I can’t help but think that all the viewers who turned into GOSSIP GIRL for the first time Monday night — lured by the promise of an OMFG! experience — walked away disappointed. “Where are the naked people? Where’s the sex?” they might have been left answer. Oh, sure, Serena was gifted with porn and handcuffs, and her brother was used as an unwitting drug mule, but the majority of the episode revolved around the battle between dethroned Queen Bee Blair and wanna-be Jenny. While the final cliffhanger was fun, much of the episode was exactly the opposite of what those endless promos promised: This wasn’t a sexy, shocking hour of television, but rather an often juvenile, not particularly witty outting. Don’t get me wrong: I love, love, love GG. But there’s a difference between what they’re selling and what they’re delivering. Call me a cynic, but it seemed like an awfully intresting “coincidence” that the glam pad in which Serena and Chuck live has a big-ol’ picture window through which can be seen a neon sign for New York magazine. You know, the mag whose most recent cover declared GG the Best Show Ever. (With, it might be noted, an asterisk noting “not really”, although I bet THAT won’t show up in an advertising campaign.)

Am I the only one who was absolutely disgusted by President Bush’s “cameo” on DEAL OR NO DEAL? This man has kept our troops in danger with his pointless war, repeatedly refusing to sign legislation which would shorten their over-extended stays in Iraq, disregarded the will of the people — you know, the ones whom he represents and yet there he is, cracking jokes about his approval rating and the national debt (you know, the one spiraling out of control because of the war?) on a game show. Come to think of it, disgusted doesn’t even begin to sum up my reaction.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Hollywood-set season of MTV’s THE REAL WORLD is jam-packed with some of the least real houseguests yet. But it is a very interesting look at what today’s young people believe it takes to “make it” in LaLa land. In fact, the first person we meet — pumped-up wanna-be actor Joey, declares, “I believe to get in the entertainment business it’s really important to have charisma, good looks and also a great body.” Um, hello? Talent, anyone? Of course, he’s a personal trainer. Perky Kimberly wants to be an entertainment reporter on E!, perhaps having learned from the Katie Couric fiasco that real news is hard. But don’t tell that to Sarah, the 20-year-old who wants to go into broadcast journalism, who tells jockboy Davd her hopes and dreams. Music producer Will and aspiring singer Briana round out our cast, and if you think it’s a coincidence that these kids met one another in pairs, you just don’t know your reality television manipulations… er, storytelling. Right from the get-go, the show is working hard to create showmances. As Dave tells Sarah she might as well forget her long-distance boyfriend, we cut to said beau warning that if anyone tries anything with his girl, they’ll get their butt kicked. On, there is one person to arrive on his own: too-cool-for-school Greg, aka “Pretty Boy”, who obviously was cast based on nothing more than his obnoxious attitudes and potential for stirring up drama. The housemates basically despise him on sight, and we’re left feeling the same way. The pad is rad, of course, although I suspect it’s more impressive in person than on screen. By the end of the first episode, Kimberly has proven a bit racist, people are skinnydipping, Briana learns there’s a warrant out for her arrest and… well, Sarah’s boyfriend might wanna put on his butt-kickin’ boots.

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  • Linda B.

    I concur w/ your thoughts about Bush being on Deal or no Deal. Did you happen to see the spots all the presidential candidates did on the WWE? Talk about embarrassing.

    And no, i was not watching wrestling. I happened to see the clips on the Today show.

  • theTVaddict

    Firstly, Welcome Back Couch Tater!

    Second, the President, any President showing up on DEAL OR NO DEAL is an utter embarrassment. Especially during these incredibly difficult times. I’m sure those with kids overseas got a kick out of seeing their President work really hard to bring the troops home. Which I can say because I’m Canadian!

    And the Candidates pandering to the WWE crowd. Even worse. And just to clarify, like Linda B. I wasn’t watching WWE — saw it on THE DAILY SHOW.

  • shanna

    I’m over Bush. I can’t comment.

    I agree wholeheartedly about the Real World cast. Just when you thought the show couldn’t sink any lower. We get a house full of wannabes and they so don’t seem to care that future casting directors and producers will want to run from them after seeing this show.

  • sdgf

    you are the worst thing on this whole site. you like crap, aand hate good shows…please go away.

  • Josh Emerson

    Hey! I used to be a WWE fan. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them taping a short humorous video for the show. It’s not any worse than much of the other stuff the candidates have done and said. It’s certainly not worse than their appearances on SNL.

