In case you missed it, last night’s episode of Gossip Girl, titled “Valley Girls” was a heavily flash-back show, an intended intro for the alleged spin off, which may or may not be happening. When I first heard they were going to launch the prequel-esque series, featuring the refined and lovely Lily van der Woodsen as an out-of-control reckless party girl, crashing raves, wearing glittery shoulder-baring shirts and side pony-tails, I thought, “brilliant!” I am all for a retro 80’s drama about spoiled east coast kids roughing it in the punk LA. party/music scene.
Last night’s flashbacks were nearly unbearable. First of all, I LOVE Brittany Snow, but she is not right for this part. All I saw when her bambi eyes fluttered on my TV screen was Meg Pryor, from NBC’s ill-fated American Dreams. There is NOTHING edgy or rebellious about Brittany Snow.
Secondly, the 80’s throwback production was way too forced. It’s like they had a check list: neon, got it! spiky hair, yep! dark overdone eyelashes, alrighty! someone at some point looking like Madonna circa “Like a Virgin,” done! Ugh, natural, people, n-a-t-u-r-a-l. Take notes from Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, and Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks. Hell, even That 70’s Show did a better job!
The men were RIDICULOUS, simply painful-to-watch caricatures of the 80s…we had an earnest Johnny Depp/21 Jump Street type (Owen Campos), young/thin James Spader + that mean jerk blonde guy from The Karate Kid (Keith van der Woodsen) and the tan and aging version of Andrew McCarthy (Lily’s daddy), played by…Andrew McCarthy.
The only thing that seemed vaguely right was Krysten Ritter, who played Lily’s runaway sister, Carol, and actually seemed decade-authentic, and was likeable/interesting/showed potential.
So, if the kids at the CW decide to give this show a go, then they need to take my advice and loosen up on the nostalgia, recast and not try so hard to be “like totally oh my god that’s so radical-ly different” than the current/NYC-based Gossip Girl.
Here is a promo of last night’s episode…and don’t forget that next week is the Gossip Girl season finale.