more affection for than the original Beverly Hills 90210. I used to say I’d watch the show into 90210: The Golden Girl Years and now I actually have the chance to have 90210 live on and on. The hype is huge (the series made the cover of US Weekly, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly this week) and the possibility for disaster high. In an informal poll of TV Gal readers, 55 of you think the show is going to be a hit while 40 of you think flop. We’ll find out which direction the show is heading Tuesday night and believe me I’ll be talking all about it in my column on Wednesday (which just might feature the return of a popular format from when I first started writing the TV Gal column).
Selfishly I do wish there was some kind of rule that prevented cable television from premiering during network television premieres and vice versa. It would be great if the wealth of new shows available was spread around, don’t you think? But, most unfortunately, I do not rule the TV world. The Shield returns for its seventh and final season Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX.
So it is totally fun to send Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) to London for the two-hour fourth season premiere of Bones (Wednesday at 8 p.m. on FOX) but something about the episode falls a little flat. I think the biggest problem is that the plotline separates Bones and Booth from the rest of the gang and has the dynamic duo shipping back evidence to the lab in Washington D.C. It’s a little awkward. Also like many of you, I agree that the show still has some explaining to do about Zack (Eric Millegan). I thought the finale last season worked but everyone on the show should still be feeling the repercussions of the revelation that Zack was Gormogon’s apprentice. In the two hour premiere, it’s really only mentioned in one throwaway line. I think the show will come back to address it but I was hoping for more as the season kicks off.
Katey Segal, Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam star in the new FX series Sons of Anarchy (premiering Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX). Ron Perlman’s Clay Morrow heads up a motorcycle club with criminal tendencies. After watching the pilot, I just wasn’t invested in the characters and their dark and disturbing world. I’ll be curious to know what you think.
Monk celebrates its 100th episode on Friday at 9 p.m. on USA. That means a lot of familiar faces from Monk’s past return including his biggest fan (Sarah Silverman), his brother (John Turturro) and his flight attendant (played by Tony Shalhoub’s wife Brooke Adams). Some old criminals also pop up including Sharon Lawrence, Andy Richter and Angela Kinsey. Yet there’s no sign of Sharona.
That’s all for today. I’m back on Wednesday with this week’s familiar faces and to process the premiere of 90210 (will be celebrating or consoling each other?). And on Friday I’ll have a review of the new HBO series True Blood and a look at the return of Entourage. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you on Wednesday. Enjoy the rest of your three day weekend!