Gossip Girl Renewed for Full Season

October 12, 2007

The first of the new shows to get a full season pick up is CW’s Gossip Girl.  I’m still not sure how I feel about this show.  After panning the first 2 episodes, I have to admit that by the third episode the show started to grow on me a little – more in a “so bad, it’s good” way than a “wow, this is a high quality program” way but nonetheless, I’m still watching.  If I thought about it a bit more from a psychological perspective, part of my bad reaction to Gossip Girl is tied to my bitterness about Veronica Mars’s cancellation, which is made worse when I see season 1 episodes in reruns on a local channel every morning at 7:00 before I go to work.  I know I have to let go but I don’t want to.  Boo CW.

Click here to read Variety’s article on Gossip Girl receiving a full season.

Gossip Girl – Season 1, Episode 2 –

September 29, 2007

I got excited about this show for the sum total of 30 seconds.  Then I remembered that despite the voiceover it wasn’t Veronica Mars.

It’s Strike 2 for this show.  One more episode I don’t care about and the show is off the list.  When you’re as behind on your watching as I am only one week into the season I’m going to be extra discriminating this year and be a lot quicker to drop shows that bore me.   Oh yeah, in case I’m not being obvious enough, Gossip Girl is a show that is really boring me.

Outside of Blair who I really enjoy watching and is the only real, complex character on the show, the rest are very forgettable.  I can’t believe Serena was ever the queen bee of the Gossip Girl world.  She demonstrates the personality of a piece of wood.  Blair’s boyfriend actually seems a good match for Serena as he fades into the background in every scene he’s in.  In the first episode alone Chuck has tried to rape two different girls which makes him out of the gate completely unsympathetic which is not the mark of a good soap villain.  A good soap villain needs to have a hint of redeemability and this guy doesn’t have it.  Dan is funny and has good comic timing but he’s just not believable as being interested in this world or if he really liked Serena why would he care what she did before she met him.  His sister, however, is actually not bad as she balances innocence with her desire to be like Blair or Serena.  Her story is the one interesting one on the show but seems more backburner than front burner.  The parents are fine but not as good as on the OC.

I’m not going to spend more time writing about this show.   It’s got one more week to convince me that this should stay on my list.

Avi’s Episode Rating: C-

Gossip Girl – Season 1, Episode 1 – Pilot

September 21, 2007

Before I get into the substance of this show I have two things to get off my chest – the first good, the second not so good. The good is obvious – it was great to hear Miss Veronica Mars herself doing the voiceover for the show. Even though I’m excited she’s going to be on Heroes this TV season won’t be the same without being able to watch VM. Now the not so good observation – aren’t there any good young actors they could have found to play the lead parts. I’ve been watching Degrassi: The Next Generation the last week or two starting at season 3 since it’s launch into syndication and it has lots of young talent who actually look like high school students. Looking back at Freaks & Geeks, now there’s a show that really not only captured high school but used actors who either were that age or pretty close. The lead actress on Gossip Girl who plays Serena looks an easy 25. (Update: Upon further investigation she’s actually only 20 but she doesn’t look like a high school girl). It definitely impacted my viewing experience.

Moving on to the review, Gossip Girl is the new show from OC creator Josh Schwartz and is based on a series of novels by Cicely von Ziegesar. (For a comparison between the books which I have no intention of reading and the show check out this article on Zap2it.) For me it definitely didn’t have the pull of the first episode or 2 of the OC which really drew me in from the get go. In a nutshell Gossip Girl is about rich private school kids living in NYC’s Upper West Side including some “mean girls” and stereotypical spoiled boys who think they own the world and everyone in it.

The show kicks off with the return of Serena, the former leader of the “mean girls” who left for more than a year to boarding school without a word to anyone. She’s back because her brother tried to kill himself and as is revealed over the episode she left after she slept with her best friend’s boyfriend. Meanwhile there’s a rich kid who drinks, smokes, tries to rape Serena and then when that fails moves on to some other young girl.  The young girl’s brother, Dan, is a geek who was never noticed by Serena but had a crush on her and of course now that she’s back and somewhat of an outcast goes on a date with him.  Just like the OC, the parents are also characters on the show including Serena’s mother and Dan’s father who seem to have had a past.  As for Gossip Girl, she’s a never seen blogger reporting on the lives of these rich kids.

Although on paper this show sounds kind of fun in a 90210/ Dawson’s Creek/ OC kind of way, I was just sort of bored.  It could be that I’m too old for this kind of show.. nope that’s not it.  The truth is I just immensely disliked almost every character on the show.  None of them had that Seth Cohen appeal or for that matter even Ryan appeal.  The only one I really liked was best friend Blair.  She had the Summer appeal.  Beyond the unlikable characters, I also found the storylines to be pretty uninteresting.  The reveal of why Serena left down was kind of silly and the storyline with Dan, Serena and his sister almost put me to sleep.

Now it may sound like I’m being a bit harsh on Gossip Girl for a first episode, and no question I am, but the role of the pilot is to convince you that the new show is must see TV and this didn’t.  That being said I am going to give the show a few more episodes to grow on me.  But for now…

Avi’s Episode Rating: C