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‘Gossip Girl’ recap: ‘Valley Girls’


This post is a wee bit late in coming – so pardonne-moi. (French just seems like the language to use when one is writing about “Gossip Girl,” no?)

But I did indeed watch Monday’s “GG” installment, the much-ballyhooed flashback to Lily’s past that producers hope will serve as the backdoor pilot for a series spin-off.

I’ve already reported that the young Lily spinoff isn’t a done deal at the CW, and I suspect that the network is waiting for audience reaction (which was mixed, no surprise) and ratings to make a determination.

My personal opinion? I was, um – insert a Lily-like pursing of the lips here – underwhelmed.

Sure, the Totally ’80s episode had lots of good points.

Brittany Snow was a wonderful choice to play Lily; she was lively, cute and had adult Lily’s phrasing and inflections down pat.

The tunes were fantastic: New Order, Billy Idol, The English Beat, Adam and the Ants? It was like the soundtrack to my high school days.

Casting Andrew McCarthy – one of THE hot movie stars from that decade – as Lily’s record producer dad was genius. (McCarthy was even in “Less than Zero,” and how much did the party that Lily and Carol crashed remind you of that flick?)

Plus, it was fun to see No Doubt in a cameo as a club band, even if their fictitious name, Snowed Out, did make me groan a little.

But otherwise?

I didn’t think it was a strong enough to warrant another whole series built around the hijinks of Lily and Carol, and it took away from any of the action involving the modern-day kids.

Other than Blair and Nate’s breakup and Blair getting named Prom Queen, not much else happened to the young ‘uns. (Except perhaps proving that Serena has a talent for changing into formalwear in the back of taxicabs.)

And really, Gossip Girl? If you think S., B. and the gang are bad, you should have seen their parents? As far as I could tell, the current Upper East Side youth have gotten up to way worse shenanigans than anything Lily and her new pals got up to in that episode.

(Remember Chuck smoking opium and hanging with Thai hookers? Nate sleeping with a married cougar? Serena and Georgina leaving a kid to die of a drug overdose? Punching some obnoxious guy out at a party seemed rather tame by comparison.)

However, if this series does indeed get picked up, they’ve got work on a few things.

First, dial back the ’80s references a bit. Fanny packs, side ponytails, neon bandanas, lace gloves, Rubik’s Cubes, Jane Fonda workout videos? We get it, we don’t need to be hit over the head with it. A little shoulderpad goes a long way.

And second? Good Lord, someone please help Cynthia Watros. We know she’s a great actress – she was Libby on “Lost,” for heaven’s sake! So why did she come across as wooden as a log cabin? Sure, it seems that a younger CeCe didn’t have a ton of depth, but they’ve got to do something to flesh out that brittle, gin-soaked character.

Anyway, my vote is for the CW to leave well enough alone. The “GG” kids graduate from high school in next week’s season finale, so my guess is that the producers and writers will have enough to worry about with transitioning those characters into college life next season. They don’t need to be distracted by a poor man’s spinoff.

But what did YOU think? Do you want to see more of young Lily? Where was young Rufus? And what was up with Keith van der Woodsen? Is he Serena’s daddy or what?

(Photos courtesy of the CW)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 8:24 am by Heather Salerno. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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