    I agree with you about Gossip Girl. I’ve never liked that show much, but tuned in on Monday. I really couldn’t give a crap about some stupid teen fued between Blair and Jenny. I just don’t get the appeal of this show. I watched The OC because even though they were rich and privileged, I thought the characters were likable and had lots of heart. I’m finding nothing appealing about the GG cast, even someone like Dan who we’re supposed to like.

  • Common Sense

    Lighten up, Betty…er, Sofa Spud. Any TV moron knows the Gossip Girl spots were not “episodic” in nature, but generic teases to draw attention to the show’s return after 3 months. Don’t take promos so literally. If you’d been a GG watcher, you’d know that every scene from those OMG promos was from an earlier episode. Image spots convey the overall “feel” of a show. If you need this explained, maybe I should be writing your column.

  • CT

    Comon Sense:

    Sorry, but the point of any advertising campaign like the one CW launched for Gossip Girl is NOT simply to bring back established viewers, but to get people talking and, by extension, =bring in new ones.

    You don’t SERIOUSLY believe that the network’s goal with those OMFG spots wasn’t to stir up a whole lot of controversy and, hopefully, get people saying, “What the hell is this GG I keep hearing about? I guess I’ll check it out.”

    In fact, you make my argument for me: The fact that the clips were all from OLD episodes only serves to illustrate the point that they were trying to lure in new viewers as opposed to “reminding” old viewers their show was returning.

  • CT


    Well, a couple of thoughts come to mind:

    1) Nobody is forcing you to read what I write. You are c certainly welcome to your opinion, but if you’d like it to be respected, you might consider returning the favor.

    2) I watch a lot of television, including some of those considered the best on the airwaves. Just because I don’t write about them doesn’t mean I don’t watch them, but rather, I know that other people here on the site are covering them. Daniel is not much of a reality fan, whereas it’s something that I’ve been following for years. As such, I write about it… I could, if you like, simply regurgitate the same information that you can get elsewhere on the site but… oh, wait, no I can’t. Because that’s not my style.

  • Isabelle

    This is your blog, and I’m not going to argue with your right to free speech, but because I also have that same right, I would like to suggest that you stick to talking about television and not politics.

    People come here to read about TV, not political commentary. This is a TV blog, after all.

    And if you do happen to make political claims, please at least back them up with evidence. You’ll have a lot more credibility.

  • Beth

    I completely agree with Isabelle. I couldn’t have said it better!

  • ct

    Isabelle and Beth:

    First, this isn’t my blog, it is Daniel’s. He is gracious enough to let me write here on occasion, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

    That said, I’ll repeat what I said to SDGF earlier: You may feel free to skip my postings whenever you like, but I write opinion pieces based on my viewing habits and reaction to them. On occasion — maybe even often — that’s going to include political references.

    While I respect your opinions, I’m a little taken aback. It’s pretty much impossible in this day and age to separate politics from television… especially when the president is appearing on a frakin’ GAME SHOW!

    In the past, I’ve also written about Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The O’Reilly Factor, both of which are politics-based shows. In this, an election year, you may be assured that I will continue to make references to politics as it relates to television (ie political ads, debates, the RNC and DNC).

    As for your questioning my “credibility” and suggesting I back up my “claims”, I’m not sure exactly to what you are referring. Not to “talk politics” or anything, but the facts speak for themselves: Every day that we remain in Iraq, soldiers are dying. Despite the fact that for several years now, polls have indicated that a majority of americans do not support the war (which is NOT the same as supporting the troops, which both they and I do) and want our soldiers to come home, the president has refused to bring them home or even deliniate what would constitute a “victory” in Iraq. He has also refused to act on the fact that our troops are being required to stay in Iraq much longer than they were supposed to because there is a shortage of soldiers with whom to replace them with.

    Each and every one of these facts is fairly well established and known to those who read and/or follow the news on a regular basis. Therefore, I don’t feel it’s necessary to “back them up” with evidence. But again, even were these truths not self evident (to borrow a phrase from a source a tad better known than most), I do not, in fact, feel the need to back up my statements given that this is an opinion piece. I don’t see anyone calling for me to provide “supporting evidence” to the fact that THE REAL WORLD’s Joey is a meathead. It’s an opinion. Read it, don’t read it… do with it what you will.

  • nathan

    go ct!