I have never been a fan of dramatic serials on TV. While some people die for Desperate Housewives, others re-cap weekly Grey's Anatomy episodes, and even the truly fanatical kick you out of the room and refuse to answer the phone during 24; I prefer my TV shows light and funny, with the occasional drama sprinkled in, but only in small doses, like an argument over the dishes in The Real World or jammed sewing machines on Project Runway. My DVR is typically filled with Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park, America's Next Top Model, The Office, and now, Gossip Girl.
Gossip Girl is the only show that I have seen from the very beginning of the series, and I have yet to miss an episode. Fashion week was hard that Monday at 8 pm -- while I was loving the fashion shows and after parties, the TV part of my brain was screaming "Gossip Girl!" and giving me a migraine. However, thanks to the aforementioned DVR, I was able to quench my craving over the weekend.
Gossip Girl has the teenage drama that is so true to life blended with the absolutely preposterous only-on-TV situations. High School couples falling in and out of love (and in and out of bed) with each other, drama within cliques, and of course, using a random guy to get your ex jealous who turns out to be a duke who is sleeping with his step-mother. The dialogue is clever and witty, and maybe not exactly how seventeen year-olds talk, but they do live in upper-crust society in Manhattan, so maybe this is something I missed growing up in New Jersey. And the clothes, they are to die for. While most of the characters come from money, allowing them to carry the newest Burberry studded Alligator Warrior bag (a steal at $22,000!), one of the characters, Jenny, lives in Brooklyn and is expected to make do with consignment shop one-offs and dresses she sews herself. And maybe most of her wardrobe is actually Michael Kors and other designers that she could never possibly afford, it doesn't matter, it's fabulous, and come on, it's TV!
Then, the remake of 90210 appeared. While I was a child of the 90's, I never watched the original 90210. Most likely because I grew up without older siblings in the house, but mostly in part due to my father ruling our TV viewing with an iron fist, clamped around the remote. Had I never experienced Gossip Girl, I never would had even given 90210 a chance, but I convinced myself that if I could possibly enjoy Gossip Girl, then maybe 90210 would quench my fashionable-teen-drama thirst. I was wrong.
The first episode was painful, only alleviated by the fact that I could fast forward through the commercials and make my suffering a bit shorter. The plots were cheesy, the acting wooden and the dialogue was so obvious I found myself predicting what each dull character was about to say next. And the worst part? The fashion, or lack thereof. While I grew up on the East coast, and always heard that the West coast style was more "beachy" and "relaxed," I did not realize that translated to "mall," "bland" and "uninspired." With their stick-thin actresses practically drowning in their skinny jeans, and the predictable jock boys running around in jeans and t-shirts, I desperately wanted to change the channel. Perhaps the lack of style does translate correctly for what the California teens are wearing these days; but I doubt that 90210 was really aiming for "realistic" when they chose to remake that ridiculous original show.
I don't know what advice to give 90210 considering they already lost me as a viewer. Well, there's this: remember that TV shows are fantasy, they're not real -- so put that sixteen year-old in a Gucci dress, H&M jacket and Tom Ford sunglasses and send them on their way, on a yacht preferably, and keep us guessing.
So, while the cult of 90210 is sharpening their pitchforks and setting torches ablaze for me, there's still time to improve, considering your show has been picked up for nine more episodes. I guess someone is watching it, even if it's not me.